Image by Constantinos Kollias

ARES

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God OF War

Ares is the son of Zeus and Hera, God of War and one of the 13 great Olympians. While Athena was a fair and just Goddess (for the most part), Ares (known for his spirit of warfare) was not widely worshipped due to his bloodlust. In fact, most mortals feared him.

 

Origins

Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera and the least favourite of their children. Not only was he disliked by his parents, he didn't fare well with other Olympian residents either. 

When he rode out into battle, he was often accompanied by his sister Eris (the Goddess of Discord) as well as his sons Phobos (Pain) and Deimos (Rout).

ALL's FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR

As you might have already read, love is blind not necessarily smart - Aphrodite was in love with Ares even though she was married to Hephaestus. She made every effort to make Ares her lover and even had two sons with him (Phobos and Deimos).

THIS IS SPARTA

While Ares wasn't widely worshipped throughout Greece due his bloody and grotesque nature, there appeared to be a cult of Ares in none other than Sparta - the most warlike city state of Ancient Greece. Ares’ worship was largely in the northern areas of Greece, and in Sparta human sacrifices were made to him from among the prisoners of war. This should be noted as Ancient Greece as a whole was not known for human sacrifice - it was considered largely distasteful. 

THE TROJAN WAR

Many of the Olympians took sides during the Trojan War. However, Ares, loving the violence and bloodshed of it all, didn't take sides. He was at his happiest in the thick of battle fighting against both the Trojans and the Greeks, preferring whichever side was winning or shedding the most blood at the time. However, Ares was a sensitive God and when injured, you could hear his bloodcurdling screams from across the battlefield. Zeus called him the very worst of his children.