PBP: A is for Ares


So I’ve decided to do this whole Pagan Blog Project thingy for 2013 in an attempt to be more personable and community-oriented. So, for those new to reading my blog, I’m going to post about the subject of both my worship and blog: Ares.

Ares is the Olympian god of warfare, murder, masculinity, abundance, horses, and weapons, among other things. According to Hesiod, he is one of the first (and one of few legitimate) sons of Zeus by Hera. Said to be over 700 feet tall in the Iliad, Ares is a hulking, brutally strong figure who is said to blanket his bed in the skins of the men he killed. He is described by Homer as one of the most hated gods in existence, though he has received worship since at least the time of the Minoans and Mycenaeans as attested by offering lists in Linear B script.

Though thought of as rarely worshiped by the ancients, Ares had numerous cult centers spanning Italy, Greece, and Asia Minor, including his own oracle. However, artifacts of Ares are hard to identify accurately because his statues can be mistaken for statues of regular warriors if they do not bear inscription. Many later depictions, especially those of Roman origin (which I do not like) , often depict Ares as beardless and youthful, and these make up the bulk of those that survive. A common theme, especially of more traditionally Greek depictions, show Ares in chains.

 

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8 comments on “PBP: A is for Ares

  1. The beardless part I suspect is because Roman soldiers weren’t bearded typically (or at least from what I recall). Clean shaven faces and close cropped hair gave less from an enemy to take hold of. I don’t particularly care for the common images of Ares myself though.

  2. Morgana Rose says:

    Glad to see you’re trying the pagan blogging project, I’m giving it a try this year again as well. Can’t wait to see what you have for the rest of the year! Its a great way to write for those of us who get writer’s block.

    • pthelms says:

      I’m trying to be more personable and expand my audience. I know 99% of other polytheists are against converting people, but I’m not. They do this because they associate conversion with force. Not me; I’ll spread the word of Ares until I die.

      Also, it does help with writer’s block. At the same time, I can already see issues with certain letters.Like Z or Q.

    • pthelms says:

      I’m trying to be more personable and expand my audience. I know 99% of other polytheists are against converting people, but I’m not. They do this because they associate conversion with force. Not me; I’ll spread the word of Ares until I die.

      Also, it does help with writer’s block. At the same time, I can already see issues with certain letters.Like Z or Q.

  3. 3countylaugh says:

    Do you have web links to images of the Greek bearded Ares? I don’t think I’ve ever seen them and you’ve roused my curiosity. Mars (that beardless Roman Ares impersonator) culturally had allegiance to state over lays that never seem to have bothered Ares. From the evidence of the fictional founding myth of the Aeneid on, state was supposed to come first and be everything. Doesn’t seem like a very Ares sentiment, but I am just starting to know him a bit.

    • pthelms says:

      Here, take a look at the red and black figures on his Theoi page. You’ll notice most of them show him as bearded (some you’ll have to look closely under the helmet). The later depictions, however, remove the beard. They’re pretty easy to date simply by the style of helmet; the Greeks most often used a Korinthinan, full-faced helmet in their depictions, whereas the during the Hellenistic and Roman era, they use a Roman, open-faced helmet.

      http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/Ares.html

    • pthelms says:

      Note also how the Romans really liked Ares naked as opposed to armored….

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