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Mars


Bust of Mars from the 2nd century CE

Mars and in Old Latin Mavors. Equivalent to the Greek Ares. Originally an Italian god of fertility and vegetation, worshiped as the patron of the seasons, especially spring. The shepherds entrusted their flocks to the protection of Mars from flocks of wolves. It was to Mars that the hall sang their songs. As the god of spring (at this time of the year the most important holidays were held in his honor) Mars was at the same time a guardian of agriculture.

In Romans combined with war. Son of Juno and the magic flower. Next to Jupiter and Quirinus one of the main gods in Roman mythology. He was worshiped as the father of twins: Romulus and Remus. One of the months was dedicated to him – March (mensis Martius), when traditionally the weather allowed to resume warfare. Mars were sacrificed before the battle as gods of war.

He appeared on the battlefield in the company of the goddess of war Bellona, ​​who according to different versions was considered his wife, sister or daughter. Unlike his Greek counterpart, Ares, Mars was probably worshiped most commonly among all Roman gods. The reason for this situation may be the fact that his sons Remus and Romulus were considered to be the founders of Rome or because the Romans counted on the company and support of the god of war during the fighting.

A wolf, woodpecker and oak were devoted to Mars. As Mars Gradivus, he walked at the head of the army on the battlefield and in this form he was worshiped in the old temple on Via Appia, outside the walls of Rome. Mars was also worshiped in Porta Capena, on Field of Mars, in Regia on the Forum.

Sources

  • Kempiński Andrzej, Encyklopedia mitologii ludów indoeuropejskich, Warszawa 2001
  • Schmidt Joël, Słownik mitologii greckiej i rzymskiej, Katowice 1996

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