God of the Week: Ares (Mars)

The Eclectic Light Company

Ares (Greek Ἄρης), whose Roman counterpart is Mars, is one of the major classical deities, one of the twelve Olympians, and lives on in the name of the planet. The son of Zeus and Hera, he seems to have been as promiscuous as his father, siring children by Aphrodite, his most famous lover, and several other goddesses and mortals. His attributes are any part of the arms and armour of a warrior, usually at least a helmet and shield.

Sandro Botticelli (Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi), Venus and Mars (c 1485), tempera and oil on poplar panel, 69.2 x 173.4 cm, The National Gallery, London. WikiArt. Sandro Botticelli (Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi), Venus and Mars (c 1485), tempera and oil on poplar panel, 69.2 x 173.4 cm, The National Gallery, London. WikiArt.

Ares has been most frequently painted together with, or making love to, Aphrodite. Botticelli’s Venus and Mars from about 1485 is unusual for its modest portrayal of Aphrodite, who is seldom seen clothed in other paintings. Ares is clearly sleeping off their lovemaking…

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