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Ares
Ἄρης

4232: Ares Borghese, 420 BC. Musée de Picardie, Amiens.

"Most hateful to me are you of all gods on Olympus, for ever is strife dear to you and wars and fightings." (Zeus to Ares. Homer, Iliad 5.890).


Ares is the mighty but hated man-slaying god of war and warriors. This blood-stained homicide god is often followed in the fight by his sons Phobus 1 and Deimos (Terror and Fear, see below). But as standpoints are many, he has also been called "Saviour of Cities", "Defence of Olympus", "Father of Victory", "Ally of Themis", and "Leader of Righteous Men".

Ares to forget

As the Bronze Age of man approached, and men became oblivious, a new generation of gods was born: The MUSES and Apollo, to remind man of himself. Artemis, to remind him of the sacredness and purity of nature. Athena and the HORAE, to remind him of the virtues of order, industriousness and political sense. The gods honor Memory. But to assist the coming madness of man, his brutality, and his bloodthirst, came Ares, so that also wretches who delight in murder would not be altogether without consolation. For even coward deeds may seem feats of bravery thanks to this god. But he reminds men of nothing as he incites them to run riot, kill, burn, and rape, but submerges them in mud and blood, making them forget the beauties of heaven and earth. This misery is one of the many forms of oblivion.

Hated by gods, wounded by men

And since Ares "regards no law"—barely distinguishing between fighting camps, and caring nothing for any of them—he is hated, not only by men, but also by the gods. This is why Athena told Diomedes 2 in the battlefield:

"Drive up, and do not stop to think 'This is the redoubtable War-god', but let him have it at short range. Look at the maniac over there! Do you know that only the other day that pestilential, double-dealing villain gave Hera and myself his word to fight against the Trojans and help the Argives? And now he has forgotten all he said and is fighting on the Trojan side." (Athena to Diomedes 2. Homer, Iliad 5.830).

That day Athena, wearing in the battlefield the helmet of Hades which made her invisible, assisted Diomedes 2. And the latter wounded Ares, who cried as loud as ten thousand men. The blow made the god return to Olympus, where Paeeon, who knew the remedies for all things, healed his wound. Some say that Ares had been wounded in battle before, when the god helped the Pylians in their war against Heracles 1, who wounded him in the thigh. But Aphrodite did love Ares, and it is told that she, out of jealousy, caused Eos to be perpetually in love for having bedded with the god. Aphrodite was Ares' lover, but her husband Hephaestus, by means of a clever device of his own invention, trapped the two naked lovers in bed, exposing them to the laughter of the other gods. This invention was a chain of adamant which he put around the bed to catch the lovers.

The first to be tried for murder

It is told that Ares was the first to be tried for murder—for having killed Halirrhothius, son of Poseidon. The man had attempted to violate Alcippe 1, daughter of Ares, but was detected and killed by her father. Ares was then impeached by Poseidon and tried in the Areopagus (Hill of Ares) before the twelve gods, but was acquitted. In this same place, Orestes 2 was tried for killing his mother.

Phobus 1. 8205: Mask of Phobos (fear) within a radiating petal design. 4th century AD. From Halicarnassus. British Museum.

Ares in prison

It is also told that when the ALOADS (see Zeus) atacked heaven, they set Ossa on Olympus and Pelion on Ossa, threatening, by means of these mountains, to ascend up to heaven. In the course of this war, the ALOADS put Ares in bonds. He lay bound for thirteen months in a brazen jar, but was later rescued by Hermes as his bonds were about to overpower him.

Deimos and Phobus 1

Deimos and Phobus 1 (Fear and Terror) appear in battle following their father. They are usually regarded as personifications of these emotions, and have no myth of their own. Yet Theseus is said to have sacrificed to Phobus 1 before joining battle with the AMAZONS, daughters of Ares. They could also appear in company of Enyo 2 (Goddess of Warfare), sacker of cities, sister of War (when Troy was being taken Enyo 2, revelling in the drunkenness of unmixed blood, danced all night throughout the city, like a hurricane), or they could be seen together with Eris (Discord), or the ERINYES (Avenging Spirits).


