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*Includes pictures *Includes ancient myths and accounts of Ares and cults that worshiped him *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading Ares, the God of War and personification of all that is reactionary and violent, is remembered today as the hated, unshakeable, and infallible embodiment of the violence prevalent in war and society at large, but surviving evidence suggests that this may not have always been the case. To understand that, it's necessary to remember that Greek mythology has been filtered and tempered by centuries of editors and zealots and fickle word of mouth. The stories that arrive in the beloved mythology books of today were not necessarily those read and told by the ancients. This is true not only thanks to later mythographers' overeager shears, wielded in order to strip the ancient Greek myths of much of their "heathenism," but also because over 2,000 years later, modern society is not privy to much of the cultural strata from which these stories emerged. This book was written in the hope of presenting the modern reader with as much of the latter as possible, so as to provide a more accurate representation of Ares than is found in most modern collections of ancient Greek mythology. Being the "living" representation of the act that killed family members every year is more than enough to attract a certain degree of ignominy, but it is very likely that negative feelings towards Ares were not as pervasive among the ancient Greeks as one might believe today. An important thing to bear in mind when thinking about the stories of Ares is that the thin vein of myth that has come down today most often comes directly from Athenian sources, which were unfavorable towards Ares because they were generally unfavorable towards anything considered un-Athenian. The historian Thucydides, while discussing the Peloponnesian War, which was fought between Athens and Sparta at the end of the 5th century BCE, said that any "future scholar" would no doubt believe that the great city of Sparta was culturally insignificant in comparison with her enemy, Athens. It is well known today that Ares was worshipped by the warlike Spartans, but since they created very few grandiose works of architecture or literature (compared to those that came out of Athens), Sparta's views on Ares, and most other deities they worshipped, are paltry. Athenian culture, on the other hand, dominated the ancient world's art and culture, and its influence was felt strongly in the beloved myths and histories of the epoch. For better or worse, then, Athens left subsequent generations their marginalized corpus of ideas on ancient Greek religion, and this can be seen in the paltry occurrences of Ares in modern books on Greek mythology today. That said, being a worshipper of Ares didn't necessitate the bellicose nature of the Spartans, either. Although Athens left literary and archaeological evidence of their preferences for civic worship, many other poleis (Greek city-states) were loath to openly despise the god of war, despite his macabre associations. After all, war was a facet of yearly life, and Ares was one of the 12 gods of the highest Greek pantheon of deities who commanded worship according to a divine mandate. Ares's appearances in myths today (his affair with Aphrodite being a strong favourite) seem to be cursed by repeated banality. There's little of the "War God" in any of his stories other than the odd mention of how horrid he is. However, with a little effort, Ares and his influences can be found, even if only at the fringes of the stories, in the wider literary canon. One such example is the "Judgment of Paris," which refers to the Trojan warrior Paris's decision to award Aphrodite with the Golden Apple of the Hesperides (or the "Apple of Discord," as it came to be known).
Product Details :
|Author||: Charles River Charles River Editors|
|Publisher||: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform|
|File||: 62 Pages|