web analytics
ARES - ÁRIS - ΑΡΗΣ
Foto credit: Jastrow, who releases the foto to the Public Domain

HellenicGods.org

TO ARIS

Magnanimous, unconquer'd, boistrous Mars,
In darts rejoicing, and in bloody wars;
Fierce and untam'd, whose mighty pow'r can make
The strongest walls from their foundations shake:
Mortal destroying king, defil'd with gore,   5
Pleas'd with war's dreadful and tumultuous roar:
Thee, human blood, and swords, and spears delight,
And the dire ruin of mad savage fight.
Stay, furious contests, and avenging strife,
Whose works with woe, embitter human life;   10
To lovely Venus, and to Bacchus yield,
For arms exchange the labours of the field;
Encourage peace, to gentle works inclin'd,
And give abundance, with benignant mind.  [1]


HOME               GLOSSARY               RESOURCE               ART                LOGOS               CONTACT

2.  ÁRIS  (Ares; Gr. Ἄρης, ΑΡΗΣ) - Pronunciation: AH'-rees. 

One of the most important deities of Ællinismόs (Hellenismos; Gr. Ἑλληνισμός), the ancient Greek religion, and one of the Twelve Olympian GodsÁris protects the order of our society. Áris is the God who has dominion over the pulse of Life as it strives towards the Aithír (Ether; Gr. Αἰθήρ), the essence of Zefs (Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς), of whom he is a son. And his mother is mighty Queen Íra (Hera; Gr. Ήρα). [2] 

"Among the wives and mistresses of Mars (ed. Áris), the following are enumerated; viz. Ilia; the muse Terpsichore (mother of Biston, whose birth is also ascribed to Mars and Callirhoe); the nymph Cleobula (mother of Cycnus, killed by Hercules); Pirene, one of the Danaides (mother of another Cycnus, killed by Hercules); Thracia (mother of Ismarus, Od. ix. 42.); Protogenea, daughter of Calydon and Æolia (mother of Oxylus); Philonome, daughter of Nyctimus and Arcadia (mother of Lycastus and Parrhasius, who were nourished by a wolf in the forest of Erymanthus); Erope (mother of Eropus); the nymph Tritia, priestess of Minerva Tritonia (mother of Melanippus); Reate (mother of Medrus); Astyoche; Nerianne, his Sabine wife; Demonice, daughter of Agenor; the nymph Sterope; Thebe, daughter of the Asopus; the nymph Cyrene (mother of Dionmed of Thrace), &c.

"Mars (ed. Áris) was also father of Evadne (Æn. vi. 606.); Calydon; Alcippe; Dryas, one of the hunters of the Calydonian boar; Œnomaus (Il. ii. 131.); Tumultus; Hyperbius; Lycus; Chalybs; Enyo; the moles, tutelary divinities of millers, &c." [3]


The Character of Áris

Áris is the deity who presides over the noble struggles of the soul. This is why he is called the God of war, for which he was hated in antiquity. According to the mythology, Ǽris (Eris or Strife; Gr. Ἔρις), the sister of Áris, calls forth war supported by her many children, and that Zefs, who has dominion over Fate, directs its course. Áris is accompanied by his sons Deimos (Fear; Gr. Δεῖμος) and Phóvos (Phobos = Strife; Gr. Φόβος) and his other sister Ænyóh (Enyo; Gr. Ἐνυώ), the Goddess of battle. And it is said that Áris loves war, as in Iliás (The Iliad; Gr.  Ἰλιάς) where he is enveloped in and is the nucleus of the horror of it. And thus it is true that he loves war, if we understand what this means. Áris unveils and invites us to engage in the intimidating, unavoidable, difficult, and sometimes monstrous conflicts which we encounter in life and which we actually need in order to move forward. He is known to relish the confusion and roar of battle, and thus he confronts these struggles with great force, valor, and pleasure. Áris does not impose these troubles on us, but he has dominion over the natural process in which these struggles occur, a process which is part of nature and is unavoidable. And because he has dominion over war, over battles, over struggles, he loves and understands it. In the mythology, Áris is often shown defeated or detained, but he comes back to battle, relentless, all this echoing our own difficulties. Without these struggles, we are stuck, and, of course, no one enjoys very difficult and troublesome things, but, strangely, Áris does enjoy them and he fights in the tumult alongside us, making of us warriors, such that in the end, those who endure and conquer are rightly perceived with awe and become mighty beacons of courage, wisdom, and endurance, heroes who inspire all of society.

