18 Facts About Ares


Numismatist M Jessop Price states that Ares "typified the traditional Spartan character", but had no important cult in Sparta; and he never occurs on Spartan coins.

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Ares' attributes are instruments of war: a helmet, shield, and sword or spear.

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Each was told to set up a statue of "bloody, man-slaying Ares" and provide it with an annual festival in which it was ritually bound with iron fetters as if a supplicant for justice, put on trial and offered sacrifice.

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The "Scythian Ares" was offered blood-sacrifices of cattle, horses and "one in every hundred human war-captives", whose blood was used to douse the sword.

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In some parts of Asia Minor, Ares was a prominent oracular deity, something not found in any Hellennic cult to Ares or Roman cult to Mars.

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Ares was linked in some regions or polities with a local god or cultic hero, and recognised as a higher, more prestigious deity than in mainland Greece.

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The names of Ares and Aphrodite appear as witness to sworn oaths, and there is a Victory thanks-offering to Aphrodite, whom Millington believes had capacity as a "warrior-protector acting in the realm of Ares".

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Ares was one of the Twelve Olympians in the archaic tradition represented by the Iliad and Odyssey.

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In Greek literature, Ares often represents the physical or violent and untamed aspect of war and is the personification of sheer brutality and bloodlust, in contrast to his sister, the armored Athena, whose functions as a goddess of intelligence include military strategy and generalship.

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Ares played a central role in the founding myth of Thebes, as the progenitor of the water-dragon slain by Cadmus.

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Once the couple was released, the embarrassed Ares returned to his homeland, Thrace, and Aphrodite went to Paphos.

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The furious Ares turned the sleepy Alectryon into a rooster which now always announces the arrival of the sun in the morning, as a way of apologizing to Ares.

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In Nonnus's Dionysiaca, in the war between Cronus and Zeus, Ares killed an unnamed giant son of Echidna who was allied with Cronus, and described as spitting "horrible poison" and having "snaky" feet.

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Ares flees to Mount Olympus, forcing the Trojans to fall back.

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Cycnus of Macedonia was a son of Ares, who tried to build a temple to his father with the skulls and bones of guests and travellers.

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Since Polyphonte was descended from him, Ares stopped Hermes, and the two brothers came into an agreement to turn Polyphonte's family into birds instead.

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In Renaissance and Neoclassical works of art, Ares's symbols are a spear and helmet, his animal is a dog, and his bird is the vulture.

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In literary works of these eras, Ares is replaced by the Roman Mars, a romantic emblem of manly valor rather than the cruel and blood-thirsty god of Greek mythology.

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