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Sphinx (Riddle of)
The God of War & Battle
Vulture; Woodpecker; Barn Owl; Eagle Owl
Planets of Ares:
Mars (Also Ares Roman Name)
Day of Ares:
The Greeks called this day " Hemera Areos" (Day of Ares)
Mother & Father:
Zeus and Hera (King and Queen of the Gods)
Unmarried (his consort was Aphrodite Goddess of Love)
Phobos (God of Fear)
Diemos ( God of Terror)
Harmonia (Goddess of Harmony)
Drakon of Thebes (Dragon that guarded the spring of Ismene at Thebes. Armed warriors(Spartans) sprang out of its teeth when they were sown into the ground.
Ares had owned a golden-rained chariot pulled by four horses that breathed fire.
Myths of Ares
Ares & The War of the Gagantes
Ares fought with the other gods in a war against the Gigantes (serpent-footed giants), and slew the Gigantes Mimas.
"Aeetes [King of Kolkhis] put on his breast the stiif cuirass which Ares had given him after slay Mimas his own hands in the field of Phlegra."
Apollonius Rhodus, Argonautica 3.1227 ff (trans. Rieu) (Greek epic C3rd B.C.)
Ares & The Giant Typhoeus
"Typhon felt an urge to usurp the rule of Seus and not one of the gods could withstand him as he attacked [Olympos]. In panic they fled to Aigyptos (Egypt), all except Athena and Zeus who alone were left. Typhon hunted after them, on their track. When they fled they had changed themselves in anticipation into animal forms. Apollon became a hawk, Hermes an ibis, Arees became a fish, the Iepidotus."
Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses 28 (trans. Celoria) ( Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.)
Ares & The Aloadae Giants
Here the Aloadae Giants tried to the home of the gods by piling three Greek mountains together, Olympos, Ossa, and Pelion. Ares attempts to stop them , but instead is trapped in a bronze urn for thirteen months by chains unbreakable Ares. Eventually Hermes breaks him free before the bonds broke him.
"... Ares had to endure it when strong Ephialtes and Otos, sons Aloeus, chained him in bonds that were too strong for him, and three months and ten he lay chained in the brazen cauldron; had not Eeriboia, their stepmother, the surpassingly lovely, brought word to Hermes, whole stole Ares away out of it, as he was growing faint and the hard bondage was breaking him"
Homer, Iliad 5. 385 ff (Trans. Lattimore) (Greek epic C8th B.C.)
res and the Trojan War
The Wedding of Peleus & Thetis
Like the other gods Ares was invited to the wedding of Peleus & Thetis. It was here that Eris threw the golden apple of discord among the goddesses. This was the first incident in a series that led to the Trojan War.
Ares' Support for the Trojans
At the beginning of the Trojan War the gods separated into Pro-Greek and Pro-Trojan factions. Ares was originally indifferent, and at first promised his mother, Hera, and sister, Athena, that he would side with the Greeks; however, Aphrodite, his secret love, convinced him to break his alliance and join her with the Trojans.
Ares Drives Trojans Army, Wounded by Diomedes
The Trojan Army, newly reinforced by troops sent by Anatolia in Thrake. The Greeks had returned to take back Troy itself. As soon as the battle began, the gods descended onto the battlefield in support of their favored army. Ares led the Trojans, but was wounded by an attack by Diomedes and Athena, and was then driven from the field.
"The Argives under the strength of Ares and bronze-armoured Hektor did not ever turn their backs and make for their black ships nor yet stand up to them in fighting, but always backward gave way, as they saw how Ares went with the Trojans. Who then was the first and who the last that they slaughtered, Hektor, Priamos’ son, and Ares the brazen? Godlike Teuthras first, and next Orestes, driver of Horses, Trekhos the spearman of Aitolia and Oinomaos, Helenos son of Oinops and Oresbios of the shining guard … Now as the goddess Hera of the white armed [on Olympos] perceived how the Argives were perishing in the strong encounter, immediately she spoke to Pallas Athene her winged words: `For shame, now, Atrytone, daughter of Zeus of the aegis: nothing then meant the word we promised to Menelaos, to go home after sacking the strong-walled city of Ilion, if we are to let cursed Ares be so furious. Come then, let us rather think of our own stark courage.’