"In the character of the God of war, his chariot was attended by his sister (or some say, his wife, or daughter) Bellona (ed. Bellona is not in the Greek myths, but is Roman); and the horses by which it was drawn were called by the poets Flight and Terror (Il. xiii.386, 387.) It is recorded of him, that he was the first to be tried before the court of Areopagus (so called from two Greek words, signifying, hill of Mars), and that he so well defended his cause, as to be acquitted of the crime alleged against him, namely, the murder of Hallirrhotius, the son of Neptune (ed. Poseidóhn), who had carried off his daughter Alcippe. Homer relates that, in consequence of his love for Venus [ed. Aphrodíti] (who was mother of Hermione and Cupid [ed. Ǽrohs = Eros]), he espoused the cause of the Trojans, and that this produced the conflicts between him and Minerva (ed. Athiná) in the course of the war.

"The worship of Mars (ed. Áris) was not very general among the Greeks, in whose country not even one temple is mentioned (ed. Prof. William Smith mentions a temple in Laconia, on the road from Sparta to Therapnae, in which was an image of Áris was brought by the Dioscuri from a grove in Colchis sacred to the God); but he was held in particular veneration by the Thracians (ed. also the Thesprotians and Thessalians, but rites were performed in all of Greece, especially during times of war), the Romans, and the Egyptians, by the last of which nations he was particularly worshipped at Papremis. His priests (the Salii) at Rome, were instituted by Numa (Æn. vi. 1104.) (ed. King Numa, the Pythagorean); but the principal temple there dedicated to his honour was raised by the emperor Augustus, after the battle of Philippi. Mars, who by some is reckoned among the infernal (ed. khthonic) deities, was generally represented by the ancients with a long flowing beard, armed with a helmet, a spear, and a shield, sometimes standing on his car, of which the fiery steeds are conducted by Bellona. By the Scythians, who immolated to Mars their enemies, as well as horses, oxen, and asses, he was worshipped under the form of an old rusty sabre (acinaces). In Gaul, where the spoils of the enemy were dedicated to him, his image was that of a sword, which was deposited upon an altar in a sacred grove; and at Gades he was depicted with rays. His altars were stained with the blood of human victims (ed. in very ancient times, before such practices were stopped by Orphéfs); and the bull, the bear, the ram, the horse, the stag, the dog, the ass, the cock (Alectryon, a favourite youth of Mars, was metamorphosed into this bird, for his want of vigilance in permitting Phœbus (ed. Apóllohn) to discover and betray the intrigue of the God with Venus), the vulture, and the magpie, with the ash-tree, and the plant dog's-grass, the month October, and the day Tuesday, were sacred to him." [3]


Áris and Aphrodíti

Áris is depicted in the mythology as amorously tied to Aphrodíti. In the Orphic Rhapsodic Theogony, there are two births to Aphrodíti, the first from the foam produced by the castrated genitals of Ouranós (Uranus; Gr. Οὐρανός) as they fell into the sea. There is a second birth of Aphrodíti from the semen that falls to the sea when Zefs (Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς) pursues Dióhni (Dione; Gr. Διώνη). These two births of the mighty deity can be seen as representing two faces of one Goddess. Aphrodíti and Áris (Ares; Gr. Άρης) produce a child, Armonía (Harmony; Gr. Ἁρμονία). Armonía is the result of the necessary struggles which are provided by Áris, struggles which have been harmonized at the Eighth Íkos (Oikos; Gr. Οἶκος. See Hellenic Zodiacal Calendar) by Aphrodíti.

"After his (ed. Kádmos [Cadmus; Gr. Κάδμος]) servitude (ed. for having slew the dragon of Áris) Athena procured for him the kingdom, and Zeus gave him to wife Harmonia, daughter of Aphrodite and Ares..." [4]

Armonía, the child of Áris and Aphrodíti, was given to Kádmos in marriage. Amongst the children of Armonía and Kádmos is Sæmǽli (Semele; Gr. Σεμέλη), the mother of Diónysos (Dionysus; Gr. Διόνυσος).


