Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Ares / Mars

The name for the Roman god Mars may derive from the same root as Ares, the Greek god of war, but Mars represented heroic valor while Ares represented the violence and bloodlust of war. Ares was thus very different from Athena, who espoused military intelligence and strategic thinking. Outright opposite to Ares was Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Yet the two became lovers, even though she was married to the crippled god Hephaestus, whom she despised. The sun god Helios, who sees all, informed Hephaestus of the affair, and so the craftsman god contrived a trap of a fine golden mesh suspended over the wedding bed.

He told his wife that he was going to Lemnos, but he soon returned to catch Ares in bed with Aphrodite. He sprang the trap, and the net imprisoned the naked gods. All the other Olympians came to look and sneer, but the goddesses held back for modesty. At last the lovers were freed. Ares went to Thrace, his homeland, and Aphrodite went to Paphos in Cyprus, the site of her birth. Deimos ("terror") and Phobos ("fear") were the offspring of Ares and Aphrodite, and today give their names to two moons of the planet Mars.

by Barry Powell, 30 Second Mythology

1 comment:

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