THE BRUTAL AND VIOLENT ARES

by Keanan

Who is Ares? Many of you have heard the stories surrounding this mysterious Greek figure, but with so many gods and goddesses it’s hard to know about just one. Ares is the Greek god of war. There are two gods of war, Athena and Ares. Ares and Athena represent different aspects of war. Athena represents the leadership and strategic side of war while Ares represents the violent and brutal side of war. Ares is the violent and brutal god of war.

Ares is one of the twelve Olympians, the twelve most powerful gods in Greek mythology. When Ares came to Greece the Greeks were unsure whether Ares was someone they could trust even though he had the traits necessary to win wars. Ares was known as a dangerous god; he put fear into the hearts of other men. He is supposed to represent strength and fearlessness of confrontation. Zeus, the most powerful Greek god, once said “Ares is the god most hateful to me.” Threatening and scary, Ares is great in battle.

Ares is the son of Zeus and Hera. When Hera gave birth to Ares, it was said she did so by touching a flower, which is similar to the birth of Hephaestus. In Greek art Ares is always shown as a man in battle armor with a beard, or as a naked youth. Ares is well known for wearing his gold helmet with dark red fur streaming down from the tip of the helmet. In battle Ares is usually seen with a shield and an un-named spear like weapon.

Ares is also known for being in love with Aphrodite. Aphrodite is married to Hephaestus, yet the marriage doesn’t stop Ares from falling in love with Aphrodite. When Ares appears in stories he is usually being ridiculed even though he doesn't seem like the type to be made fun of. One of his most well known stories involves him trying to impress Aphrodite with his strength but ends up being embarrassed by Hephaestus.

In Greek stories written about Ares, Ares is known as Mars in some translations. There are some rituals pertaining to the worship of Ares that are not mentioned in the stories about Mars. In Greece there is a temple with a statue of Ares outside of it. Men and women came to this temple to worship Ares. During the festival in which Ares is celebrated no women were allowed in the temple. They worshipped Ares, the violent and brutal Greek god of war for his strength and bravery. The worshippers were probably also hoping for some courage and strength for themselves when leaving the temple.

RESOURCES

"ARES : Greek God of War | Mythology, w/ pictures | Roman Mars." THEOI GREEK MYTHOLOGY, Exploring Mythology & the Greek Gods in Classical Literature & Art. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2011. <http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/Ares.html>.

"Ares." Greenwood Folklore. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2011. <folklore.greenwood.com/searchresults.aspx?qk1=ares>.

"Ares - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ares>.

Keenan, Shelia. Gods, Goddesses and Monsters. NY: Scholastic, 2000. Print.

Sacks, David. "Ares." Ancient Greek World. NY: Facts on File, 1995. 30. Print.