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Phobos (Ancient Greek: Φόβος, pronounced [pʰóbos], meaning "fear") is the personification of fear in Greek mythology. He is the offspring of Aphrodite and Ares. He was known for accompanying Ares into battle along with the ancient war goddess Enyo, the goddess of discord Eris (both sisters of Ares), and Phobos' twin brother Deimos (terror).
In Classical Greek mythology, Phobos is more of a personification of the fear brought by war and does not appear as a character in any myths. Timor or Timorus is his Roman equivalent.
|Ouranos||Grandfather (Aphrodite's[a] Father)|
|Zeus||Grandfather (Ares's Father)|
|Hera||Grandmother (Ares's Mother)|
|Anteros, Himerus, Pothos||Brothers|
Those who worshipped Phobos often made bloody sacrifices in his name. In Seven Against Thebes by Aeschylus, the seven warriors slaughter a bull over a black shield and then "touching the bull’s gore with their hands they swore an oath by… Phobos who delights in blood…"(Atsma). Ares’s son, Kyknos, "beheaded strangers who came along in order to build a temple to Phobos (fear) from the skulls." (Atsma).
Hesiod depicts Phobos on the shield of Heracles as "…staring backwards with eyes that glowed with fire. His mouth was full of teeth in a white row, fearful and daunting…" (Atsma) and again later during a war scene as being "…eager to plunge amidst the fighting men," (Atsma).
Phobos often is depicted as having a lion’s or lion-like head. This may be seen in Description of Greece by Pausanias, "On the shield of Agamemnon is Phobos (Fear), who[se] head is a lion’s…" (Atsma).
According to Plutarch, Alexander the Great offered sacrifices to Phobos on the eve of the Battle of Gaugamela (in all probability asking for Darius to be filled with fear). This was believed by Mary Renault to be part of Alexander’s psychological warfare campaign against Darius III. Darius fled from the field of Gaugamela, making Alexander’s praying to Phobos seem successful as a tactic.
Deimos and Phobos in Sparta
- ^ Aphrodite is shown as Dione's and Zeus’s daughter in the genealogy diagram; however, there is another myth where she was born from the sea foam where Uranus’ genitals dropped after Cronus mutilated him.
- Atsma, Aaron J. (December 2007). "Deimos and Phobos". Theoi.com. Retrieved 16 March 2008.