Mars–the Ancient Roman god of War   33 comments


There are many myths and legends referencing Roman history extolling the virtues held in particularly high regard by the Romans: duty, self-sacrifice, honour, bravery, and truthfulness. These were also characterised in Roman gods, minus the very human weaknesses and vices displayed by the Greek gods, from which most of the Roman gods were poached. Names were changed such as for the twelve Olympian Gods and Goddesses who ruled the universe from atop Greece’s Mount Olympus.

Mars is the ancient mythological Roman God of War (Mars Gradivus), (Ares in Greek myth, Tyr in Norse myth) Depicted as a fearless warrior he was the god of war, murder and bloodshed. He was also the god of spring, god of agriculture, and protector of cattle. mars

Mars, the son of Juno and a magical flower was the Roman god of fertility and vegetation. Roman soldiers offered sacrifices to Mars before and after combat and it was said he appeared on the battlefield with the warrior goddess Bellona. Mars unlike his Greek parallel, the god Ares, was hold in higher regard than any of the other Roman gods, partly because of the importance of military achievement in the republic and the Roman Empire, conquering Northern Africa and much of Europe and the Middle East. Mars ranked second only to Jupiter, probably because his twin sons Romulus and Remus by Princess Rhea Sylvia were said to have founded Rome. Consequently the Roman people called themselves the Sons of Mars. Together with Jupiter and war god, Sabine Quirinius, he was one of the three great guardians of Rome. mars2

Mars is portrayed as a full battle armoured warrior, sporting a crested helmet and carrying a shield. The planet Mars and the male gender are both represented by ♂, which also represented Mars’ shield and spear. The wolf and the woodpecker are sacred to Mars and he is accompanied by Fuga and Timor, portraying flight and fear. (Phobos and Diemos in Greek mythology –moons of the planet Mars).

The month March originates from Roman month Martius is named after Mars. The Romans honoured him with festivals throughout March, when new growth begins in the fields and military conflicts restarted. March 1, saw the celebration the Feriae Marti (“Festivals of Mars”). On March 14, the annual horse race of the Equirria was held, on the army’s and athlete’s training ground, the Campus Martius (“Field of Mars”). On March 23, the Tubilustrium was celebrated by purifying weapons and war-trumpets. October 19, was the Armilustrium festival celebrated in Mars’ honour, when the weapons of the soldiers were cleansed and stored.

In the Regia on the Roman Forum, the hastae Martiae (“lances of Mars”) were kept in a small chamber. If Rome was heading into conflict, the warlords shook their lances fiercely while repeating the words Mars vigila (“Awaken, Mars!”).

Structures such as statues and temples, associated with Roman gods and myths can be found far from the ancient capital Roman mythology’s influence extending farther and lasting longer than the Roman Empire. In Britain an old mosaic displays the she-wolf feeding Romulus and Remus. It is a reminder of the days when Rome ruled Britain and a mark of how far Roman mythology spread.

Posted November 26, 2010 by europasicewolf in Mythology and Symbolism

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33 responses to “Mars–the Ancient Roman god of War

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  1. Interesting post. Have you already done Jupiter and Europa?!

    • Errm…just re-read my comment back to you and with hindsight it was probably not entirely appropriate, although it was intended only as a light-hearted and wholly harmless comment, on reflection it may have given a very different impression. So I have removed it to avoid any misunderstandings. W/P deleted your response at the same time. I guess because they were linked. But I didn’t know it worked that way. WLS didnt. So don’t be offended! It WAS appreciated! Take care, Wolfie 🙂

      • lol – you are a sensitive wolf. I knew you were just being playful. Words, even with emoticons are not really enough without body language and being able to look the other person in the eye. I know nothing about you for sure, but I think you are an entirely honourable, decent, kind, and loving wolf.
        Scratches and pats (but no mooncake to avoid misunderstandings!)

  2. it’s funny when you think about how much roman mythology is embedded in our culture as I’m sure we’re all familiar with many of the stories 🙂

    • I have a sneaking suspicion that everybody else is much more familiar with these stories than this Icewolfie is in reality! Interesting too that pretty much all Roman mythology is pinched from Greek mythology with Roman names replacing the Greek ones. Cheeky Romans!!

  3. Ancient Rome ???? ermm….there is more to you than meets the eye me thinks….smart clever icewolfy.
    Et tu brutai—-you fibbing b***ard you ate four,you greedy sod you.

    • Wolfy!!! Language!!! lol 😉 And for the record…I ate TEN!!!! And they were all out of your freezer! HooOOOOOWWWWWWLLLLLLLLLooooooooL 😉 On the other paw…perhaps I should just curl up cozy on your sofa in that toasty hot den by the stew pot…lol…and let you whisper oodles and oodles of those morale boosting compliments in my Icewolfie ear ‘ole!! 😉

  4. abundant information! impressive pictures, script and commentary. the Romans certainly left a permanant impression on the world. mythology is even at the base of many belief systems today. great recap of history with pictures! interesting reading here…

    • HooOOOWWWWLLLLLLooooo Eddie! I hadn’t realised how much of an impression mythology as a whole had had on the world…yes I know! Very ignorant of me lol 😉 but I am a woman of science more than of history so it’s been educational experience for my Icewolfie self too! 🙂

      • Ahhhh so you are after the King of the Roman Gods now are you Icywolfy? lol Well you’ve made a fine effort with this delightful posting and as always it is very informative, interesting and a tad wicked too… Well I think that you have omitted some of the naughty bits but I still enjoyed reading it… Now what is your next Script going to be about? Probably an appraisal of Julius Caesar or perhaps a little something with Caligula involved… Well maybe? Have a lovely rest of evening and an even better weekend… And of course… Be GOOD too…

