I know it was said that elves would be invading Immortal Monday, but I didn’t say when! I have been sidetracked by the moon in Aries, my birth sign. You know, the astrological sign? Silly as it may be, it got me thinking about the moons of Mars and Mars ruling over Aries. What does all this have to do with Immortal Monday? I’m thinking of the Roman god of war, Mars. The small moons represent his children from his affair with Venus. Mars is likened to the Greek god, Ares. Although, they are quite different.
Ares has more of a pull for me today. I promise it has nothing to do with my birthday (still weeks away). Ares – Aries. Let’s not get these two confused. Although some may spell Ares as Aries, the proper and most accepted spelling is Ares. He is the god of war. He should not be confused with the ram symbolizing the astrological sign. They are not one and the same.
Ares was one of the Twelve Olympians and the son of Zeus and Hera. As the god of war he not only embodied the physical and violent acts of war, but its spirit as well. Of all the Olympian gods, he was the most disliked. His hunger and lust for violence had him fighting on multiple sides and often angering the other gods. His affair with Aphrodite pitted Hephaistos against him, ultimately resulting in his humiliation when Hephaistos exposed the lovers to ridicule by way of his own clever trappings.
Nevertheless, he had several children with Aphrodite: Harmonia (Harmony), Anteros (reciprocal love), Eros (*coughs* Need I explain?), and Deimos (Fear) and Phobos (Panic), who often accompanied their father in battle. When Aphrodite fell for another, Adonis, Ares destroyed him in a mad fit of jealousy, metamorphosing into a bear to complete the task.
Ares was an extremely beautiful god and he kept many lovers, both goddesses and human. As a result, he fathered many other children with several other women. He was usually found hanging with his sister, Eris (the goddess of Discord) and Hades (the god of the underworld). Don’t they sound like trouble waiting to happen? Detention anyone?
Fiercely in love with battle, Ares was all about bold force and strength. It was confusion, turmoil and horrors he represented. He had little use for protections of men and their habitations. Wisdom of affairs was left to his sister, Athena. Maybe it’s this thinking, or lack thereof, that allowed Hercules to defeat him when they fought over Hercules’ defeat of Ares’ son Cycnus. And again, by the giants known as the Aloadae, whom held him prisoner for thirteen long months. It is said Ares and his appetite for war would have come to an end had Hermes not saved him from this fate.
In contrast to these ugly defeats, he did see many victories. Good thing, as his status as the god of war had been questioned when he fought on the losing side during the Trojan War. Ares tried to attack Diomedes, a hero who would later become King of Argos. The goddess Athena would side with Diomedes. Her intervention diverted Ares javelin, and helped the mortal hit the god of war. It is said that Ares’ roar was equal to that of ten thousand other warriors all together.
When the gods finally stepped up and took an active role in the war of men, Athena would oppose Ares. She would again defeat him, throwing him to the ground, with the pitch of a mighty stone. Ares would eventually return to Olympia with the help of Helen. Upon his return his own father would degrade him, calling him out as the most hateful of all the gods in Olympus.
When the Romans created Mars, their god of war, they revered and honored him. Not only was he a god of war, but of agriculture. He was seen as a god of life, where as Ares was viewed as one of bloodshed and destruction – a murderer.
It’s not easy being a tough jackass. 😉
Now, the moment some of you have been waiting for… Immortal Monday’s picture parade. Who has been our Ares throughout the ages:
And the one I have a soft spot for since I grew up watching him regularly…
For a complete listing of those who have played Ares on the big screen, small screen or in video games hop over to IMDB here.
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