Ares, the son of Zeus and Hera, was the god of war. He is not often shown in Greek art and not mentioned as much as many other gods in myths.

As the god of war he was shown with sword, shield, and helmet, like Athena. Unlike Athena however he was cruel, and loved war, violence and chaos. Even his parents did not like him.

Ares in Myth

Ares was called upon to help warriors in battle. In myths however he is not shown as reliable. In the Iliad he helps the Greeks and then the Trojans as he sees fit. Often he came up against Athena, and lost. He would run to his father Zeus to be healed.

Ares and Aphrodite

Ares is also famous for his love affair with Aphrodite, who was the wife of Hephaestos (see picture above). Hephaestos was always jealous of them.

An Homeric Hymn to Ares

Ares, exceeding in strength, chariot-rider, golden-helmed, doughty in heart,
shield-bearer, Saviour of cities, harnessed in bronze, strong of arm, unwearying, mighty with the spear, O defence of Olympus, father of warlike Victory, ally of Themis, stern governor of the rebellious, leader of righteous men, sceptred 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.