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Ares {{#invoke:IPAc-en|main}} (Ancient Greek: Ἄρης{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} [árɛːs], literally meaning "battle") is the Greek god of war. He is one of the Twelve Olympians, and the son of Zeus and Hera.<ref>Hesiod, Theogony 921 (Loeb Classical Library numbering); Iliad, 5.890–896. By contrast, Ares' Roman counterpart Mars was born from Juno alone, according to Ovid (Fasti 5.229–260).</ref> In Greek literature, he often represents the physical or violent and untamed aspect of war, in contrast to his sister the armored Athena, whose functions as a goddess of intelligence include military strategy and generalship.<ref>Walter Burkert, Greek Religion (Blackwell, 1985, 2004 reprint, originally published 1977 in German), pp. 141; William Hansen, Classical Mythology: A Guide to the Mythical World of the Greeks and Romans (Oxford University Press, 2005), p. 113.</ref>

The Greeks were ambivalent toward Ares: although he embodied the physical valor necessary for success in war, he was a dangerous force, "overwhelming, insatiable in battle, destructive, and man-slaughtering."<ref name="Burkert, p. 169">Burkert, Greek Religion, p. 169.</ref> His sons Fear (Phobos) and Terror (Deimos) and his lover, or sister, Discord (Enyo) accompanied him on his war chariot.<ref>Burkert, Greek Religion, p.169.</ref> In the Iliad, his father Zeus tells him that he is the god most hateful to him.<ref>Iliad 5.890–891.</ref> An association with Ares endows places and objects with a savage, dangerous, or militarized quality.<ref>Hansen, Classical Mythology, pp. 114–115.</ref> His value as a war god is placed in doubt: during the Trojan War, Ares was on the losing side, while Athena, often depicted in Greek art as holding Nike (Victory) in her hand, favored the triumphant Greeks.<ref>Burkert, Greek Religion,p. 169.</ref>

Ares plays a relatively limited role in Greek mythology as represented in literary narratives, though his numerous love affairs and abundant offspring are often alluded to.<ref>Hansen, Classical Mythology, pp. 113–114; Burkert, Greek Religion, p. 169.</ref> When Ares does appear in myths, he typically faces humiliation.<ref>Hansen, Classical Mythology, pp. 113–114. See for instance Ares and the giants below.</ref> He is well known as the lover of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, who was married to Hephaestus, god of craftsmanship.<ref>In the Iliad, however, the wife of Hephaestus is Charis, "Grace," as noted by Burkert, Greek Religion, p. 168.</ref> The most famous story related to Ares and Aphrodite shows them exposed to ridicule through the wronged husband's clever device.<ref>Odyssey 8.266–366; Hansen, Classical Mythology, pp. 113–114.</ref>

The counterpart of Ares among the Roman gods is Mars,<ref name=Lar>Larousse Desk Reference Encyclopedia, The Book People, Haydock, 1995, p. 215.</ref> who as a father of the Roman people was given a more important and dignified place in ancient Roman religion as a guardian deity. During the Hellenization of Latin literature, the myths of Ares were reinterpreted by Roman writers under the name of Mars. Greek writers under Roman rule also recorded cult practices and beliefs pertaining to Mars under the name of Ares. Thus in the classical tradition of later Western art and literature, the mythology of the two figures becomes virtually indistinguishable.


Ares sections
Intro  Names and epithets  Character, origins, and worship  Attributes  Cult and ritual  Attendants  Founding of Thebes  Consorts and children  Hymns to Ares  Other accounts  Renaissance  In popular culture  See also  Notes and references  External links  

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