Áris and the Krysómallon Dǽras

Now it is interesting that the Krysómallon Dǽras (Gr. Χρυσόμαλλον Δέρας), the Golden Fleece, which represents the Deification of the Soul, hung on an oak tree in a grove sacred to Áris in the land of Kolkhís (Colchis; Gr. Κολχίς), as told in the writing of Apollódohros (Apollodorus; Gr. Ἀπολλόδωρος):

"Now it was at Colchis in a grove of Ares, hanging on an oak and guarded by a sleepless dragon." [5]

Therefore, to achieve divinity, we must approach through the trials of Áris.


Áris and the Áreios Págos

According to legend, Alirróthios (Halirrhothius; Gr. Ἁλιρρόθιος) raped Alkíppi (Alcippe; Gr. Ἀλκίππη), the daughter of Áris. In retribution, Áris killed Alirróthios, who was a son of Poseidóhn (Poseidon; Gr. Ποσειδν). Áris was now tried by the Gods, the first murder trial in history, on a rock near the Akrópolis (Acropolis; Gr. Ακρόπολης) in Athens. He was acquitted. Because of this event, the place is named the Áreios Págos (Areopagus; Gr. Ἄρειος Πάγος), the Rock of Áris, and this place became the great court of appeal in Classical Athens. It is also mentioned elsewhere in myth, as, for instance, the site of the trial of  Orǽstis (Orestes; Gr. Ὀρέστης), the story which is told in third play of the Orǽsteia (Oresteia; Gr. Ὀρέστεια), a very important work by Aiskhýlos (Aeschylus; Gr. Αἰσχύλος). [6]


Áris in Iconography

In iconography, Áris is bearded and mature, in armor; he is also frequently depicted as a handsome, naked, and beardless youth, with only a helmet, shield, and the bronze-tipped spear as ornaments. Áris can be seen in his chariot drawn by four horses: Aithohn (Aithon or Fiery; Gr. Αίθων), Phloyéfs (Phlogeus or Flaming; Gr. Φλογεύς), Kónavos (Konabos or Clashing Tumult; Gr. Κόναβος), and Phóvos (Panic-Flight; Gr. Φόβος). He is sometimes depicted in proximity to the Drákohn (dragon; Gr. Δράκων), the vulture, the barn-owl or eagle-owl, or the woodpecker, creatures associated with the God.



THE HYMNS TO ÁRIS

The Homeric and the Orphic hymns to Áris are very similar. Both poems begin by enumerating the wrathful aspects of the God, and both end imploring the God to yield to harmony. They demonstrate the dread we feel when confronted by conflict, but without the conflicts that Áris brings, the soul cannot progress to the harmony brought about by the Goddess Aphrodíti (Aphrodite; Gr. Ἀφροδίτη).


Homeric Hymn to Áris  

(Some scholars believe that the Homeric Hymn to Áris was actually written by the Fifth century CE Neo-Platonist Próklos [Proclus; Gr. Πρόκλος].)  

There is a section in the poem:

"...sceptered King of manliness, who whirl your fiery sphere among the planets in their sevenfold courses through the aether (ed. Aithír) wherein your blazing steeds ever bear you above the third firmament of heaven..."  [7]

The "third firmament" refers to the planet Mars, the third of the seven planets.


Homeric Hymn to Áris [9]

Ares, exceeding in strength, chariot-rider, golden-helmed, doughty in heart, shield-bearer, Savior of cities, harnessed in bronze, strong of arm, unwearying, mighty with the spear, O defense of Olympus, father of warlike Victory, ally of Themis, stern governor of the rebellious, leader of righteous men, sceptered King of manliness, who whirl your fiery sphere among the planets in their sevenfold courses through the aether wherein your blazing steeds ever bear you above the third firmament of heaven; hear me, helper of men, giver of dauntless youth! Shed down a kindly ray from above upon my life, and strength of war, that I may be able to drive away bitter cowardice from my head and crush down the deceitful impulses of my soul. Restrain also the keen fury of my heart which provokes me to tread the ways of blood-curdling strife. Rather, O blessed one, give you me boldness to abide within the harmless laws of peace, avoiding strife and hatred and the violent fiends of death.


