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Ares: The Fierce Greek God of War

Ares is known far and wide in Greek mythology as the god of war. He is also one of the 12 Olympians and the most unpopular of them all because of his quick temper and aggression.

Ares’ parents are Zeus and Hera, the king and queen of the Greek gods. Ares was the father of the Amazons and their queen Hippolyta. He had many other children, including Phobos, the god of fear, and his twin brother, Deimos, the god of terror, along with their sister, Eris, the goddess of strife and discord. They all accompanied Ares into war. Due to his unlikeable nature, he earned himself some names like “hateful Ares," "the man-killer," "curse of men'' and many more.

Ares lost almost as many battles as he won. Ares' son Kyknos pillaged his way to the Oracle of Delphi, which Apollo did not like, so he sent Hercules to kill him. Ares fought Hercules, but the hero could not be harmed because he was protected by Athena. Hercules managed to wound Ares by the end of the fight. Ares also lost against his rival Athena, who beat him by throwing a boulder at his head and knocking him out. She helped the hero, Diomedes, wound Ares with his spear. Ares fled to his father, Zeus, on Olympus, but his complaints were ignored.

Mortals loved Ares for his warlike nature, but this trait also caused some problems with other gods and generated resentment. Ares was held in court for a murder in front of five gods as judges. He had killed Poseidon's demigod son, Halirrhothios, who assaulted Ares’ daughter, Alcippe. The male gods Zeus and Poseidon were against Ares, but the female goddesses Demeter, Hera, and Aphrodite were on his side. Ultimately, Ares was declared innocent.

Ares also had many cults in the mortal realm. He was largely esteemed in Sparta and had some temples in Crete. He is in tablets in Knossos and many temples in Argo, Erythrae, Athens, and others dedicated to him. He was popular with the Colchians on the Black Sea and had another cult in Thrace.

Though most people stopped worshiping the Greek gods centuries ago, Ares is still seen as a powerful figure represented in books and movies.

[Source: World History Encyclopedia]

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