Are Ares And Mars The Same God?

Is Ares Also Known As Mars?

Ares is the name of a Greek god, he is the god of war and courage. Ares is known to represent the more savage and brutal side of war, in contrast to Athena who represents the more strategic and tactical side of war.

Mars is the name of a Roman god, and he is also known to be the god of war and courage. However, Mars was also considered the ancestor of the Roman people by the Romans because he is the father of their founder Romulus. Mars takes on a greater role in representing protection and prosperity to the Romans and the Romans may have also associated him with various agricultural matters.

Ares and Mars are known to be the same according to the Romans because they trace Romulus’s lineage back to Aeneas and the Trojan War. The differences between them are not a matter of whether or not these are different deities but rather seem to be based on the matter of how the different cultures perceived them.

It appears that the Ancient Greeks did not really like Ares that much, they appear to have associated him with the Thracians who they saw as barbaric and bloodthirsty. However, the Ancient Greeks still respected Ares like all other deities because he is a deity and he is an Olympian God which both demand great respect that mankind has no place to really disagree with.

Why Was Ares Hated?

statue of Ares with hat
A marble statue of Ares wearing a hat.

This may be hard to believe, but Greece was rarely ever actually a unified place throughout its history. Greece, especially in the era of Antiquity, remained constantly divided into city-states and minor kingdoms that constantly fought bitter wars against each other and tried to cut each other off from trade all the time.

Ares is the god of war. If war is a big problem for you, which it would be in your typical Greek city at many given moments of history, you have a god to associate with all of the wars that are ruining your city and potentially your life. It also did not help that Ares could be associated with the Thracians who the other Greeks did not really like much at all.

In the Iliad, Ares loses to Athena and gets told off by Zeus. Zeus even goes as far as to tell Ares that he is the most hated of the gods, which makes Ares sad. There are multiple associations of Ares with some of the most violent and awful impulses of mankind and none of that really aids his reputation. However, Zeus does try to comfort Ares after all of this because Ares is still his son and Zeus does want him to be free from pain.

Why Was Mars Loved?

the planet mars in the solar system
The Planet Mars which is named after Mars the Roman God.

Mars was loved by the Romans because of basically the exact opposite reason as to why Ares was hated by the Greeks. Rather than war being something that represented hardship, economic turmoil, and death like it did for the Greeks, war represented something that brought Rome into wealth, good times, and new life.

The Romans started out as a city-state just like the Greeks, but they fought wars that eventually made them the rulers of the Italian Peninsula. Then they fought more wars that made them rulers of the entire Mediterranean Sea, and then even more war that built them an empire that ruled from Britain to Mesopotamia.

For the Romans, fighting and winning wars seemed to be the key to success. And since Mars is the god of war, you have him to thank for these accomplishments.

On top of all of this, Mars is seen as the father of Romulus and Remus, the two brothers who would lead to the founding of Rome. Having Mars quite literally be the father of the father of your civilization means a big deal to the people living in that civilization.

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