[The two goddesses then departed for Troy to assist the Greeks] ...
[They passed Zeus who was seated on the peak of Olympos and] Hera stopping her horses, spoke to Zeus, high son of Kronos, and asked him a question: `Father Zeus, are you not angry with Ares for his violent acts, for killing so many and such good Akhaian warriors for no reason, and out of due order, to grieve me? And meanwhile Kypris [Aphrodite] and Apollon of the silver bow take their ease and their pleasure having let loose this maniac who knows nothing of justice. Father Zeus, would you be angry with me if I were to smite Ares with painful strokes and drive him out of the fighting?’
Then in turn the father of gods and men made answer: ‘Go to it then, and set against him the spoiler Athene, who beyond all others is the one to visit harsh pains upon him.’
So he spoke, nor did the goddess of the white arms, Hera, disobey, but lashed on the horses [descending to the battlefield of Troy] ...
[Athene appeared to Diomedes and urged him on:] `Now beside you also I stand and ever watch over you, and urge you to fight confidently with the Trojans ... ‘
Then in answer Diomedes spoke to her: `Daughter of Zeus who holds the aegis, goddess, I know you, and therefore will speak confidently to you, and hide nothing. It is no poor-spirited fear nor shrinking that holds me. Rather I remember the orders you yourself gave me when you would not let me fight in the face of the blessed immortals - the rest of them, except only if Aphrodite, Zeus’ daughter, went into the fighting, I might stab her with the sharp bronze. Therefore now have I myself given way, and I ordered the rest of the Argives all to be gathered in this place beside me, since I see that this who is lord of the fighting is Ares.’
Then in turn the goddess grey-eyed Athene answered him: `Son of Tydeus, you who delight my heart, Diomedes, no longer be thus afraid of Ares, nor of any other immortal; such a helper shall I be standing beside you. Come then, first against Ares steer your single-foot horses, and strike him from close. Be not afraid of violent Ares, that thing of fury, evil-wrought, that double-faced liar who even now protested to Hera and me, promising that he would fight against the Trojans and stand by the Argives. Now, all promises forgotten, he stands by the Trojans.’
So speaking she pushed Sthenelos [the charioteer of Diomedes] to the ground from the chariot, driving him back with her hand, and he leapt away from it lightly, and she herself, a goddess in anger, stepped in to the chariot beside brilliant Diomedes, and the oaken axle groaned aloud under the weight, carrying the dread goddess and a great man. Pallas Athene then took up the whip and the reins, steering first of all straight on against Ares the single foot horses. Ares was in the act of striping gigantic Periphas, shining son of Okheios, far the best of the men of Aitolia. Blood-stained Ares was in the act of stripping him. But Athene put on the helm of Death [Haides], that stark Ares might not discern her.
Now as manslaughtering Ares caught sight of Diomedes the brilliant, he let gigantic Periphas lie in the place where he had first cut him down and taken the life away from him, and made straight against Diomedes, breaker of horses. Now as they in their advance had come close together, Ares lunged first over the yoke and the reins of his horses with the bronze spear, furious to take the life from him. But the goddess grey-eyed Athene in her hand catching the spear pushed it away from the car, so he missed and stabled vainly. After him Diomedes of the great war cry drove forward with the bronze spear; and Pallas Athene, leaning in on it, drove it into the depth of the belly where the war belt girt him. Picking this place she stabbed and driving it deep in the air flesh wrenched the spear out again. Then Ares the brazen bellowed with a sound as great as nine thousand men make, or ten thousand, when they cry as they carry in to the fighting the fury of the war god. And a shivering seized hold alike on Akhaians and Trojans in their feet at the bellowing of battle-insatiate Ares.