The Orphic Hymn to Áris 

Please visit this page: The Orphic Hymn to Áris


Áris in Orphismós 

Áris rules the second Orphic House, the month of Scorpiós (Scorpio; Gr. Σκορπιός) from October 21 through November 20, and his dominion is the Natural Law of Zoï (Zoe; Gr. Ζωή), the pulse of Life moving towards the Aithír (Ether; Gr. Αἰθήρ). The Divine Consort of Áris is the Goddess Aphrodíti. The Orphic Hymns suggest the offering of frankincense to Áris; guggul (bdellium, Commiphora wightii) is another a traditional offering to the God.


To learn a contemporary hymn/song to Áris, visit this page: A Song for Áris.


The story of the birth of the GodsOrphic Rhapsodic Theogony.
We know the various qualities and characteristics of the Gods based on metaphorical stories: Mythology
Dictionary of terms related to ancient Greek mythology: Glossary of Hellenic Mythology.

Introduction to the Thæí (the Gods): The Nature of the Gods.


THE MANY NAMES OF ÁRIS

Please visit this page: The Epithets of Áris


NOTES:

[1] Orphéfs (Orpheus;Gr. Ὀρφεύς) Hymn LXV To Áris (This hymn was numbered LXIV in the original 1792 edition), trans. Thomas Taylor 1824 in The Mystical Hymns of Orpheus; found here in Hymns and Initiations, 2003, The Prometheus Trust (Somerset UK) on p. 130. This edition differs in one way from the 1792 edition; line 12:

For arms exchange the labours of the field

...was re-translated and published as:

To Ceres give the weapons of the field

[2] Isíodos (Hesiod; Gr. ἩσίοδοςThæogonía (Theogony; Gr. Θεογονία) 921:

"Lastly, he (ed. Zefs [Zeus]) made Hera (ed. Íra) his blooming wife: and she was joined in love with the king of Gods and men, and brought forth Hebe (ed. Ívi; Gr. Ἥβη) and Ares and Eileithyia (Gr. Εἰλείθυια)."

(trans. Hugh G. Evelyn-White 1914; found here in the 1930 Harvard Univ. Press (Cambridge MA USA) - William Heinemann (London England) edition of Hesiod: The Homeric Hymns and Homerica, Loeb Classical Library, on p. 147.

Ómiros (Homer; Gr. ὍμηροςIliás (Iliad; Gr. Ἰλιάς) Book V.888-894:

"Then with an angry glance spoke to him Zeus, the cloud-gatherer: 'Sit not by me and whine, you renegade. Most hateful to me are you of all Gods who hold Olympus (ed. Olympos; Gr. Όλυμπος ), for always strife is dear to you, and wars and fighting. You have the unbearable, overpowering spirit of your mother, Hera ..."

(trans. A. T. Murray, 1924; found here in the 2003 Harvard Univ. Press (Cambridge, MA USA; London, England) edition of Homer Iliad Vol. I, Loeb LCL 170, on pp. 271-273)

Apollódohros (Apollodorus; Gr. ἈπολλόδωροςVivliothíki (Library; Gr. Βιβλιοθήκη) Book I.III.1.13:

"Now Zeus (ed. Zefs) wedded Hera and begat Hebe, Ilithyia, and Ares..."

(trans. J. G. Frazer 1921; found here in the 1990 Harvard Univ. Press (Cambridge MA USA, London England) edition of Apollodorus: The Library Vol. I, Loeb LCL 121, on p. 15.)

[3] A Classical Manual, Being a Mythological, Historical, and Geographical Commentary on Pope's Homer, and Dryden's Æneid of Virgil, 1833.  John Murray, Albemarle St. (London, England), p. 70.

[4] Apollódohros (Gr. Ἀπολλόδωρος) Vivliothíki (Library; Gr. Βιβλιοθήκη) Book III. IV.2, trans. by J.G. Frazer inApollodorus The Library Vol. I (Ap.I), 1939.  Loeb Classical Library LCL 121. We are using the 1990 edition. Harvard Univ. Press (Cambridge MA USA and London England) p. 317.

[5] Ibid. Apollódohros Vivliothíki Book I.ix.16, trans. J.G. Frazer, p. 95.

