Ares god of war is the son of Zeus and Hera and one of the twelve Olympians. His Roman name is Mars - although the Roman god is quite different.
He was said to live in Thracia, a region where there were many warriors. The Amazons, his daughters, lived in Thracia too.
Ares god of war represented brutal force, he enjoyed the battles and the bloodshed and he didn't really care about fighting for a good cause - and he wasn't always the winner ;-)
During the war of Troy, he tried to attack Diomedes - but the goddess Athena, hidden by a magic elm, diverted his javelot and helped Diomedes hit the god - guess what happened? Ares god of war gave a frightening cry (equal to the cry of 9.000 people fighting) and ran home, on Mount Olympus, where his daddy, Zeus, asked another god to cure his wounds - not before scoulding him ("you are the most despicable of all gods, you took after your mother" - of course, these were not the exact words, but they render the idea anyway).
In the war of Troy, Athena also managed to knock him down with a stone - I guess the ancient Greeks were having a little fun in imagining the brutal force defeated by wisdom.
Poor Ares god of war also had a tough time with the Aloades - he was caught by these two giants and locked into a bronze vase, where he stayed for 13 months. He almost starved to death, hadn't it been for Hermes, who liberated him.
The god of war was often accompanied by Eris, his sister (the goddess of Discord) and Hades (the god of the underworld).
Even if rough and brutal, he was handsome, and he had many love affairs, with goddesses or with mortals.
His most famous love was Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love, (who was married with Hephaistos). Their adventure had an embarrassing ending. Helios, the Sun, who sees everything that happens on earth, saw them one day, while they were having a private meeting. He reported it to Hephaistos, who decided to take revenge, so he invented a magic, invisible net. The next time the two lovers met, they were caught in this net and shown to the other gods (the goddesses didn't want to come and look, it wouldn't have been appropriate - just imagine the gossip, afterwards!).
He and Aphrodite had several sons: Deimos (Terror) and Phobos (Fear), who accompanied their father in battle, but also, according to some sources, Eros (no need to explain his name!), Anteros (reciprocal love) and Armonia (Harmony, it wasn't too difficult, right?).
Here are some of the other women he is said to have loved:
Aglauros - they had one daughter, Alcippe. One day, when Ares was on a hill in Athens, he saw Allirotius, Poseidon's son, trying to assault his daughter, so he got terribly angry and killed Allirotius. Poseidon brought him in front of a court formed of all Olympians, but Ares was declared not guilty. The hill where the trial took place was called "Areopagus", from the god's name, and the Athenians held religious trials there.
Arpinna (or Euritoe, or Sterope) - they had one son, Enomaos
Pelopia - they had one son, Cycnus
Pirene - they had two sons, Diomedes of Thracia and Licaon, both very cruel
Here are some pictures of Ares god of war (even if in paintings he is usually called "Mars")
For pictures of Ares god of war, click here...
... and here are many more pictures, in whose title the Roman name was used: Mars.
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