As when out of the thunderhead the air shows darkening after a day’s heat when the storm wind uprises, thus to Tydeus’ son Diomedes Ares the brazen showed as he went up with the clouds into the wide heaven. Lightly he came to the gods’ citadel, headlong Olympos, and sat down beside Kronian Zeus, grieving in his spirit, and showed him the immortal blood dripping from the spear cut. So in sorrow for himself he addressed him in winged words: `Father Zeus, are you not angry looking on these acts of violence? We who are gods forever have to endure the most horrible hurts, by each other’s hatred, as we try to give favour to mortals. It is your fault we fight, since you brought forth this maniac daughter accursed, whose mind is fixed forever on unjust action. For all the rest, as many as are gods on Olympos, are obedient to you, and we all have rendered ourselves submissive. Yet you say nothing and you do nothing to check this girl, letting her go free, since yourself you begot this child of perdition. See now, the son of Tydeus, Diomedes the haughty, she has egged on to lash out in fury against the immortal gods. First he stabbed the Kyprian [Aphrodite] in the arm by the wrist. Then like something more than human he swept on even against me. But my swift feet took me out of the way. Otherwise I should long be lying there in pain among the stark dead men, or go living without strength because of the strokes of the bronze spear.’
Then looking at him darkly Zeus who gathers the clouds spoke to him: `Do not sit beside me and whine, you double-faced liar. To me you are the most hateful of all the gods who hold Olympos. Forever quarrelling is dear to your heart, wars and battles. Truly the anger of Hera your mother is grown out of all hand nor gives ground; and try as I may I am broken by her arguments, and it is by her impulse, I think, you are suffering all this. And yet I will not long endure to see you in pain, since you are my child, and it was to me that your mother bore you. But were you born of some other god and proved so ruinous long since you would have been dropped beneath the gods of the bright sky.’
So he spoke, and told Paieon to heal him; and scattering medicines to still pain upon him Paieon rendered him well again, since he was not made to be one of the mortals. As when the juice of a fig in white milk rapidly fixes that which was fluid before and curdles quickly for one who stirs it; in such speed as this he healed violent Ares; and Hebe washed him clean and put delicate clothing upon him. And rejoicing in the glory of his strength he sat down beside Kronion.
Meanwhile, the two went back again to the house of great Zeus, Hera of Argos, with Athene who stands by her people, after they stopped the murderous work of manslaughtering Ares."
Homer, Iliad 5.699
Ares Rallies Trojans Against Neoptolemos
After the death of Achilles, his son, Neoptolemos, took his place as the leading warrior of the Greeks, and routed the Trojans
. Ares descended from the heavens and drove the Trojans back to battle.
Ares' Attempt to Destroy the Trojan Horse
The Greeks finally constructed the Wooden Horse as a ruse to capture the city. However the divine allies of Troy, perceiving hte plan, descended upon Troy to destroy it. Athena engaged Ares in battle and the pair fought until Zeus intervened, commanding all the gods to withdraw from Troy and let the city fall.
