Greek Mythology/Gods/Ares

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Ares was the Greek god of war, conflict and masculine courage. He is distinguished from Athena, also a war deity, as being associated with the individual warrior and the personal fight.

His origins consistently claim Hera as his mother and attribute his paternity to Zeus or that Hera conceived him alone to spite Zeus conceiving Athena by himself. His name may mean destroyer or avenger.

He is associated with the Roman god Mars, although Mars had an agrarian side and enjoyed wider worship.

Homer's Ares was bloody and merciless and while god of war, was a coward who cried in pain and when wounded, runs away. Homer's interpretation of Ares is likely more for entertainment value than religious accuracy.

In the mythos there are no mentions of Ares attacking unprovoked. Each of Ares' duels are the result of attacks on his family, or in the heat of a declared battle. The rape of his daughter, the revenge killing of her rapist and his acquittal at the Areopagus is one example.

On the battlefield, he was accompanied by Phobos ("fear") and Deimos ("terror") and his daughters Eris ("strife") and Enyo ("horror") all his children with Aphrodite. They also were parents to Harmonia ("harmony").

Although Mars is attributed with the rape of Rhea Silvia, Ares is not associated with non consensual sex.

Ares' symbols were a spear and armor. The woodpecker, vulture and wolf were also associated with him.