ARES also stands for Amateur Radio Emergency Services, a division of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). When disasters happen, communications usually go down because of power loss or line damage. ARES uses portable Ham radio gear to provide communication services for emergency services (Police, Fire, Medical, et cetera). On the day this writeup was posted, ARES was active in Texas and Louisiana for a major flood.

Ares was the Greek god of war, and was the son of Zeus and Hera.

He was brutal, bloodthirsty, and a coward. None of the gods liked him, except for Aphrodite, by whom he had three children: Deimos, Phobus, and Harmonia. (Aphrodites husband, Hephaestus, wasn't very happy about this). He is also the father of Kyknos, but I'm not sure how that came about. And to make things even more confusing, he and (a different) Harmonia gave birth to the Amazons (yes, the entire race).

Ares is often accompanied into war by Deimos (Fear), Phobus (Panic), his sister Athena, and Hades. Ares is symbolized by a vulture and a dog.

While his sister Athena was also a god(ess) of war, she was less bloodthirsty, and she encouraged war only when no peaceful solution could be found.

In Roman mythology, Ares is (re)incarnated as Mars, who represented the spirit of heroism and courage.

Αρης

The Greek god of war, the equivalent of Mars in Italy. He was the son of Zeus and Hera and, like Apollo, Hermes and others, belongs to the second generation of the Olympian deities (Table 38). He is one of the twelve great gods, unlike his sisters Hebe and Eilithyia, who are minor deities. From the Homeric period Ares was pre-eminently the god of war, the spirit of battle delighting is slaughter and blood. In the fighting at Troy he was generally on the side of the Trojans, but had little regard for the justice of the cause he was backing. He is represented wearing armour and a helmet, and carrying a shield, spear and sword. He was of more than human height and uttered terrible cries. He normally fought on foot but he could be found in a chariot drawn by four chargers. He was attended by demons who served him as squires, especially Deimos and Phobos (Fear and Terror), his children, and also sometimes Eris (Strife) and Enyo.

Ares lived in Thrace, a half-wild country with a harsh climate, rich in horses and traversed by warlike peoples. Thrace was also, at least traditionally, the home of the Amazons, who were Ares' daughters. In Greece proper he was the object of a special cult in Thebes, where he was believed to have been the ancestor of the descendants of Cadmus. In fact Mars had a spring in Thebes, guarded by a dragon of which he was the father. When Cadmus, in order to perform a sacrifice, wanted to draw some water from the spring, the dragon tried to stop him. Cadmus killed it and, in expiation of the murder, had to serve Ares as a slave for eight years. At the end of that time the gods married Cadmus to Harmonia, the daughter of Ares and Aphrodite.

Most of the myths in which Ares featured are, naturally, about war and storied of fighting. But the god is far from being always the victor. It seems, on the contrary, that the Greeks, ever since the Homeric age, took pleasure in presenting the brute strength of Ares as being restrained or deceived by the wiser strength displayed by Heracles or the manly wisdom of Athena. One day, on the battlefield before Troy, Ares was fighting alongside Hector when he found himself confronting Diomedes. He at once attacked him but Athena, rendered invisible by the magic helmet of Hades, was successful in turning Ares' spear aside and he was wounded by Diomedes. The god uttered a terrible cry, heard by the whole army, and fled back to Olympus, where Zeus had his wound dressed. On another occasion, in the confused fighting of the gods which took place before Troy, Athena was once more doing battle with Ares and got the better of him by stunning him with a blow from a stone.

The antagonism between Ares and Athena was not confined to the Trojan cycle. When Ares wanted to defend his son Cycnus in battle against Heracles, Athena invited Ares to submit to Fate which decreed that Cycnus would be slain by Heracles unless the hero were first killed by someone else. But Athena's words were of no avail and she had to intervene directly in order to turn aside Ares' spear. Heracles, taking advantage of Ares' failure to protect himself properly, wounded him in the thigh and Ares fled with ignominy to Olympus. This was, moreover, the second time that Heracles had wounded Ares: the first occasion was at Pylos where Heracles had even stripped him of his weapons. When the Amazon Penthesilea, Ares' daughter, was killed before Troy, Ares wanted to rush headlong to avenge her without any regard to the Fates, and Zeus had to stop him with a thunderbolt. Yet another misfortune of Ares was to be imprisoned by the Aloadae who kept him for thirteen months, chained up in a bronze vessel.

It was an act of violence on the part of Ares which associated him with the Areopagus, the hill in Athens which was the meeting place of the court responsible for trying crimes of a religious character. There was a spring at the foot of the hill and it was there that Ares saw Halirrhothius, the son of Poseidon and the nymph Euryte, trying to rape Alcippe, his daughter by Aglaurus. In a fit of anger Ares killed Halirrhotius; Poseidon made him appear before a court of the Olympians, on the hill at whose foot the murder had taken place. The gods acquitted the murderer.

There are many legends about Ares' love affairs. The best known is without doubt the one in which he was found having a secret affair with the goddess Aphrodite. But he also had many children by mortal women. Most of them turned into violent and unfriendly men who attacked travellers and killed them or gave themselves over to a variety of acts of cruelty. By Pyrene he had three sons, Cycnus, Diomedes of Thrace, whose mares are human flesh, and Lycaon. All three of them were killed by Heracles. Ares was also said to have been the father of Meleager and of Dryas, who took part with Meleager in the hunt in Calydon. Finally it was Ares who was said to have given his son Oenomaus the weapons with which he slaughtered his daughter's suitors (see Pelops and Hippodamia).

The animals dedicated to Ares were the dog and the vulture.

{E2 DICTIONARY OF CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY}

Table of Sources:
- Hom. Il. 2, 512ff.; 5, 311f.; 590ff.; 15, 110ff.; 20, 32ff.; 21, 391ff.; 13, 298ff.; Od. 8, 266ff.
- Hesios, Theog. 922ff.; Scutum 109; 191ff.; 424ff.
- Homeric Hymn of Ares; Hdt. 5, 7
- Euripides, El. 1258ff.; IT 945ff.
- Apollod. Rhod. Arg. 2, 990
- Paus. 1, 21, 4ff.; 1, 28, 5
- Apollod. Bibl. 1, 4, 4; 1, 7, 4; 1, 7, 7; 1, 8, 2; 2, 5, 8; 2, 5, 11; 3, 4, 1ff.; 3, 14, 2; 3, 14, 8
- Ovid, Fast. 5, 229ff.
- Serv. on Virgil, Ecl. 10, 18
- Hyg. Fab. 159
- Quint. Smyrn. Posthom. 1, 675ff.; 8, 340ff.; 14, 47ff.

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