Symbols: Spear, helmet, dog, vulture, and boar
Parents: Zeus and Hera
Children: Phobos, Deimos, and Harmonia
Spouse: none, but loved Aphrodite
Abode: Mount Olympus
Roman name: Mars
Ares was the Greek god of war and one of the twelve major Greek gods who lived on Mount Olympus. He was known for being violent and cruel, but also cowardly. Most of the other Olympians, including his parents Hera and Zeus, didn't like Ares very much.
How was Ares usually pictured?
Ares was usually pictured as a warrior carrying a spear and a shield. He sometimes wore armor and a helmet. When traveling he rode a chariot pulled by four fire-breathing horses.
What powers and skills did he have?
Ares' special powers were those of strength and physicality. As the god of war he was a superior fighter in battle and caused great bloodshed and destruction wherever he went.
Birth of Ares
Ares was the son of the Greek gods Zeus and Hera. Zeus and Hera were the king and queen of the gods. In some Greek stories, Hera had Ares without the help of Zeus by using a magical herb. While Ares was still an infant, he was captured by two giants and put into a bronze jar. He would have remained their forever, but the giants' mother found out and told the god Hermes who rescued Ares.
God of War
As the god of war and violence, Ares was the personification of the bloodlust and cruelty that took place during battles. His sister, Athena was the goddess of war, but she represented the intelligence and strategy that was used to win wars. Ares didn't much care who won, he just wanted people to fight and kill each other.
As you might expect, Ares played a part in many Greek myths that had to do with war. During the Trojan war, unlike most of the Olympians, he took the side of Troy. He was at constant odds with his sister Athena during the war. At one point, he was wounded and went to Zeus to complain, but Zeus just ignored him. In the end, it was the strategy and intelligence of Athena that won over Ares as the Greeks defeated the Trojans.
Ares was never married, but he fell in love with Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Aphrodite was married to Hephaestus, the god of fire and metalworking. When Hephaestus caught Ares and Aphrodite together, he captured them in an unbreakable metal web and held them there for the other gods to mock.
Ares had several children with both goddesses and mortal women. Two of his children with Aphrodite often accompanied him into battle. One was Phobos (the god of fear) and the other was Deimos (the god of terror). He did have some peaceful children including Harmonia (the goddess of harmony) and Eros (the god of love).
Interesting Facts About the Greek God Ares
- The Roman version of Ares, Mars, was a more dignified god who was considered the father of the Roman people. Mars was also the Roman god of agriculture.
- When Aphrodite fell in love with the mortal Adonis, Ares became jealous. He turned into a boar and attacked Adonis with his tusks killing him.
- He fought the Greek hero Heracles twice and lost both times.
- His mortal son Cycnus wanted to build a temple to Ares out of human bones.
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