Ares: the god of war in Greek mythology, who was he really?

Ares: The origins of the God of War

Ares, the Divine Incarnation of War

In the pantheon of Greek mythology teeming with multi-colored deities, the God Ares embodies conflict, destructive war and violent passions. The first born of Zeus and Hera, Ares is a complex deity, both feared and revered.

A controversial god in Greek mythology

Ares stands out among the other gods of Olympus. He is a belligerent god, playing on ambivalences, as much hated as covered in glory. The ancient Greeks feared him for his unpredictability and thirst for violence, which often led to mythological tales depicting him as a fearsome and unloved entity.
The Roman vision of Ares, known as March, rehabilitated the image of the god of war, associating it with agriculture and civic protections. Thus, from the Greek story to the Roman story, the figure of Ares/Mars evolves, taking on less frightening and destructive features.

Ares: a lasting mark on history

Ares left an indelible mark on Greek history. The city-state of Sparta, for example, a great bastion of military power in ancient Greece, had a deep devotion to this god. For the Spartans, Ares was the symbol of physical strength, courage and the instinct for survival.
In the footsteps of Ares, we also find mythical stories featuring his tumultuous loves and his warlike children who brought war to the world of men. Among the latter are the formidable Amazons, warriors of unparalleled bravery.
Ares, even if he remains a controversial deity and sometimes portrayed in a negative way, has maintained a central place in history and culture, from mythical epics to contemporary novels. The stories of his disproportionate strength, his intrepid courage but also his weaknesses and his stormy passions continue to fascinate and inspire.

A multi-faceted God

Ares is not only the image of war and discord. To his warlike side, we must add his loves and passions. Loving and loved, he fathered twins with the goddess of love, Aphrodite, thus painting a more complex and contradictory picture of the God of the war.
In short, in the stories and myths surrounding Ares, his portrait is far from being unidirectional. It is both refinement and brutality, devotion and contempt, passion and indifference. This very ambivalence makes Ares a fascinating character, whose myth will undoubtedly span the ages, seducing new readers over the centuries.

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The attributes and functions of Ares in Greek mythology

Find out who Ares, the diejson of Greek mythology's war, really was, through his true identity and role.

Ares: God of War

In the pantheon of Greek mythology, the entity that most embodies the brutality and violence of battles is Ares. Son of Zeus and Hera, he symbolizes the darkest aspect of war, where his sister Athena represents the tactical and strategic intelligence of war. Ares is, without any possible dispute, an important god in Greek mythology. However, his reputation and influence were far from being unanimously recognized and respected among the other gods.
In Greek mythology, Ares appears as a vibrant paradox, both feared and despised, powerful but vulnerable, courageous but often depicted as a figure of ridicule. Understanding Ares therefore means delving into the mazes of ancient war, into its brutality, but also into its codes of honor and its contradictions.

The Attributes of Ares

Ares is often associated with different attributes that symbolize brutal war and chaos. He is generally represented as wearing a breastplate and holding a spear, a sign of his direct link with the military domain. Additionally, the sword and shield are also objects closely linked to the god Ares, signifying his role as a warrior in Olympus.
His favorite companions are also evocative: a chariot pulled by two fiery steeds, two minor deities of fear and terror (Phobos and Deimos) and sometimes even accompanied by Eris, the goddess of discord. It is a walking chaos, but a necessary chaos in a universe where conflicts are an integral part of the destiny of men.

Functions of Ares in Greek mythology

While being a powerful warrior, Ares is not only the god of war in a merely destructive sense. He is an embodiment of violence of course, but also of the courage and valor necessary to face battles.
Interestingly, Ares, despite being a god of Olympus, seems to be more connected to mortal beings than most other gods. Indeed, it symbolizes human character traits such as courage, but also anger, fear and even sometimes cowardice.
Overall, Ares is a complex and deeply human god, characterized by attributes and functions that reflect man’s greatness as much as his greatest weaknesses. In this way, he is among the most significant deities of Greek mythology, written by men for men, with the ultimate goal of giving meaning to an often confusing and chaotic universe.

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Ares and the other deities: Relationships and conflicts

Find out who Ares, the die, of war in Greek mythology really was and delve into his fascinating story.

Ares: The god of war and his divine influence

Ares, the God of the war, is a striking Greek mythological figure surrounded by many mysteries. He is known for his brutality, his passionate love of combat, but also for his tumultuous relationships with other deities. As in a divine comedy, Ares navigates between conflicts and alliances, drawing a divine landscape in constant change.

The conflictual relationship with Athena

One of Ares’ best-known relationships is undoubtedly his relationship with the goddess Athena. Brilliant, strategist and protector, Athena is the goddess of civilized war and a major antagonistic figure to our God of War. Their dispute is symbolic of the opposition between civil war, measured, regulated, and savage, tumultuous war, championed by Ares. The disputes between Athena and Ares are present in many stories, such as the one recounted in the ninth episode of the podcast “The adventures of Achilles, hero of the Trojan War” where their antagonism has a direct influence on the course of the war of Troy.

Romantic alliances… complex

Outside of the battlefield, Ares also has complicated relationships with the other gods on the love front. His extramarital affair with Aphrodite, the goddess of love, gave rise to numerous stories and legends. But this tumultuous relationship is marked by duplicity, passion and betrayal. A sentimental affair far from simple, it caused a lot of tension on Mount Olympus.

Summoning Ares: at what cost?

For some mortals seeking military might, summoning Ares might seem obvious. However, as with celestial hierarchy, the relationship between Ares and those who call upon him is not to be taken lightly. Ares is a brash, violent and unpredictable god. His help can turn into a curse, as can be the case when powerful divine figures like the archangels are invoked. Myths abound with stories of mortals who suffered the wrath of Ares for disrespecting the god or misinterpreting his intentions.
These various divine relationships and conflicts with Ares paint the portrait of a god as complex as it is fascinating. At the heart of many stories and legends, Ares continues to captivate the imagination with his indomitable character and unpredictable nature. Through a thousand and one celestial and terrestrial intrigues, he embodies the ultimate, formidable and admired warrior. Whether in conflict or alliance, Ares forever remains a towering figure in the Greek pantheon. And although feared, he is undoubtedly an inexhaustible source of fascination because of his legendary exploits and the myths revolving around him.

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