Mars, Roman God of War

- Image ID: HRKRE1
Mars, Roman God of War
Science History Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: HRKRE1
Mars, fully armed and armored, rides his dog-drawn chariot, its wheels bearing the symbols of his astrological 'houses', Aries and Scorpio. Also note the astronomical symbol for the planet Mars, which is the same symbol for the male sex, as well as the alchemical symbol for iron. Its shape is derived from Mars' sword and shield.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. Under the influence of Greek culture, Mars was identified with the Greek god Ares, whose myths were reinterpreted in Roman literature and art under the name of Mars. Although Ares was viewed primarily as a destructive and destabilizing force, Mars represented military power as a way to secure peace, and was a father (pater) of the Roman people. In the mythic genealogy and founding myths of Rome, Mars was the father of Romulus and Remus with Rhea Silvia. His love affair with Venus symbolically reconciled the two different traditions of Rome's founding.

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