Family 

Parentage

Mates

Offspring

Notes

Zeus & Hera

Aerope 2

Aeropus 1

"a)", "b)" etc. stand for opposite versions; "---" means unknown.

Aerope 2 died while giving birth, but Ares made her dead body able to breast-feed the baby.

Aglaurus 2

Alcippe 1

See text above.

---

Alcon 4

A Thracian. He is one of the CALYDONIAN HUNTERS.

Harmonia 2

Harmonia 2 was a Nymph who was loved by Ares in the glens of the Acmonian wood in the country of the AMAZONS.

Astyoche 5

Ascalaphus 1

Ascalaphus 1 was one of the ARGONAUTS, one of the SUITORS OF HELEN, and one of the ACHAEAN LEADERS.

Pyrene

Cycnus 2

Cycnus 2 challenged Heracles 1 to single combat near the river Echedorus in Macedonia, but a thunderbolt parted the combatants.

Pelopia 3

Cycnus 3

Cycnus 3 challenged Heracles 1 to single combat, and was killed by him.

Deimos

See main text above.

Diomedes 1

Cyrene was reared near Mount Pelion and was of surpassing beauty. Apollo found her without spears wrestling alone with a lion, and carried her off to that part of the land of Libya where in later times he founded a city and named it Cyrene, after her.
Diomedes 1 was King of the Bistonians in Thrace. He owned man-eating mares. One of the LABOURS of Heracles 1 was to bring these mares from Thrace to Mycenae. Diomedes 1 was killed by Heracles 1.

---

Dragon 2

This dragon guarded the spring of Ares near the site of Thebes. Cadmus killed it, and sowed its teeth, and from them rose from the ground the armed men called SPARTI.

---

Dryas 2

Dryas 2 fought together with other LAPITHS against the CENTAURS. He is also counted among the CALYDONIAN HUNTERS. Dryas 2 was killed, though innocent, by his brother Tereus 1, who suspected him of having the intention of killing his son Itys 1.

Demonice

Evenus 2

Evenus 2 was father of Marpessa 1. She was carried off by Idas 2, the Messenian who killed one of the DIOSCURI from a winged chariot that he had received from Poseidon. When Evenus 2 could not catch Idas 2, who had carried off Marpessa 1, he threw himself into the river Lycormas which is called Evenus after him.

Harmonia 1

See also Robe & Necklace of Harmonia 1.

Astyoche 5

Ialmenus 1

Ialmenus 1 is one of the ARGONAUTS, one of the SUITORS OF HELEN, one of the ACHAEAN LEADERS, and one of those who hid inside the WOODEN HORSE.

---

Licymnius

Lycimnius, usually called the bastard son of King Electryon 1 of Mycenae, is the only one of the brothers who did not die at the hands of the sons of Pterelaus. He was killed by Tlepolemus 1, who was beating a servant when Licymnius ran in between.

Triteia

Melanippus 6

Triteia was a priestess of Athena, and Melanippus 6, founder of the city in Achaea, called it Triteia after his mother.

Althaea

When Meleager was seven days old, the MOERAE came and declared that he should die when the brand burning on the hearth was burnt out. On hearing that, his mother snatched up the brand and deposited it in a chest. But later, when Meleager killed his mother's brothers, Althaea kindled the brand out of grief. Meleager was one of the ARGONAUTS, and one of the CALYDONIAN HUNTERS.

Demonice

Molus 2

 

---

 

---

Nisus 1

Nisus 1 was king of Megara when this city was captured by the fleet of King Minos 2 of Crete. His life depended on a purple lock of hair that he had on his head, but his daughter Scylla 2, having fallen in love with Minos 2, pulled it out and Nisus 1 died.