"When imperious Zeus far from the Gods had gone to Okeanos's streams and Tethys' caves [and the Greeks were constructing the Wooden Horse], strife rose between the Immortals: heart with heart was set at variance. Riding on the blasts of winds, from heaven to earth they swooped: the air crashed round them. Lighting down by Xanthos' stream arrayed they stood against each other, these for the Akhaians, for the Trojans those; and all their souls were thrilled with lust of war: there gathered too the Lords of the wide Sea. These in their wrath were eager to destroy the Horse of Guile and all the ships, and those fair Ilion. But all-contriving Fate held them therefrom, and turned their hearts to strife against each other. Ares to the fray rose first, and on Athena rushed. Thereat fell each on other: clashed around their limbs the golden arms celestial as they charged. Round them the wide sea thundered, the dark earth quaked 'neath immortal feet. Rang from them all far-pealing battle-shouts; that awful cry rolled up to the broad-arching heaven, and down even to Hades' fathomless abyss: trembled the Titanes there in depths of gloom. Ida's long ridges sighed, sobbed clamorous streams of ever-flowing rivers, groaned ravines far-furrowed, Argive ships, and Priam's towers. Yet men feared not, for naught they knew of all that strife, by Heaven's decree. Then her high peaks the Gods' hands wrenched from Ida's crest, and hurled against each other: but like crumbling sands shivered they fell round those invincible limbs, shattered to small dust. But the mind of Zeus, at the utmost verge of earth, was ware of all: straight left he Okeanos's stream, and to wide heaven ascended, charioted upon the winds, the East, the North, the West-wind, and the South [in the shape of horses]: for Iris rainbow-plumed led 'neath the yoke of his eternal ear that stormy team, the car which Time the immortal framed for him of adamant with never-wearying hands. So came he to Olympos' giant ridge. His wrath shook all the firmament, as crashed from east to west his thunders; lightnings gleamed, as thick and fast his thunderbolts poured to earth, and flamed the limitless welkin. Terror fell upon the hearts of those Immortals: quaked the limbs of all - ay, deathless though they were!
Then Themis, trembling for them, swift as thought leapt down through clouds, and came with speed to them - for in the strife she only had no part and stood between the fighters, and she cried: `Forbear the conflict! O, when Zeus is wroth, it ill beseems that everlasting Gods should fight for men's sake, creatures of a day: else shall ye be all suddenly destroyed; for Zeus will tear up all the hills, and hurl upon you: sons nor daughters will he spare, but bury 'neath one ruin of shattered earth all. No escape shall ye find thence to light, in horror of darkness prisoned evermore.'
Dreading Zeus' menace gave they heed to her, from strife refrained, and cast away their wrath, and were made one in peace and amity. Some heavenward soared, some plunged into the sea, on earth stayed some."
Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 12.167
Ares Wrath: Halirrhothios
Ares and Agraulos (daughter of the king of Athens) had a daughter, Alkippe. As Halirrhothios, the son of Poseidon, was trying to rape Alkippe, Ares caught him and slew him on the spot. Poseidon and Ares were tried on the Areopagos with the twelve gods presiding. Ares was acquitted.
Ares Wrath: Kadmos
"[Kadmos] sent some of his men to fetch water from the spring of Ares, but a Serpent, said by some to be a child of Ares, guarded the spring and destroyed most of those who had been sent. In outrage Kadmos killed the Serpent, and then, following the instructions of Athena, planted its teeth. From this sowing there sprang from the earth armed men, called Spartoi ... As for Kadmos, to atone for the deaths he served Ares as a labourer for an ‘everlasting year, for a year then was equal to eight years now. After his period of labour, Athena provided Kadmos with the sovereignty [of Thebes], and Zeus gave him Harmonia, daughter of Aphrodite and Ares, as a wife."
Apollodorus, The Library 3.22
Ares Love With Aphrodite
The Reasoning Behind Ares not Being Married
After the birth of Hepheaestus, Hera had casted him from heaven in utmost disgust. When he grew up, he sent gifts to Olympos, including a golden thrown that Hera sat upon. When she sat on the throne, she was bound fast to the throne. Hera offered Hepheaestus the hand of Aphrodite in marriage so that he would release her. Ares tried to bring to Olympos by force but was driven back. Dionysos later suggested that he come back return by his own free will. Neither Ares or Aphrodite were pleased with the outcome, and were then forced into their famous adulterous affair.
The Net of Hepheaestus
This story is about when Ares and Aphrodite were commiting adultery and were caught. Hepheaestus found out and makes a net of which paralyzes them and embarasses them in front of all the other gods.