        Androgoth XXx

  5. hi icey gods and romans wolves and hunting your talents never end but making a mess of wolfys den eating his stash your like a cheeky cuckoo pinching his home lol hes after you BEWARE xxlol have a nice weekend xxjen

    • Wolfy likes to share his stash with me!!! I hope! lol 😉 As to hunting skills…I hunt or I starve!! Bit like a vampy really…now there’s some food for thought! No Jenagoth…you do NOT hunt Icewolfies! Not even lone icewolfies like Icy 🙂

  6. Lol…yes Androgoth…how insightful of you! lol 😉 Yes I did omit a lot of naughty bits …the Romans were a very naughty bunch from what I saw! The pics were dodgy too in terms of public blog suitability hence there aren’t many of them 😉 Mars was a very wicked god according to the Greeks and wasn’t even rated!! If I can find something that is not TOO bloodthirsty…and too full of madness and wickedness in the Roman lands… that prob counts out J Ceaser and Cal’ then lol 😉 I will see about about adding one at a later date…but first I must recover from the wickedness of the “King of the Roman gods!!!” and that may take some time lol 😉

    • I think you need to add all the parts you missed out including the Caligula bits… well not his, I mean the segments of the story… lol

      Thank you for calling into My Gothic Realm and being so generous with your comments, you’re such a wicked Icywolfy but definitely one of our most wickedest of great friends… Be GOOD now or else? lol

      Androgoth XXx

      • Yes…I know exactly what you meant! lol…and Caligula’s bits…lol…well I rather thought Horror was more you genre than mine!! You do it with such style!!…

        You wouldn’t happen to be a Vampire dating back to Roman times would you?! 😉 After all….the older a Vampire the more powerful they are…or so I hear…and you being the Dark and wicked Prince of the Gothic Realm… lol.. Kinda makes sense…maybe you knew Mars and Caligula personally!!!…well! Just a thought …as I said “a wicked bunch those Romans!!! 😉 Watch out for snowdrifts round the coffins my great and wicked friend of the Gothic Realm!

  7. Roman mythology, Greek mythology, Klingon mythology…….how about some good old fashioned Microsoft mythology? You puny humans don’t actually believe Galactic Commander Gates is from your world do you?

    Oh…er, um sorry, Wolfie….didn’t mean to lump you in with them.

    I know, I know…..go stand in the corner.

  8. I think Mars was quite the hunk a babe a luscious. That being said.
    These myths of the Ancients are so facinating, I enjoy how you tell the stories and compare the cultures beliefs. Fun to see how it all came together to enrich us still.
    Nice read, Icewolfie.

  9. Hi Timid one.
    Just having a little nose round some friends blogs. Some interesting comments here and replies. It makes me wonder what kind of life Mars would have had, if he had married “Pax”…

    • Ah…”Pax the Roman Goddess of Peace?” The lucky Goddess with a temple in Mars’s “Campus Martius?” 😉 Hmm…lol…Mars and Pax…should think there would be a few “domestics” going on there as regards the activities of Mars!!! Perhaps “Kenny and Pax” would work better!!! Peace Kenny!! Timid one 🙂

  10. Hi Ice wolf..
    here its minus 15 this night.
    i agree with what u write UK has same troubles as west europ
    but as i wrote…promished paradise is not here.
    now we hear on tv all the ppl living on the streets have shelter now and taken care of…
    I hope also in UK
    tc and i will be back to ur space.

  11. Unfortunately for the many who have been conned into believing it “promised paradise” is not here either. I wish it could be so but that it is not, is evident from the number of homeless people, both young and old, living on the streets of our towns and cities. I think TV tells us what we want to hear because these people do not have shelter and are not being taken care of. Shame on us.

    It is however, very good to see you here 🙂 Wrap up warm and snug in your -15 deg’s tonight! I am shivering thinking about it!

  12. i think i would not like to have existed in roman times i have a feeling my job would have been washing the romans evils and pampering to their every whim really good read icey xxjen

  13. Hi there my friend
    i think i need specs.. i have so much trouble reading ur entries.
    Not qua content but the blue icy
    but i managed Wolf. So much Gods those days. Reminds me of my for sharing.and enjoy the new working week
    ciao from icy cold Belgium

  14. Mmmmmm I like mars too but there are rather a lot of calories in it!!

    Suki x

  15. Ah Wolfie, you have made me feel a right heel, I didn’t realize you had been so busy with all these blogs, I check you out and there’s nothing new for several days, turn my back, and wham you fill WP up with interesting blogs , I came on here to say hello, but realize I must nsit and study these writings, but to-morrow if I may as there is too much to digest right nowalso it’s difficult with two keys the parenthesis and the colon/semicolon, that Ruby jumped on

  16. Oh Arlene! Don’t be silly! No need to feel like that 🙂 It’s lovely that you took the time to pop over and say hello and I really appreciate your being here, but I do understand how difficult it can be at times leaping from one blog site to another. And trying to keep up with blogs on both is not easy! Mind you….there are some strong and handsome gods on this one!!! And there is tea and christmas cake on the sidebar of the blog page for you!!

    Note to Ruby: Paws off the keyboard Ruby!! Immediately!!! lol 😉

  17. After watching John Seargentsons programme on the Romans the other night, Im afraid I have a very different perception of them than I originally did, talking of them bathing in each others p**s and sweat, ugh, I think I’ll pass n these gods , pass the christmas cake and a cuppa please, Blasted keyboard I haven’t got a full stop now

    • Can’t say I disagree with you there Arlene! I was too taken with them myself when I looked a little further into the subject…hence the leaving out of certain parts…tread on the side of caution… Oh! here’s the christmas cake and tea 🙂 Don’t drop them all over my page ok? lol 😉

  18. Fascinating, creative post, which is what I happily expect when I come here! Hugs to you and Wolfus~

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