Foto credit: Jastrow, who releases the foto to the Public Domain


2. ÁRÎS (Arês; Gr. Ἄρης, ΑΡΗΣ. Pronunciation: AH-rees.)

One of the most important deities of Ællînismόs (Hellenismos, Ἑλληνισμός), the ancient Greek religion, and one of the Twelve Olympian Gods, Árîs protects the order of our society. Árîs is the God who has dominion over the pulse of Life as it strives towards the Aithír (Aether, Αἰθήρ), the essence of Zefs (Zeus, Ζεύς), of whom he is a son. And his mother is mighty Queen Íra (Hera, Ήρα). [1]

The Character of Árîs

Árîs 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, Ἔρις), the sister of Árîs, calls forth war supported by her many children, and that Zefs, who has dominion over Fate, directs its course. Árîs is accompanied by his sons Deimos (Fear, Δεῖμος) and Phóvos (Phobos = Strife, Φόβος) and his other sister Ænyóh (Enyo, Ἐνυώ), the Goddess of battle.

And it is said that Árîs loves war, as in Iliás (Iliad, 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. Árîs 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. Árîs 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, Árîs is sometimes 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, Árîs 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.

Árîs and Aphrodítî

Árîs is depicted in the mythology as amorously tied to Aphrodítî (Aphroditê, Ἀφροδίτη). Aphrodítî and Árîs produce a child: Armonía (Harmony, Ἁρμονία). Armonía is the result of the necessary struggles which are provided by Árîs, struggles which have been harmonized at the Eighth Íkos (Oikos, Οἶκος) by Aphrodítî. Armonía, according to the mythology, was given to Kádmos in marriage:

"After his (Κάδμος) servitude (ed. for having slew the dragon of Árîs) Athena procured for him the kingdom, and Zeus gave him to wife Harmonia, daughter of Aphrodite and Ares..." [2]

Amongst the children of Armonía and Kádmos is Sæmǽlî (Semele, Σεμέλη), the mother of Diónysos (Dionysus, Διόνυσος).

Árîs and the Krysómallon Dǽras

Now it is interesting that the Krysómallon Dǽras (Chrysomallon Deras, Χρυσόμαλλον Δέρας), the Golden Fleece, which represents the deification of the soul, hung on an oak tree in a grove sacred to Árîs in the land of Kolkhís (Colchis, Κολχίς), as told in the writing of Apollódôros (Apollodorus, Ἀπολλόδωρος):

"Now it was at Colchis in a grove of Ares, hanging on an oak and guarded by a sleepless dragon." [3]

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

Árîs and the Áreios Págos

According to legend, Alirróthios (Halirrhothius, Ἁλιρρόθιος) raped Alkíppi (Alcippe, Ἀλκίππη), the daughter of Árîs. In retribution, Árîs killed Alirróthios, who was a son of Poseidóhn (Poseidôn, Ποσειδῶν). Árîs was now put on trial by the Gods, the first murder trial in history, on a rock near the Akrópolis (Acropolîs, Ακρόπολης) in Athens. He was acquitted. Because of this event, the place is named the Áreios Págos (Areopagus, Ἄρειος Πάγος), the Rock of Árîs, 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 Orǽstîs (Orestes, Ὀρέστης), the story which is told in third play of the Orǽsteia (Oresteia, Ὀρέστεια), a very important work by Aiskhýlos (Aeschylus, Αἰσχύλος).

Árîs in Iconography

In iconography, Árîs 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. Árîs can be seen in his chariot drawn by four horses: Aithôn (Aethôn or Fiery, Αίθων), Phloyéfs (Phlogeus or Flaming, Φλογεύς), Kónavos (Conabos or Clashing Tumult, Κόναβος), and Phóvos (Phobus or Panic-Flight, Φόβος). He is sometimes depicted in proximity to the drákôn (dragôn, δράκων), the vulture, the barn-owl or eagle-owl, or the woodpecker, creatures associated with the God.


[1] Θεογονία Ἡσιόδου 921:

"Lastly, he (Ζεύς) made Hera his blooming wife: and she was joined in love with the king of Gods and men, and brought forth Hebe (Ἥβη) and Ares and Eileithyia (Εἰλείθυια)." (trans. Hugh G. Evelyn-White 1914)

Ἰλιάς Ὁμήρου 5.888-894:

"Zeus looked angrily at him and said, ‘Do not come whining here, Sir Facing-bothways (ἀλλοπρόσαλλος). I hate you worst of all the Gods in Olympus, for you are ever fighting and making mischief. You have the intolerable and stubborn spirit of your mother Hera...’ " (trans. Samuel Butler, 1898)

Βιβλιοθήκη Ἀπολλοδώρου Book

"Now Zeus wedded Hera and begat Hebe, Ilithyia, and Ares..." (trans. J. G. Frazer, 1921)

[2] Βιβλιοθήκη Ἀπολλοδώρου 3. 4.2, trans. by J.G. Frazer, 1921.

[3] Βιβλιοθήκη Ἀπολλοδώρου 1.9.16. (trans. J. G. Frazer 1921)

The Epithets of Áris

A Song for Áris.

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.

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

How do we know there are Gods? Experiencing Gods.

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, Πετηλία) and other golden tablets having this phrase (Γῆς παῖς εἰμί καὶ Οὐρανοῦ ἀστερόεντος) 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, κιθάρα), the lyre of Apóllohn (Apollo, Ἀπόλλων). It (here) represents the bond between Gods and mortals and is representative that we are the children of Orphéfs (Orpheus, Ὀρφεύς).

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

Pronunciation of Ancient Greek

Transliteration of Ancient Greek

Pronouncing the Names of the Gods in Hellenismos

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 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 of the contents or views of any external sources from which they were obtained.

For more information:

For answers to many questions: Hellenismos FAQ

© 2010 by All Rights Reserved.

hit counter
Web Analytics