Ares, the god of war.
Ares, the god of war.
Ares is the Greek god of warfare, battlelust, banditry, rebellion, civil order, manliness, and courage. In Greek art he is often depicted in two ways -- early on, he was shown as a grown, bearded warrior in battle gear. In later works, he is seen as a nude, beardless young man with just a helm and a spear. He is often difficult to distinguish in classical art due to a lack of unique features/attributes.

Ares is a principal god of the Greek pantheon, making him one of the twelve olympians


The primary object symbols of Ares are the spear and the helmet. Other objects commonly attributed to him include the shield and body armor. Ares's war chariot is drawn by four gold-bridled, immortal, fire-breathing horses: Aithon (Red-fire), Phlogios (Flame), Konabos (Tumult), and Phobos (Fear).

Sacred animals and birds ascribed to him are the Serpent (drakon), Vulture (gups), Woodpecker (ipne), Barn Owl (aigolios), and Eagle Owl (buas).

The planet Mars is names after Mars, the Roman god of war equivalent to Ares. The Greeks themselves called the planet "Aster Areos," or "the Star of Ares." Tuesday, named after the Germanic god Tyr, who was identified with Mars, is the day of Ares.

Familial Relations

Ares is the son of Zeus and Hera.

Though he was unmarried, Ares fathered many divine offspring: (all were mothered by Aphrodite, his primary consort, unless otherwise mentioned)
  • Anteros - God of Love Reciprocated
  • Deimos - God of Terror
  • Enyalios - A War-God, son of Ares and Eris
  • Eros - God of Love
  • Harmonia - Goddess of harmony
  • Nike - Goddess of Victory, according to some, a daughter of Ares
  • Phobos - God of Fear

He also fathered several heroic mortal offspring:
  • Meleagros - Prince of Aitolia and hero who led the Hunt for the Kalydonion Boar
  • Kyknos - Warrior who challenged Heracles
  • Diomedes - King of the Bistones of Thrake
  • Hippolyta - one of the Queens of the Amazons
  • Penthesileia - another one of the Queens of the Amazons

Ares had several minions, some of them his own children:
  • Deimos - God of Terror and son of Ares
  • Phobos - God of Fear and son of Ares
  • Eris - Goddess of Strife, Discord, and War

Famous Myths Featuring Ares

  • Ares's adulterous affair with Aphrodite - The two deities were having an affair. They were eventually trapped in a net laid by Aphrodite's husband Hephaestus.
  • Adonis's slaying - Adonis was Ares's rival for Aphrodite's affection; Ares took the guise of a boar in killing Adonis.
  • Cadmus's transformation - Ares turned Cadmus and his wife, Harmonia, into serpents.
  • Hallirhothios's murder - In order to avenge the rape of his daughter and his consequent trial in the court of Areiopagos, Ares murdered Hallirhothios.
  • Sisyphus's arrest - Ares arrested Sisyphus, an impious man who kidnapped the god Death.
    A modern depiction of the god of warfare.
    A modern depiction of the god of warfare.
  • The battle of Heracles and Kyknos - Ares intervened in the battle of Heracles and Kyknos to back up his son.
  • Ares's support of the Amazons - Ares supported and acted as the god of the Amazons, a group of fearless female warriors.
  • Ares's capture by the Aloadae - Ares was captured by the Aloadae, the giants of Thessaly. Otus and Ephialtes, the Aloadae, imprisoned him in a bronze jar.
  • The Trojan War - In the Trojan War, Ares was wounded by Diomedes with the help of Athena.

Trivial Facts About Ares

  • To the Greeks, Ares was cruel, while to the Romans (who called him Mars), he was glorious and invincible.
  • He was very unpopular among the Greeks and even hated amongst many of the gods.
  • Despite being a god of war, he can also be viewed as a god of peace. Some evidence of this is that those who prayed to him prayed for the strength to be peaceful, as can be read in Homer's Hymn to Ares .
  • Phobos and Deimos, two of Ares's sons and minions, are also the names of the moons of the planet Mars.
  • In the DC Universe (comics), Ares is one of the primary adversaries of Wonder Woman.

Words derived from Ares
- Martial, which comes from Mars, his latin name, is often used in association with the military or military life (i.e. court martial, martial law, etc)

March (Mars) - The third month of the Gregorian calendar. Named after Mars, the Roman god of war.

His Roman Counterpart, Mars, is the name of the 4th planet from the sun.

Information Sources:

Images: derived from Mars the roman equivalent of ares.