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Bull Headed Savagery

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28 Aug 2017 02:56 #1 by ARLewis
ARLewis ► Bull Headed Savagery
Bull Headed Savagery

Study Greece, ancient or otherwise, and who comes up as the most vicious, the most needlessly savage of any throughout history? Who is the one that only the roughest and toughest of warriors pay homage to? Who gets himself into more trouble thanks to his raging temper, uncaring of the consequences? And unless one is a violent warrior, who wouldn’t you want to meet in dark alley?

If one were to answer “Mars”, you would be only half right, for Mars is the Roman name for this bull headed, helmet wearing, spear wielding hot head. His name in Ancient Greek literally means “battle”. The great Greek god of War, Ares, is one of the twelve great Olympians and he also represents the physical or violent aspects of war...the stab you once, stab you twice, and stab you a third time just to make certain there were no questions type.

The Greeks believed that Ares personified the vicious savagery needed to win wars. It was his sister, Athena, the goddess of wisdom and intelligence, which also included military strategy, that they revered more. This was true just about everywhere, except for Sparta, whose warriors’ skill far exceeded those of every other nation. There is a statue of Ares wrapped in chains within the city...not to revere him for being captured by the giants Otus and Ephialtes in chains of brass, but to show that the martial spirit of victory was to be kept within the city. The Spartans even adopted his main mode of dress, helmet and spear, as their main fighting style and proved its efficacy time and time again.

While sometimes great savagery is needed to turn the tide of war, Ares’ love for war just for the sake of bloodshed, for carnage, does not keep him out of trouble. Aphrodite, his consort and wife of Hephaestus, persuades him to take an active role in the Trojan war and sides with the Trojans. This not only gets him rather seriously wounded by a mortal, with the help of Athena actually, but has the other gods turn their back on him with ridicule. Ares cries out, apparently with the force of 10,000 men upon the blow and returns to Olympus:

Then looking at him darkly Zeus who gathers the clouds spoke to him:
‘Do not sit beside me and whine, you double-face liar.
To me you are the most hateful of all gods who hold Olympus,
Forever quarreling is dear to your heart. Wars and Battles.

And yet I will not long endure to see you in pain, since
you are my child, and it was to me your mother bore you.
But, were you born of some other god and proved so ruinous
long since you would have been dropped beneath the gods of the bright sky.
Iliad

Ares’ parents, Zeus and Hera, did not having much support for him and in some accounts they even hated him. His own children did not fair much better. While he is notably the father of the great Amazonian race, including most of the rulers of that clan of warrior women, hIs son Kyknos was infamous for waylaying pilgrims on their way to Delphi. Cycnus of Macedonia was so murderous that he tried to build a temple with the skulls and bones of travelers. The vast majority it seems of Ares’ children have had one of Zeus’ most famous mortal sons, Hercules, sent after them to deal with the violence and fury that can only be matched by another god born child.

The second best known god of love and beauty, Eros, better known as Cupid, is also a son of Ares. He must have truly only gained the looks of his father, (possibly why Aphrodite fell for him), as Ares shows none of the strength of emotion that his son does. Yes, Ares shows his depth of passion through his lust for violence. But it is the lack of temperance that gets his relationship with Aphrodite found out and brought to light when the two of them are caught entwined together in a brass net that Hephaestus created. This and his childish rage whenever he is bested or wounded make him the laughing stock of Olympus.

Even so, his bull headed nature makes him ignore their backs as they turn from him, almost as bad as Narcissus, and steam roles ahead. Lusting for blood, for battle, for carnage, for the passions of violence that cannot be quenched, Ares soldiers on, ignoring the consequences and believing that they are beneath him. Pray that his savage essence never turns its sights upon you as you study and explore the Afterlife.

ARLewis

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