Ares Myths. 6 Famous and Interestings Legends

Discover with us the myths of Ares. Get to know his six most famous milestones and with greater impact. A key character in Greek mythology.

Myths of Ares
Myths of Ares

Who was Ares?

Ares was an Olympian god of war, violence and destruction. He was not well received by the gods and mortals in the myths of Ares, nor by the ancient Greeks, with some exceptions, such as the Spartans and the Amazons. He is often compared to his half-sister Athena, who is also, like Ares, associated with war activities.

However, while Athena is respected and appreciated for her war, strategy, courage and wisdom, Ares is seen as the force of destruction, savage warfare and bloodlust. No one really liked her activities because, wherever she went, she left traces of disgrace and aberration.

Ares the god of war

Despite his unpopularity, he was revered and honored in Crete and Peloponnese, where Spartan military bases could be found, as well as in Pontus, the northern part of modern Turkey, where Amazonas lived.

According to the myths of ares, most of the time, he was depicted as a beardless young warrior without clothes, only wearing a helmet and perhaps holding a shield or a spear in his hands. In other cases, he is depicted as a fully grown warrior, wearing armor and holding a shield in one and a sword or spear in the other.

Here are 6 interesting and famous Ares myths that you may not have known.

1. Ares falls in love with Aphrodite

The first of the myths of Ares begins with the mockery that the god of war made to the weapon of Eros (the god of love). After the mockery Eros told Ares that his weapon was heavy and that no one could lift it. In the myths of the god Ares they tell that he boasted of his strength for being the god of war and asked to try it. Ares took the weapon (javelin), while Aphrodite smiled softly.

Ares with a groan and helplessness at not being able to lift it said: “It is too heavy ask for your reward god Eros“. Eros asked him as compensation; throw one of his arrows at her and tied Ares and Aphrodite in love.

Ares and Aphrodite
Ares and Aphrodite

2.  The deceit of Aphrodite and Ares

The second myth of Ares talks about Aphrodite’s infidelity. Hephaestus had built a palace for his beautiful wife Aphrodite and a chamber with a special golden bed. Being the wife of the god of forging did not prevent Aphrodite from having a love affair with Ares, and they secretly slept together in Hephaistos marriage bed.  Helios, the god who can see all the deeds of both mortals and immortals, told about this affair of Ares and Aphrodite to Hephaistos.

In the myths of the god Ares they tell that when Hephaistos discovered his wife’s affair, he became angry and made a magical net and planned to catch the couple in action. He placed the invisible net in and around the bed, even on the ceiling wall.

Ares and Aphrodite deception
Ares and Aphrodite deception

Then he pretended to go to the city Lemnos, which he loved more than any other place on earth. Ares had seen the god of forging leave and approached the house of Hephaistos, grieving for the love of Aphrodite. Aphrodite had just returned from Zeus’ palace and was sitting in the house when Ares entered. He took her by the hand and told her that Hephaistos was no longer there and had gone to Lemnos.

Then they went to the chamber of the golden bed and lay down. The web of magical chains enveloped them and neither could lift their limbs or move them at all. Ares and Aphrodite realized that there was no escape. Meanwhile, Helios was reporting everything to Hephaistos and was already on his way home, frustrated and angry.


Hephaistos also called all the gods to come and see this infidelity. Poseidon was only one of the gods, who asked and convinced Hephaestus to free Ares and Aphrodite from the trap, as they lay embracing in Hephaestus’ bed. Because of this adultery, Ares was banished from Olympus.

3.  Ares defends his daughter, Alcippe

In the myths of the god Ares, there is one that speaks of his behavior and that extended beyond his love life. There is one of the myths of Ares that tells the story of one of the daughters of the god of war, whose name was Alcippe.

One day, a son of Poseidon named Halirrhothius met Alcippe and desired her deeply. It seems, however, that Alcippe did not reciprocate the same feelings. Instead of moving on, Halirrhothius decided to rape Alcippe (or at least attempted to do so, according to legend or myth).

When Ares saw what had happened, he was furious. Immediately, he came to his daughter’s defense, stopping the attack and brutally killing Halirrhothius. When Poseidon learned what had happened to Halirrhothius, he became furious and demanded a trial.