---

Oeagrus

Father of Orpheus.

a) Sterope 3 b) Harpina

Sterope 3 is one of the PLEIADES. Harpina is a daughter of the river god Asopus.
Oenomaus 1 was the king of Pisa who used to put to death his daughter's suitors, and nail their heads to his house, as an oracle had said that he would die whenever his daughter should marry.

Protogenia 2

Oxylus 1

Protogenia 2 is daughter of Calydon, the eponym of the city in Aetolia.

Parthenopaeus

Parthenopaeus is one of the SEVEN AGAINST THEBES, assailant of the Borraean (Electran) Gate at Thebes.

a) Dotis b) Chryse 1

Phlegyas 1

Phlegyas 1 was king of the Phlegyans in Boeotia.


Phobus 1

See main text above.

---

Porthaon

A Calydonian, father of Oeneus 2.

Demonice

Pylus

 

Ilia

Remus 1

See Romulus.

a)Ilia b)Aemilia


Romulus
 

Romulus was suckled by a she-wolf, founded Rome and gave his name to the entire nation. As he saw twelve birds flying in the sky and his brother only six, Romulus was accorded the government of the city.

---

A Thracian, who helped Pandion 2 in his war against Labdacus, and having received one of his daughters seduced the other, pretending the first was dead. Both became victims of his cruelty.

Demonice

Thestius 1

When Thestius 1 claimed the skin of the Calydonian Boar on the ground that Iphiclus 2 had been the first to hit it, war broke out between the Curetes (including the sons of Thestius 1) and the Calydonians (including Meleager). When Tyndareus and Icarius 1 were expelled from Lacedaemon, they were received by Thestius 1, and allied themselves with him in the war which he waged with his neighbors.

Tirine

Thrassa

 


Eos

---

Eos is Dawn. Because she had lain with Ares, Aphrodite caused her to be perpetually in love.


Genealogical Charts

Names in this chart: Aeropus 1, Alcippe 1, Alcon 4, AMAZONS, Ares, Ascalaphus 1, Cronos, Cycnus 2, Cycnus 3, Deimos, Diomedes 1, Dragon 2, Dryas 2, Evenus 2, Gaia, Harmonia 1, Hera, Ialmenus 1, Licymnius, Melanippus 6, Meleager, Molus 2, Nike, Nisus 1, Oeagrus, Oenomaus 1, Oxylus 1, Parthenopaeus, Phlegyas 1, Phobus 1, Porthaon, Pylus, Remus 1, Rhea 1, Romulus, Tereus 1, Thestius 1, Thrassa, Uranus, Zeus.

Ares


Related sections METAMORPHOSES, ZEUS' OFFSPRING, OLYMPIANS 
Sources
Abbreviations

Apd.1.3.1, 1.4.4, 1.7.7-8, 1.8.1-3, 1.9.16, 2.4.5-6, 2.5.8, 2.5.11, 2.7.7, 3.4.1, 3.5.4-5, 3.9.2, 3.10.8, 3.14.2, 3.14.8.; Apd.Ep.2.7; Arg.2.990; DH.2.2.3; Dio.4.21.1, 4.73.6, 5 5.48.2, Eur.Bacc.1357; Hes.The.922, 933, 975; Hom.Ar.8.4; Hom.Il.2.660, 2.494ff., 2.512, 5.761, 5.900; Hyg.Ast.2.21; Hyg.Fab.14, 45, 71, 84, 173, 198, 242, 252; Cal.Ze.76; Lib.Met.2, 21; Nonn.2.415, 4.358ff., 4.61, 5.101, 5.130, 13.428; Ov.Fast.1.199; Ov.Met.8.145; Pau.5.22.6, 6.22.4, 7.22.8, 8.44.7-8, 9.36.1-4; Plu.PS.40; Plu.Rom.2.3-6; Vir.Aen.1.273, 6.777; Stat.Theb.3.229, 4.309; Strab.5.3.2.

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