The Mythology of Mars

In Roman mythology, Mars was the god of war. He was the son of Juno, who went on to father Romulus, the founder of Rome.

To early Romans, Mars was linked with agriculture and the spring season. He was responsible for the fertility of the crops, cattle, and people. Every spring, a five-day celebration known as Quinquartrus was held in his honor.

Over time, Mars became a God of war. Ceres and Liber assumed his agricultural duties, though every May 29, Mars was still honored with the sacrifice of a round, a bowl, and a pig.

To the Greeks, Ares was the God of war. This son of Zeus and Hera, rulers of Mount Olympus, was later identified with Mars. Though never married, Aries had three children. He was accompanied into battle by the Twins, Phobos, panic, and Deimos, and fear. Today, the moons of Mars are called Phobos and Deimos.

The Romans named to the planet Mars after their God. The red planet reminded them of the color of blood and warfare.

Size comparison of terrestrial planets (left to right): Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. Courtesy Wikipedia.
Phobos (left) and Deimos (right). Courtesy Wikipedia.