Ares, Father of Victory,
Known by Many Names,
Leader of Men,
Lord of the Dance,
And Ares of the Mighty Heart.
Ares, the Greek God of War who is better
known as the Roman god named Mars.
Ares was the child of Hera and Zeus, born of an immaculate conception. You see Hera was rather jealous of Zeus who was able to conceive a child, Dionysus, by putting the child into his thigh after the mother died. Hera took a magical herb that allowed her to have a child immaculately, this child was Ares.
Zeus because he was not actually the father of Ares (no one was really) was not one to excessively dote upon infant Ares. He was rather negligent. Once during infancy Ares had been abducted by two giants, known as the Aloadai, and they had trapped him in a gigantic bronze jar, to never release him. Zeus however paid little attention. It was in the end the Aloadai mother who discovered the truth and told Hermes who assisted releasing Ares from the bronze jar.
Seeing the unsafe environment for Ares (being trapped in bronze jars for several years is not the best toddler care), Hera decided to move Ares somewhere else safer, thus she chose Priapus, who trained and raised Ares until he was a fully grown man.
Ares the God of War had one main adversary, his sister Athena, who was also a deity of warfare. Though they were both deities of warfare they represented different aspects of war itself. Ares was the God of war and bloodlust, he represented the primal nature of war, its brutality, and its violence. He fought just on instinct and his own rage and personal fury he had, and fought primarily for the sake of fighting. However on the opposite spectrum was Athena the Goddess of Wisdom and Warfare. Her warfare was the tactical warfare that calculated each move carefully with strategic strikes in order to get the job done. As can be seen brother and sister were very different, and from this vast difference many conflicts arose.
Ares among the Greek peoples was least favored because of his brutal nature. He was seen as a mercenary of sorts, filled with rage and lust for blood. He was seen as unappeasable and fickle, supporting one side at one time, but changing sides at another time, just so he could shed blood and cause war.
Ares also had quite the interesting love life. Though he was never married, he had several relationships. Plus all of these relationships were never one night stands, as many of these were somewhat committed relationships, relationships that bore him several children. Also much unlike numerous other gods, Ares did not use deceit or trickery in order to attain his love affairs. He never abducted, raped, or tricked a woman for his love.
Ares most famous and most long-term love affair was the with the goddess of beauty Aphrodite. Even though Aphrodite was already married to Hepheastus, she saw much of the handsome Ares (a big improvement from the blacksmith Hepheastus who is considered very ugly). From their relationship they had several children, including Harmonia who would grow up to become the fearless leader and mother of a tribe of fearsome warrior women, the Amazonians.
Not surprisingly Ares was very well known for the many conflicts he was embroiled in. During the Trojan War Ares joined the war on the side of the Trojans against the Greeks as a show of support for Aphrodite. Although this may have gotten him brownie points with Aphrodite the other Olympians were none too pleased, as most supported the Greeks. In battle he charged Athena who had been taunting him during the battle. During his advance Athena picked a large stone and flung it at Ares stopping his advance and knocking him unconscious.
During the same Trojan War, Athena was able to convince a Greek soldier to wound Aries. With the help of Athena he did and wounded Ares. In pain and rage Ares bellowed loudly, so loudly that the earth itself shook at his voice. He tried to complain to Zeus (yes he went crying to daddy), but Zeus refused to acknowledge his complaints.
In another conflict Ares went to the aid of one of his fellow Olympians surprisingly enough. This was the case of King Sisyphus. He found out that King Sisyphus was holding Hades the God of the underworld, and Ares decided to come to his rescue. Ares went and administered heavy threats to Sisyphus including decapitation if he didnít relent Hadesís captivity. Sisyphus in fear did release Hades. Hey you would be afraid too if the God of bloodlust and war was threatening you.
Although Ares was disliked by many peoples, and there were many other Olympians favored more than him, he still had plenty of followers. However many of these followers were, unfortunately, not so morally upright (and in some cases just crazy) minor deities and mortals, several of which included his own sons.
In battle he rode with two of his sons, who were minor deities themselves. One was Phobos who represented fear, and Daiemos who represented Panic.
Also Ares was viciously protective of many of his numerous children, propelling him into various conflicts to defend them, however many of these instances led Ares to join into battles that he could not win.
When one of his sons was killed during the Trojan War, Ares, leapt onto the battlefield, defying Zeus' orders that the gods and goddesses not take part in the battle.
In another case, Aresí son Cycnus was a thief who attacked travelers on certain roads, killed them and took their bones from the bodies. What was he using the bones for? He wanted to create a gigantic temple in honor of his fatherÖ made completely of human bones, thatís a little gruesome. However Cycnus had the great misfortune of messing with one traveler that he really should not have, Heracles. When he tried to attack Heracles, obviously Heracles fought back, and when Ares saw this he jumped to the defense of his son Cycnus. However Heracles was far stronger than both of them, he easily killed Cycnus and he deeply wounded Ares.
And Ares wasnít sexist; he was equally defensive with his daughters as well. Once one of Poseidonís also numerous sons attempted to rape Ares daughter Alcippe. When Ares saw this he promptly stopped him and brutally killed him. Poseidon was furious and demanded he be put on trials with the twelve Olympians presiding over the case. This lead to the first murder trial in recorded history. The hill, which was in Athens, was appropriately named Aeropagus (Aresí Hill). At the end of the trial Ares was acquitted of all his charges.