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Ares, the god of war, was a son of Zeus and Hera, and lover of Aphrodite. In Homeric epics he was the spirit of carnage. In the Trojan War he helped the Trojans but did not refuse to aide the Greeks, since his sole interest was to fight. Accompanying Ares on the battlefield were the secondary spirits, Deimus and Phobus (Terror and Fear), who were his sons, and Enyo with the bloodstained face.

The general consensus was that Ares preferred Thrace as his country of residence for it was well known for horse breeding and being transversed by warring people. Some traditions credit Ares as fathering the Amazons, with Harmonia as their mother. A legend of him was found at Thebes too; it was claimed Ares possessed a stream on the Cadmea, the citadel of the town, and this stream was guarded by a dragon whom he had fathered. When Cadmus came to found the town, the dragon denied him access to the stream, but Cadmus killed it and, to expiate this murder, he had to serve as Ares' slave for eight months. After this period expired the god married Cadmus to Harmonia, his daughter of Aphrodite.

Ares' Roman counterpart was Mars. A.G.H.


Grimal, Pierre, Larousse World Mythology, Secaucus, New Jersey, Chartwell Books, 1965, pp. 133-134

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