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Mars - Roman God of War

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Mars - Roman God of War

Post  LyxisMorgan on Sat 4 Aug 2012 - 15:09

The Roman God Mars
God of War


Day of the Week: Tuesday
Sacred Month: March
Family ties: Son of Jupiter, Father of Romulus and Remus
Symbol: woodpecker, the wolf, spear
Metal: Iron
Name of equivalent Greek God: Ares

Mars was the Roman god of war and also an agricultural guardian, a combination characteristic of early Rome. He was second in importance only to Jupiter, and he was the most prominent of the military gods worshipped by the Roman legions. His festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Latin Martius), and in October, which began and ended the season for military campaigning and farming.

The Campus Martius or field of Mars, was next to the river Tiber in in ancient Rome. It was used to train soldiers and hold horse races. March was called after Mars because that was when the soldiers started fighting again after winter.

Although Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera, Mars was the son of Juno alone. Jupiter had usurped the mother's function when he gave birth to Minerva directly from his forehead (or mind); to restore the balance, Juno sought the advice of the goddess Flora on how to do the same. Flora obtained a magic flower (Latin flos, plural flores, a masculine word) and tested it on a heifer who became fruitful at once. She then plucked a flower ritually using her thumb, touched Juno's belly, and impregnated her. Juno withdrew to Thrace and the shore of Marmara for the birth.

They say that Mars was the father of Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. When Romulus and Remus were babies, they were left to die. But they were found by a mother wolf, who suckled them. Romulus gave his name to Rome.

The spear is the instrument of Mars in the same way that Jupiter wields the lightning bolt, Neptune the trident, and Saturn the scythe or sickle.

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