Ares Trial
Ares Trial

It was common for many of the gods to take advantage of women or force them to have sex, which probably made Ares’ aggression and defense of his daughter unusual. Poseidon called for a trial for the murder of his son, which may be the first recorded murder trial in history.

The trial was held on a hill on Mount Olympus now called Aeropagus (Hill of Ares). All the other gods and goddesses came to judge Ares for his actions and eventually found him “not guilty” of all charges. However, he was required to organize a sporting event in honor of Halirrhothius, an event that would later become associated with Ares as well.

4.  Ares and the Aloadae

When Ares was very young, he was still growing in power as a god and had already developed a taste for war. The myths of Ares say that he liked to stir up battles and cause mischief and violence. It was this thirst for aggression that made him dislike the Aloadae.

The Aloadae were two giant brothers named Otus and Ephialtes. These two brothers were angered by Ares’ mischief because many of the battles he caused ruined their crops. They conspired to capture him and kept him locked in a bronze jar for a lunar year (thirteen months).

Many Ares myths suggest that the brief reign of the god of war would have ended with this story if the stepmother of the two giants had not told Hermes what had happened to Ares.

Ares and the Aloadae
Ares and the Aloadae

However, knowing Ares’ fate was not enough to motivate the other gods and goddesses to turn to their helper. It is likely that their swift action was also the result of the threats that Otus and Ephialtes were making.

They were threatening to storm Mount Olympus if they were not given the hand of Artemis (for Otus) and Hera (for Ephialtes) in marriage. Knowing that the two brothers would follow their plan to storm Mount Olympus if given enough time, a plan was devised to kill the two giants and free Ares.

5.  Ares in the Trojan War

Unlike the other gods, Ares decided to go against Zeus in the Trojan War and sided with his lover, Aphrodite. The myths of Ares tell that he fought in a terrifying rage to help the Trojans in their battle against the Achaeans.

At one point, his leadership of the Trojan army nearly defeated the Achaeans. Unfortunately, there were too many gods who sided with Zeus and helped the Achaeans help the Trojans succeed. Still, Ares did his best to fight for Aphrodite’s honor. When she was wounded on the battlefield, Ares lent her his chariot so that she could escape to safety and treat her wounds.

Ares also confronted Athena in the Trojan War, only to be humiliated. She hurled a spear at his chest with great power, but since she wore the Helm of Death, she was able to deflect the spear and return a powerful blow herself by hurling a rock at Ares.

Ares in the Trojan War
Ares in the Trojan War

The rock hit Ares with tremendous force and caused him to scream so loudly that it was heard even over all the chaos on the battlefield. Athena then spent a significant amount of time bragging about her superior talents in warfare and the battlefield, embarrassing Ares.

Aphrodite attempted to go to Ares’ aide, but was also beaten by Athena. Finally, the two retreated to Mount Olympus to have their wounds attended to. When Ares went to Zeus to tell him what had happened on the battlefield, Zeus told Ares that he was “the most hated of all the gods who hold Olympus.”

However, Zeus made sure that Ares was well cared for by instructing Paieon to tend to his son’s wounds.

6.  Rescuing Thanatos

In the ares myths, Thanatos was the personification of death who was imprisoned by King Sisyphus. After the king had tricked death into handcuffing himself. Ares influenced the fate of Sisyphus. King Sisyphus held Thanatos captive for over a month before Ares, bored with the life and wars of the Greeks, decided to rescue him.  He went before the king and threatened to behead him if he refused to release Thanatos and become a prisoner of Hades.

Sisyphus, then, fearing the wrath of Ares, released Thanatos and gave himself up, but later Hades, on the advice of Persephone, released him from the underworld after Merope, a wife of Sisyphus, under his orders threw his naked body in the middle of a public square. He convinced Persephone not to bury his body and give him a proper funeral.

When he was released, he scolded his wife, but had no plans to return to the underworld. As punishment for his deception, Zeus sent Sisyphus to Tartarus and rolled a huge boulder down a steep hill for eternity. Before he could reach the top, the massive boulder would always roll down, forcing him to start over again, repeatedly.


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