Roman Name: Mars
Ancient Greek Gods for Kids
Ares was the god of war. He was true royalty as far as the gods were concerned. His parents were the king and queen of the ancient Greek god world. His father was Zeus and his mother was Hera.
Ares was tall. He was handsome. He was mean. He was self-centered. Nobody liked him much.
Ares best friend was Eris, the spirit of disagreement. The two often traveled together, and they often brought the spirits of Pain, Panic, and Famine with them.
When the ancient Greeks went to war, Ares often got involved. He did not care who won or lost a battle. He just liked bloodshed. His best friend, the spirit Eris, did not care that much about bloodshed, but she loved to cause disagreement - the angrier, the better. The pair of them were nothing but trouble.
The Magical Rocks - A Myth About Ares
As the story goes .... Once upon a time, a long time ago, Ares, the Greek god of war, was fighting against the Greeks in a field in the northernmost tip of ancient Greece. The field was on the border of Macedonia, a country to the north. The Macedonians were forever crossing the line, trying to conquer the Greek city-states, one at a time. Ares kept a close eye on that field as a many a battle had been fought there. Ares did not wish to miss a good battle. Athena, goddess of wisdom, saw her half brother, screaming and shouting happily, as the Greeks died around him. Athena believed the Greeks cause was just, as they were simply defending their home. She picked up a rock and threw it as hard as she could at Ares. Ares wasn't paying attention as usual. He was busy enjoying the bloodshed. The rock knocked him out cold. When he woke up, the battle was over. The Greeks had won! Ares never knew it was his sister, Athena, who had knocked him out of the battle!
After that, nobody knows how but somehow, a rumor started that the great god Ares had been attacked by a magical rock! Nobody listened to the rumor, nobody that is except two young brothers. The brothers owned the field where battles kept happening. It was very hard to grow crops while men were fighting. The boys had grown into giants! Well, not giants perhaps, but certainly tall and manly and strong. The boys quietly collected a huge stack of heavy rocks, hoping one of them would be a magical rock. Their neighbors thought they were building a wall to help protect their field from the Macedonians. But actually, they were waiting for Ares. They knew Ares would show up sooner or later, because Ares loved bloodshed, and many a battle had been fought in their field. Ares was bound to keep checking. Sure enough, one day, they spotted the great god Ares in their field! They threw rocks at him. They were very fortunate that one of their rocks hit Ares and knocked him out cold before Ares noticed what they were doing. The boys quickly stuffed Ares into a huge vase and plugged the top securely.
Ares was stuck in that vase for a very long time. And for a very long time, the brothers lived a peaceful life. No battles were fought. Their crops flourished. Their neighbors to the north became their friends. Ares might still be in that vase today if one of the brothers had not bragged to a neighbor about what they had done. The god Hermes heard about it. (Sooner or later, Hermes heard about everything.) Hermes rescued his brother, not that Ares said thank you. But Ares never came back to that field, thinking perhaps that the tale of magical rocks was true! Besides, there were many other fields in ancient Greece, and many other battles. As long as there was bloodshed to enjoy somewhere, Ares was happy.