Ares, the god of war, was the son of Zeus and Hera and one of the Twelve Olympian gods. In literature, Ares is represented as the untamed aspect of war, and his quick temper, aggressiveness, and unquenchable thirst for conflict made him very unpopular among the citizenry. In this article, we will present to you 15 things that will help you get the picture about Ares.
1. Ares Was The First Greek God To Be Tried On The Hill Of Areopagus
Areopagus was the highest council of Ancient Greece, and both common people and Gods were sentenced there if accused of committing a misdeed. Ares was accused by the Greek god Poseidon of having murdered his son Alirrothios. Namely, Allirrothios had attempted to rape Ares’ daughter, Alkippe. For this reason, Ares wanted to get even with Alirrothios.
2. Ares Is Considered To Be Similar To The Roman God Mars
According to some historians, Ares has a lot in common with Mars, but was generally more uncivilized and brutal. One may note the similarity between the names – Mars is basically Ares with an M attached. Some say there is a connection between the aggressive Ram sign of the Zodiac and Ares.
3. Ares Was The Lover Of Aphrodite
Ares and Aphrodite, who was the wife of Hephaestus, committed adultery. After being exposed, they were ridiculed by the gods when Hephaestus trapped them both nude in bed using an invisible net.
4. Ancient Greeks Had Mixed Feelings For Ares
Even though Ares displayed the physical aggression necessary for war success, the Greeks were irresolute about him because he stood for an overwhelming, dangerous force that was insatiable in battle.
5. Ares Fought For The Trojans In The Trojan War
The Trojan War was one of the biggest wars of Greek mythological stories and Ares was part of it, too. During the battle, Ares fought along with the Trojans and took the side of Aphrodite. He fought for Hector until he was wounded by a Greek warrior who pierced him with a spear guided by Athena.
6. Ares Had Many Offsprings
Eros, Harmonia, Tereus are just a few gods whose father was Ares. It is characteristic of almost all of the Greek gods to have many offsprings. However, what makes Ares different from other Gods is that he conceived more mortal children than divine children.
7. Ares Was Depicted As A Strong And Agile God
His strong, powerful, and agile appearance made many people and gods tremble. In art, he was symbolized wearing a spear, a helmet, and a bronze armor. When it comes to his face, he had long hair and demon eyes. His animals were dogs, woodpeckers, eagle owls, and vultures.
8. Ares Was Depicted As A Coward
In spite of his connection to war, violent temper, and pleasant appearance, he often responded as a coward and with outrage to even the slightest injury. Thanks to this, he was rather disliked among other Gods and people.
9. Ares Came From Thrace
Ares came from Thrace, the Northeast of Greece, which was home to a fierce people. For this reason, it is where he enjoyed the strongest worship. There is also a temple site built in his honor. However, there may be more, but those are rare as few people wanted to invoke war.
10. His Parents Hated Him
Zeus and Hera, Ares’ parents hated him, according to Homer. It is said that his parents found him irritating. Some say that Ares could have stayed just the God of Minor Conflicts if he had been shown a little more love from his parents.
11. Ares Had His Devoted Followers
Ares did not fit into the Olympian ideal of moderation and rationality, but he still had his followers. They were mostly a small group of wicked minor deities and mortals, including a few sons of his, most of whom ended with unfortunate fates. Ares was usually accompanied in battles by his two sons Daiemos (Panic) and Phobos (Fear).
12. Ares Was Held Captive In The Bronze Jar
Zeus never put much effort looking for Ares, so the young Ares had been abducted by the giant Aloadai twins, who had captured him and locked him in a bronze jar. Ares was held captive for some time, almost losing his mind in captivity. Fortunately, Ares was released when the stepmother of the twins realized what had happened.
13. Ares Once Rescued Hades
Rarely did Ares go out of his way to help his fellow Olympians. However, he once decided to rescue Hades who had been seized by King Sisyphus. Ares threatened to decapitate Sisyphus if he did not release Hades. Not only did he release Hades, but he also had to turn himself in as Hades’ prisoner.
14. Ares Was Wounded By Hercules
Ares was exceptionally loyal but this trait led him astray at one occasion. His son, Cycnus, was a thief who occasionally murdered travelers and stole goods from them. Once, he tried to assault Hercules without knowing it was him. As they fought, Ares rushed to fight on his son’s side, but their strength was no match for Hercules, who wounded Ares and killed Cycnus.
15. Ares Turned Himself Into A Wild Boar And Killed His Rival
Ares’ lover, Aphrodite, fell in love with the beautiful Adonis. Having found this, Ares was overcome with such jealousy that inflicted great pain on him. So, he turned himself into a wild boar and killed Adonis, his rival. This was the only time when he battled disguised in another form.