Mars (Ares in Greek) – The Roman God of War

mars planet greek

Mars (Ares in Greek), the Roman god of war, is said to have been created from Juno and Jupiter, becoming his son and giving rise to Romulus and Remus – who later founded Rome. March is named in his honor.

Egyptians were the first to notice that stars appeared fixed while the sun moved relative to them, noting Mars’ irregular path in the sky and calling it Har Decher (a star with irregular rotational patterns).

The name

Mars, the fourth planet from the Sun, has long held humans in its grasp with its fiery red surface and impressive presence in the night sky. Though associated with war and anger in mythology and popular culture, this planet has transcended myth into popular culture; inspiring fictional Martians found in science-fiction literature while remaining an influential factor within an individual’s astrological horoscope.

The ancient Babylonians may have been among the first to notice how Mars seemed to move against a backdrop of stars in an unpredictable fashion, seemingly moving in its own path unlike any other planet. Their advanced astronomy at that time never fully explained what they had observed.

Greek scholars soon recognized Ares as their god of war when studying the heavens. He represented aggression rather than nobleness compared to other Olympian gods such as Apollo or Athena, perhaps to symbolize how war can sometimes be necessary for progress; his symbol was often depicted with shield and spear; often depicted naked to show just how powerfully he could captivate human minds.

Although Greeks built few temples or cults dedicated to Ares, his name did appear in many popular works of art. Homer’s Iliad depicts his story of Ares’ twin sons racing their chariots behind two horses named Deimos and Phobos–names associated with fear or panic–to compete in a race between themselves.

Romans adopted the Greek pantheon and named Mars after its god of war, adding him to their calendar as March. This name symbolized Mars’ fiery passion and desire for battle; while its red hue reminded them of burning blood.

Mars gets its distinctive red hue from iron oxide, giving the planet its characteristic rusty appearance. Additionally, Mars plays an integral part in astrological zodiac cycles and its placement is thought to have significant ramifications on a person’s personality; depending on where in a chart it falls can have both positive or negative ramifications.

The symbol

Mars, commonly referred to as the Red Planet due to its red hue caused by iron oxide on most of its surface, is one of four planets in our solar system and second in size after Earth. Traditionally associated with war and masculinity across various cultures worldwide, its symbol features a shield and spear and represents both wartime action and masculinity; additionally it’s been utilized as a representation for iron in alchemy.

Egyptian astronomers first noted sightings of Mars around 1534 BC; these experts in astronomy had an intricate pantheon of deities to help identify this celestial body as unique. Babylonian astronomers soon followed suit, recording observations about Mars in the second millennium BC which further solidified its place as an iconic starry figure in the night sky.

As Romans conquered the world, they adopted Babylonian nomenclature for planets and added Mars as their God of War. He served both as a warrior god who controlled war’s passions as well as a protective deity who upheld their divine right for ruling his subjects.

As the patron god of war and battle, Mars is often depicted with his chariot and weapons, such as sword and shield. Sometimes depicted naked to represent his raw power. Romans believed that Mars was also associated with youth and fertility protection.

Martius is Latin for Mars and thus forms the root word of our modern month of March. However, in ancient Greece he was more frequently called Ares or Ares of War, who personifies both brutality and the potential fury released through war – characteristics shared with Mars which often portrayed it as warlike in art and mythology.

The myths

Mars, often depicted wearing armor and bearing a shield and spear, symbolizes war and masculine aggression. Worshiped by Roman soldiers before going into battle, Roman soldiers invoked Mars to fight on their side and protect them. Additionally, Romulus and Remus, Rome’s legendary founding twins were worshiped as patrons by worshipping Mars first before going into battle.

Roman mythology recognizes Mars as both a god of love and sexual desire, and protector of Roman citizens. According to legend, it was believed that Mars could create storms or earthquakes as means to attract or punish individuals, and was considered part of an archaic Triad alongside Jupiter and Quirinus (who represented Rome’s legendary founder).

One popular myth surrounding Mars, the Roman god of war, involves his romance with Minerva – goddess of wisdom and Roman state – who turned down his advances despite being in love with another person (Cupid). So Mars sent messenger to Anna Perenna, goddess of time, asking her help seducing Minerva on Mars’ behalf; Anna Perenna agreed and dressed herself up like her so Mars would fall for her; unfortunately Minerva already loved Cupid, thus leading him away to fight again… eventually defeated by Venus herself!

Another legend holds that Mars was formed from Jupiter’s head to exact revenge against Juno for her indiscretions with her other children. Among his half-siblings were Vulcan – god of fire and forge; Bellona – goddess of war; Mercury – messenger/communication; and Proserpina, daughter of Ceres and Pluto.

Mars is often depicted as a warrior god with an athletic physique and full beard, who wields an intimidating spear that could potentially bring down an army with just one strike. While he is known as a violent deity of war, he is also revered as an intimate lover. While often depicted as being violently antagonistic towards his enemies, he can also be romantic. While considered the god of war he also known for loving beauty and pleasure. As strong deity riding in chariot pulled by horses with fire-breathing horses while hunting down corrupt centurions to eliminate. When carrying his trusty spear that could potentially bring down an entire army with just one blow!

The culture

Mars represents masculine aggression and war, often associated with bloodshed and warfare. Additionally, he serves as god of wild woodlands which, if left to their own devices, threaten farm fields necessary for agriculture. As part of his associations with aggression and warfare gear, depictions of him include full battle gear. Often accompanying him is Bellona who represents feminine strength.

Romans originally worshiped Mars as a deity associated with agriculture and fertility. March was named in his honor, and was often considered his father – Romulus and Remus were two legendary founders of Rome who revered Mars as protector. Additionally, many believed he protected military bases as well as agricultural fields from plague, pestilence and flooding.

Over time, however, Romans began associating Mars more closely with Ares (Greek god of war). Thus he came to be associated with battle and conquest – with sacrifices being offered in his honor prior and after battles.

Mars, unlike Ares, was not generally associated with love or romance. Ovid recounted a romantic tale involving Mars seducing Minerva (probably written down in Fasti) who initially rejected his advances but eventually sought advice from Flora (goddess of nature and flowers) on how to become fertile again; Flora provided her with an effective remedy that proved successful at curing Minerva of her infertility.

Mars’ association with war may also stem from its red hue; iron oxide, the pigment responsible for giving rust its signature hue, can be found on Mars’ surface. Romans associated the hue with aggression and virility; perhaps that explains why they chose Mars as their warlike god’s namesake planet.

Mars, often associated with Roman mythology, originated in Babylonian religion. Later, Greeks adopted his pantheon and identified Mars with Ares; Romans eventually combined him with other deities including Celtic ones Visucius and Teutates while remaining associated with numerous Germanic ones.

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