"Demodokos [the Phaiakian bard] struck his lyre and began a beguiling song about the loves of Ares and Aphrodite, how first the lay together secretly in the dwelling of Hephaistos. Ares had offered many gifts to the garlanded divinity and covered with shame the marriage bed of Lord Hephaistos. But Helios (the sun-god) had seen them in their dalliance and hastened away to tell Hephaistos; to him the news was bitter as gall, and he made his way towards his smithy, brooding revenge. He laid the great anvil on its base and set himself to forge chains that could not be broken or torn asunder, being fashioned to bind lovers fast. Such was the device that he made in his indignation against Ares, and having made it he went to the room where his bed lay; all round the bed-posts he dropped the chains, while others in plenty hung from the roof-beams, gossamer-light and invisible to the blessed gods themselves, so cunning had been the workmanship. When the snare round the bed was complete, he made as if to depart to Lemnos, the pleasant-sited town, which he loved more than any place on earth. Ares, god of the golden reins, was no blind watcher. Once he had seen Hephaistos go, he himself approached the great craftman’s dwelling, pining for love of Kytherea [Aphrodtie]. As for her, she had just returned from the palace of mighty Zeus her father, and was sitting down in the house as Ares entered it. He took her hand and spoke thus to her: ‘Come, my darling; let us go to bed and take our delight together. Hephaistos is no longer here; by now, I think, he has made his way to Lemnos, to visit the uncouth-spoken Sintians.’
So he spoke, and sleep with him was a welcome thought to her. So they went to the bed and there lay down, but the cunning chains of crafty Hephaistos enveloped them, and they could neither raise their limbs nor shift them at all; so they saw the truth when there was no escaping. Meanwhile the lame craftsman god approached; he had turned back short of the land of Lemnos, since watching Helios (the sun-god) had told him everything. Cut to the heart, he neared his house and halted inside the porch; savage anger had hold of him, and he roared out hideously, crying to all the gods: ‘Come, Father Zeus; come, all you blessed immortals with him; see what has happened here - no matter for laughter nor yet forbearance. Aphrodite had Zeus for father; because I am lame she never ceased to do me outrage and give her love to destructive Ares, since he is handsome and sound-footed and I am a cripple from my birth; yet for that my two parents are to blame, no one else at all, and I wish they had never begotten me. You will see the pair of lovers now as they lie embracing in my bed; the sight of them makes me sick at heart. Yet I doubt their desire to rest there longer, fond as they are. They will soon unwish their posture there; but my cunning chains shall hold them both fast till her father Zeus has given me back all the betrothal gifts I bestowed on him for his wanton daughter; beauty she has, but no sense of shame.’
Thus he spoke, and the gods came thronging there in front of the house with its brazen floor. Poseidon the Earth-Sustainer came, and Hermes the Mighty Runner, and Lord Apollon who shoots from afar; but the goddesses, every one of them, kept within doors for very shame. Thus then the bounteous gods stood at the entrance. Laughter they could not quench rose on the lips of these happy beings as they fixed their eyes on the stratagem of Hephaistos, and glancing each at his neighbour said some such words as these: ‘Ill deeds never prosper; swift after all is outrun by slow; here is Hephaistos the slow and crippled, yet by his cunning he has defeated the swiftest of all the Olympian gods, and Ares must pay an adulterer’s penalty.’ …
For Poseidon there was no laughing; he kept imploring the master smith Hephaistos in hopes that he would let Ares go. He spoke in words of urgent utterance: ‘Let him go; I promise that he shall pay in full such rightful penalty as you ask for - pay in the presence of all the gods.’ But the great lame craftsman answered him: ‘Poseidon, Sustainer of the Earth, do not ask this of me. Pledges for trustless folk are trustless pledges. If Ares should go his way, free of his chains and his debt alike, what then? Could I fetter yourself in the presence of all the gods.’
Poseidon who shakes the earth replies: ‘Hephaistos, if Ares indeed denies his debt and escapes elsewhere, I myself will pay what you ask.’ Then the great lame craftsman answered him: ‘I must no and cannot refuse you now’, and with that he undid the chains, powerful though they had proved. Unshackled thus, the lovers were up and off at once; Ares went on his way to Thrake, and Aphrodite the laughter-lover to Paphos in Kypros."
Homer, Odyssey 8.267
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