AskDefine | Define ares

Dictionary Definition

Ares n : (Greek mythology) Greek god of war; son of Zeus and Hera; identified with Roman Mars

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From the Greek meaning "injurer, destroyer", from are, (bane, ruin).

Proper noun

  1. The god of war, son of Zeus and Hera, brother Hephaestus, sister Eris, who is his companion. Attended by his sons, (to Aphrodite), Deimos and Phobos, and old war-goddess Enyo.


the god of war, son of Zeus and Hera
  • Bosnian: Arej, Ares
  • Bulgarian: Арес
  • Catalan: Ares
  • Chinese: 阿瑞斯 (ā-ruì-sī)
  • Croatian: Ares
  • Czech: Arés
  • Danish: Ares
  • Esperanto: Areso
  • French: Arès
  • Galician: Ares
  • German: Ares
  • Greek: Άρης (áris)
  • Hebrew: ארס (ares)
  • Hungarian: Árész
  • Icelandic: Ares
  • Irish: Airéas
  • Italian: Ares
  • Japanese: アレス (Aresu)
  • Korean: 아레스 (Areseu)
  • Lithuanian: Arėjas
  • Norwegian: Ares
  • Polish: Ares
  • Portuguese: Ares
  • Romanian: Ares
  • Russian: Марс
  • Serbian:
    Cyrillic: Ареј , Арес
    Roman: Arej , Ares
  • Slovenian: Ares
  • Spanish: Ares
  • Swedish: Ares
  • Turkish: Ares
  • Ukrainian: Арес

See also


Proper noun

  1. Ares



Proper noun

  1. Ares

Cyrillic spelling


Extensive Definition

Ares had a quadriga drawn by four gold-bridled (Iliad v.352) fire-breathing immortal stallions. Among the gods, Ares was recognized by his bronze armor; he brandished a spear in battle. His keen and sacred birds were the barn owl, woodpecker, the eagle owl and, especially in the south, the vulture. According to Argonautica (ii.382ff and 1031ff; Hyginus, Fabulae 30) the birds of Ares (Ornithes Areioi) were a flock of feather-dart-dropping birds that guarded the Amazons' shrine of the god on a coastal island in the Black Sea. In Sparta, the chthonic night-time sacrifice of a dog to Enyalios became assimilated to the cult of Ares. Sacrifice might be made to Ares on the eve of battle to enlist his support.
It is said Ares rode into battle and when he was wounded he went back to Mt. Olympus where Zeus healed him. Then Ares went straight back to battle.

Ares in cult

Although important in poetry, Ares was rarely included in cult in ancient Greece, save at Sparta, where he was propitiated before battle, and, though involved in the founding myth of Thebes, he appeared in few myths.
At Sparta there was a statue of the god in chains, to show that the spirit of war and victory was never to leave the city. The temple to Ares in the agora of Athens that Pausanias saw in the second century AD had only been moved and rededicated there during the time of Augustus; in essence it was a Roman temple to Mars. The Areopagus, the "mount of Ares" where Paul of Tarsus preached, is sited at some distance from the Acropolis; from archaic times it was a site of trials. Its connection with Ares, perhaps based on a false etymology, is purely etiological. A second temple has also been located at the archaeological site of Metropolis in Western Turkey.


Deimos, "terror", and Phobos "fear", were his companions in war children, born by Aphrodite according to Hesiod. The sister and companion of murderous Ares was Eris, goddess of discord or Enyo, goddess of war, bloodshed and violence. He was also attended by the minor war-god Enyalius, his son by Enyo, whose name ("warlike", the same meaning as the name Enyo) also served as a title for Ares himself. The presence of Ares was accompanied by Kydoimos, the demon of the din of battle, as well as the Makhai (Battles), the Hysminai (Manslaughters), Polemos (a minor spirit of war; probably an epithet of Ares, as he had no specific dominion), and Polemos' daughter, Alala, goddess/personification of the Greek war-cry, whose name Ares used as his own war-cry. His sister Hebe also drew baths for him.

The founding of Thebes

One of the roles of Ares that was sited in mainland Greece itself was in the founding myth of Thebes: Ares was the progenitor of the water-dragon slain by Cadmus, and hence the ancestor of the Spartans, for the dragon's teeth were sown into the ground as if a crop and sprung up as the fully armored autochthonic Spartans, a race of fighting men, the descendants of Ares. To propitiate Ares, Cadmus took as a bride Harmonia, daughter of Ares' union with Aphrodite, thus harmonizing all strife and founding the city of Thebes.

Consorts and children

There are accounts of a son of Ares, Cycnus (Κύκνος) of Macedonia, who was so murderous that he tried to build a temple with the skulls and the bones of travelers. Heracles slaughtered this abominable monstrosity, engendering the wrath of Ares, whom Heracles wounded.

Ares in myth

In the tale sung by the bard in the hall of Alcinous, the Sun-God Helios once spied Ares and Aphrodite enjoying each other secretly in the hall of Hephaestus, and he promptly reported the incident to Aphrodite's Olympian consort. Hephaestus contrived to catch the couple in the act, and so he fashioned a net with which to snare the illicit lovers. At the appropriate time, this net was sprung, and trapped Ares and Aphrodite locked in very private embrace. But Hephaestus was not yet satisfied with his revenge — he invited the Olympian gods and goddesses to view the unfortunate pair. For the sake of modesty, the goddesses demurred, but the male gods went to witness the sight. Some commented on the beauty of Aphrodite, others remarked that they would eagerly trade places with Ares, but all mocked the two. Once the couple were loosed, Ares, embarrassed, sped away to his homeland, Thrace
In a much later interpolated detail, Ares put the youth Alectryon by his door to warn them of Helios' arrival, as Helios would tell Hephaestus of Aphrodite's infidelity if the two were discovered, but Alectryon fell asleep. Helios discovered the two and alerted Hephaestus. Ares was furious and turned Alectryon into a rooster, which now never forgets to announce the arrival of the sun in the morning.

