preludes intimes

caffeinewitchcraft  asked:

Hi! I'm writing a story about Ares in modern day! I've read that Ares was often viewed ambivalently or even negatively in Greece, but was more celebrated as his Roman counterpart Mars. Could you explain or direct me to a source that goes deeper into this change? Was it more regional or universal? Any later myths/worship practices would be appreciated. (Hope this makes sense!)

So it can be hard to pinpoint where the differences between some Greek and Roman gods come from as so many scholars for quite a long time sort of just shrugged and went “Guess the Romans copied the Greeks.” 

That said, I’m super excited about this ask :)

The first way to think about the difference between Ares and Mars is to think about the difference in literature. Ancient Greek myths rely heavily on description, while Roman relies on action. So when you extend that cultural sense to the gods, you find that Greek gods are the embodiment of ideals, concepts, and abstracts; while Roman gods are the embodiment of actions and concrete ideas.

So what does that mean for Ares vs Mars?

Well, Ares was a violent god, a bully, the prelude to peace, and intimately connected to fertility and childbirth. He was disliked because he is seen as insatiable and driven by a baser nature (as opposed to Athena who was a strategist and relied on logic and skill).

Mars, on the other hand, was the Father of Rome, a protector, a defender, and the embodiment of military virtues. He was honoured whenever a new city (or even a new building) was founded, and was seen as defending against not only enemies in war, but also enemies at home (such as pests and vermin which might harm harvests). He was linked with agriculture rather than fertility/childbirth.

It’s actually kind of cool to look at how Mars was conflated with various Celtic gods (where he becomes a healer [especially of eye illnesses], a god of mountains, and a protector). There is an entire study of how interacting cultures exchange, translate, and interpret their own cultures and those of another culture. Way back when there wasn’t a big push to be the only religion, and so when places like Greece and Rome interacted, they attempted to find common ground–often by using their deities.

So while Ares and Mars were very different deities, you are sort of continuing a long tradition of interpretation and translation if you use bits and pieces from both to depict your version of Ares.

And if you want a quick and easy distinction–Ares was the embodiment of the violence of war, while Mars was the embodiment of taking up arms to defend your home.

Let me know if you have any further questions!



belated gift for the amazing humannature207

Of all the traditions Killian was exposed to for the holiday season kissing under the mistletoe quickly became his favorite. No doubt because he had someone he never wished to stop kissing. But it wasn’t that he needed the plant to receive a kiss from Emma. Since they had begun courting the kisses occurred frequently both in a sweet, tender nature as well as those of the passionate variety heavy with need (that could easily have been the prelude to a more intimate time). It was that no matter how many times their lips touched he was still in awe that the woman who had kept him at a distance while he fell for her, the woman that once proclaimed kissing him was “a one time thing”, had chosen to be with him and now gave affection so freely even if others were present. Each kiss was a reminder that it wasn’t just a one time thing. She didn’t want to hide what was between them for she wanted him just as much as he wanted her. And this custom was one that she actually wanted to do with him and him alone. 

So it wasn’t hard for Emma to pick up on his appreciation of the tradition when he always seemed to ensure that their path crossed any mistletoe hanging nearby. Many times she found their route completely altered on some flimsy excuse that resulted in them walking beneath a newly hung one. She saw the delight these kisses had on him. The dimpled smile that formed whenever he spotted his target and knew that soon they would be under it. And on top of his pleasure, she also had to admit she loved that she finally had someone to partake in this tradition with. It was such an enjoyable one. Kissing him felt comfortable and familiar, like coming home, but at the same time she felt the intensity of desire as he made her skin tingle. He could leave her breathless and desperate for more. Kissing him would never get old. So when Christmas passed and the mistletoe was taken down, they both felt a bit disappointed. They had loved the excuse of more kisses and on top of that Emma missed the cute, excited smile that came from his anticipation.

They were on their way home from a date when Killian saw the patch of green hanging above Emma’s door. She turned to him with a playful expression on her face, but no words were needed to explain why the plant was up after the traditional time had ended. They leaned in slowly until their lips touched and honored the mistletoe as best they could both briefly thinking this was most likely going to become their new favorite place. 

Who said mistletoe couldn’t be a permanent fixture?