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ARES
Form: Lat. Mars.

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The Greek name for the god of war, son of Zeus by Hera, whose quarrelsome temper Homer supposes to have passed over to son so effectively that he delighted in nothing but battle and bloodshed. His insatiable thirst for blood makes him hateful to his father and all the gods, especially Athena. His favourite haunt is the land of the wild and warlike Thracians. In form and equipment the ideal of warlike heroes, who are therefore called "Ares-like" and "darlings of Ares," he advances, according to Homer, now on foot, now in a chariot drawn by magnificent steeds, attended by his equally bloodthirsty sister Eris (strife), his sons Deimos and Phobos (fear and fright), and Enyo, the goddess of battle and waster of cities (he himself being called Enyalios), rushing in blind rage through indiscriminate slaughter. Though fighting on the Trojan side, the bloodshed only is dear to his heart. But his unbridled strength and blind valour turn to his disadvantage, and always bring about his defeat in the presence of Athena, the goddess of ordered battalions; he is also beaten by heroes fighting under her leadership, as by Heracles in the contest with Cycnus, and by Diomedes before Troy. And this view of Ares as the bloodthirsty god of battles is in the main that of later times also. As early as Homer he is the friend and lover of Aphrodite, who has borne him Eros and Anteros, Deimos and Phobos, as well as Harmonia, wife of Cadmus the founder of Thebes, where both goddesses were worshipped as ancestral deities. He is not named so often as the gods of peace, but, as Ares or Enyalios, he was doubtless worshipped everywhere, notably in Sparta, in Arcadia and (as father of (Enomaus) in Elis. At Sparta young dogs were sacrified to him under the title of Theritas. At Athens the ancient site of a high court of justice, the Areopagus, was consecrated to him. There, in former days, the Olympian gods had sat in judgment on him and absolved him when he had slain Halirrhothius for offering violence to Alcippe, his daughter, by Agraulus. His symbols were the spear and the burning torch. Before the introduction of trumpets, two priests of Ares, marching in front of the armies, hurled the torch at the foe as the signal of battle. In works of art he was represented as a young and handsome man of strong sinewy frame, his hair in short curls, and a somewhat sombre look in his countenance; in the early style he is bearded and in armour, in the later beardless and with only the helmet on. He is often represented in company with Aphrodite and their boy Eros, who plays with his father's arms. One of the most famous statues extant is that in the Villa Ludovisi, which displays him in an easy resting attitude, with his arms laid aside, and Eros at his feet. (See cut.) On his identification with the Italian Mars, see MARS.

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ARES. (Rome, Villa Ludovist.)
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