Ares and the giants

In one obscure archaic myth related in the Iliad by the goddess Dione to her daughter Aphrodite, two chthonic giants, the Aloadae, named Otus and Ephialtes, threw Ares into chains and put him in a bronze urn, where he remained for thirteen months, a lunar year. "And that would have been the end of Ares and his appetite for war, if the beautiful Eriboea, the young giants' stepmother, had not told Hermes what they had done," she related (Iliad 5.385–391). "In this one suspects a festival of licence which is unleashed in the thirteenth month." Ares also killed Ekhidnades, the giant son of Echidna and a great enemy of the gods; it is not clear whether the nameless Ekhidnades ("of Echidna's lineage") was entirely Nonnus' invention or not.

The Iliad

In the Iliad, Homer represented Ares as having no fixed allegiances nor respect for Themis, the right ordering of things: he promised Athena and Hera that he would fight on the side of the Achaeans, but Aphrodite was able to persuade Ares to side with the Trojans (Iliad V.699). During the war, Diomedes fought with Hector and saw Ares fighting on the Trojans' side. Diomedes called for his soldiers to fall back slowly. Hera, Ares's mother, saw his interference and asked Zeus, his father, for permission to drive Ares away from the battlefield. Hera encouraged Diomedes to attack Ares, so he threw a spear at Ares and his cries made Achaeans and Trojans alike tremble. Athena then drove the spear into Ares's body, who bellowed in pain and fled to Mt. Olympus, forcing the Trojans to fall back (XXI.391). Later when Zeus allowed the gods to fight in the war again, Ares tried to fight Athena to avenge himself for his previous injury, but was once again badly injured when she tossed a huge boulder on him. However, when Hera during a conversation with Zeus mentioned that Ares' son Ascalaphus was killed, Ares burst into tears and wanted to join the fight on the side of the Achaeans discarding Zeus' order that no Olympic god should enter the battle. Athena stopped Ares and helped him take his armor off (XV.110–128).

Ares in the Renaissance

In Renaissance and Neoclassical works of art, Ares' symbols are a spear and helmet, his animal is a dog, and his bird is the vulture. In literary works of these eras, Ares appears as cruel, aggressive, and blood-thirsty, reviled by both gods and humans, much as he was in the ancient Greek myths.


There may be a connection with the Roman war god Mars, via Common Indo-European *M̥rēs; compare Ancient Greek μάρναμαι = "I fight".


External links

ares in Arabic: آرس
ares in Bengali: অ্যারিস
ares in Belarusian (Tarashkevitsa): Арэс
ares in Bosnian: Ares
ares in Breton: Ares
ares in Bulgarian: Арес
ares in Catalan: Ares
ares in Cebuano: Arès
ares in Czech: Áres
ares in Danish: Ares
ares in German: Ares
ares in Estonian: Ares
ares in Modern Greek (1453-): Άρης (μυθολογία)
ares in Spanish: Ares
ares in Esperanto: Areso
ares in Persian: آرس
ares in French: Arès
ares in Galician: Ares (deus)
ares in Korean: 아레스
ares in Hindi: एरीस
ares in Croatian: Ares
ares in Indonesian: Ares
ares in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Ares
ares in Icelandic: Ares
ares in Italian: Ares
ares in Hebrew: ארס (מיתולוגיה)
ares in Georgian: არესი
ares in Latvian: Arejs
ares in Luxembourgish: Ares
ares in Lithuanian: Arėjas
ares in Hungarian: Arész
ares in Macedonian: Арес
ares in Dutch: Ares (mythologie)
ares in Japanese: アレース
ares in Norwegian: Ares
ares in Norwegian Nynorsk: Ares
ares in Low German: Ares
ares in Polish: Ares (bóg)
ares in Portuguese: Ares
ares in Romanian: Ares
ares in Russian: Арес
ares in Simple English: Ares
ares in Slovak: Ares (boh)
ares in Slovenian: Ares
ares in Serbian: Ареј
ares in Serbo-Croatian: Ares
ares in Finnish: Ares
ares in Swedish: Ares
ares in Tamil: ஏரிஸ்
ares in Thai: เอรีส
ares in Turkish: Ares
ares in Ukrainian: Арес
ares in Chinese: 阿瑞斯
Ares was Hera and Zeus' son and there perants were Cronus and Rhea the Titan's. The Titan's were one of the first Greek Gods and Goddesses

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Agdistis, Amor, Aphrodite, Apollo, Apollon, Artemis, Ate, Athena, Bacchus, Bellona, Ceres, Cora, Cronus, Cupid, Cybele, Demeter, Despoina, Diana, Dionysus, Dis, Enyo, Eros, Gaea, Gaia, Ge, Great Mother, Hades, Helios, Hephaestus, Hera, Here, Hermes, Hestia, Hymen, Hyperion, Jove, Juno, Jupiter, Jupiter Fidius, Jupiter Fulgur, Jupiter Optimus Maximus, Jupiter Pluvius, Jupiter Tonans, Kore, Kronos, Magna Mater, Mars, Mercury, Minerva, Mithras, Momus, Neptune, Nike, Odin, Olympians, Olympic gods, Ops, Orcus, Persephassa, Persephone, Phoebus, Phoebus Apollo, Pluto, Poseidon, Proserpina, Proserpine, Rhea, Saturn, Tellus, Tiu, Tyr, Venus, Vesta, Vulcan, Woden, Wotan, Zeus
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