[6] Apollódohros Vivliothíki Book III.xiv.2.

[7] Homeric Hymn VIII To Áris (Ares), trans. Hugh G. Evelyn-White 1914; found here in the 1930 Harvard Univ. Press (Cambridge MA USA) - William Heinemann (London England) edition of Hesiod: The Homeric Hymns and Homerica, Loeb Classical Library, on p. 433.

[8] Orphéfs (Orpheus; Gr. Ὀρφεύς) Hymn LXV To Áris (Ares or Mars) line 11, Taylor, p. 130.

[9] Homeric Hymn VIII To Áris, Evelyn-White, p. 433.


Zorba: "Boss," he said, "this is where I count on you. Now don't dishonour the male species. The god-devil sends you this choice morsel. You've got teeth. Alright, get 'em into it. Stretch out your arm and take her! What did the Creator give us hands for? To take things! So, take 'em! I've seen loads of women in my time. But that damned widow makes the steeples rock!"

The philosopher: "I don't want any trouble," I replied angrily. 

I was irritated because in my heart of hearts I also had desired that all-powerful body which had passed by me like a wild animal in heat, distilling musk.

"You don't want any trouble?" Zorba exclaimed in stupefaction. "And pray what do you want then?"

I did not answer.

"Life is trouble!" Zorba continued. "Death, no. To live. Do you know what that means?"

(excerpt from Nikos Kazantzakis Zorba the Greek, 1946. All Rights Reserved. © Nikos Kazantzakis, 1952. Translation © Carl Wildman, 1952. © Helen Kazantzakis, 1958. Carl Wildman is hereby identified as translator of this work.)



 

The logo to the left is the principal symbol of this website. It is called the CESS logo, i.e. the Children of the Earth and the Starry Sky. The 
Pætilía (Petelia; Gr. Πετηλία) and other golden tablets having this phrase are the inspiration for the symbol. The image represents this idea: Earth (divisible substance) and the Sky (continuous substance) are the two kozmogonic substances. The twelve stars represent the Natural Laws, the dominions of the Olympian Gods. In front of these symbols is the seven-stringed kithára (cithara; Gr. κιθάρα), the lyre of Apóllohn (Apollo; Gr. Ἀπόλλων). It (here) represents the bond between Gods and mortals and is representative that we are the children of Orphéfs (Orpheus; Gr. Ὀρφεύς). 



PLEASE NOTE: Throughout the pages of this website, you will find fascinating stories about our Gods. These narratives are known as 

, the traditional stories of the Gods and Heroes. While these tales are great mystical vehicles containing transcendent truth, they are symbolic and should not be taken literally. A literal reading will frequently yield an erroneous result. The meaning of the myths is concealed in code. To understand them requires a key. For instance, when a God kills someone, this usually means a transformation of the soul to a higher level. Similarly, sexual union with a God is a transformation.


The story of the birth of the Gods: Orphic Rhapsodic Theogony.
We know the various qualities and characteristics of the Gods based on metaphorical stories: Mythology
Dictionary of terms related to ancient Greek mythology: Glossary of Hellenic Mythology.

SPELLING: HellenicGods.org uses the Reuchlinian method of pronouncing ancient Greek, the system preferred by scholars from Greece itself. An approach was developed to enable the student to easily approximate the Greek words. Consequently, the way we spell words is unique, as this method of transliteration is exclusive to this website. For more information, visit these three pages: 

PHOTO COPYRIGHT INFORMATION: The many pages of this website incorporate images, some created by the author, but many obtained from outside sources. To find out more information about these images and why this website can use them, visit this link: Photo Copyright Information

DISCLAIMER: The inclusion of images, quotations, and links from outside sources does not in any way imply agreement (or disagreement), approval (or disapproval) with the views of HellenicGods.org by the external sources from which they were obtained.

Further, the inclusion of images, quotations, and links from outside sources does not in any way imply agreement (or disagreement), approval (or disapproval) by HellenicGods.org of the contents or views of any external sources from which they were obtained.

For more information: Inquire.hellenicgods@gmail.com

For answers to many questions: Hellenismos FAQ

© 2010 by HellenicGods.org.  All Rights Reserved.




hit counterHOME                GLOSSARY                RESOURCE              ART                LOGOS               CONTACT