Talk:Mars (mythology)

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A Good Comment[edit]

It's all mythology anyway so what is the point of a discussion on contradictions? Every culture has different ideas on the subject of course there are going to be contradictions. Has anyone thought of that or are you all too busy editing Wikipedia the way you like it? -- Not a User —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:19, 10 June 2009 (UTC)


Reverted to the old version, 29 October. changed it to a link that didn't work anyway. -- Stormwriter

Added "Gradivus" and "Quirinus"[edit]

Added two names by which Ares was worshipped. According to the source article, these forms occured in both Greek and Roman mythology.

Although an initial browse with internet search function "Google" reveals more articles related to the Bible (mostly Antichrist at that) than solid evidence of said worship, putting those names in here will (hopefully) inspire in-house research for its validation. 03:37, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

A look at would validate you along with other titles granted to Mars. Scribeofargos (talk) 00:02, 25 August 2009 (UTC)


The name of "Mars" would come from the indo-european name of the god of war *Mawor(t)- (X. Delamarre, "Indo-European vocabular", Paris, 1984).

A comparison between the warlike indian Maruts and Mars is the source of this reconstruction. We may add the latvian god, Martins, protector of the country.

Else, Quirinus and Gradivus are only latin epithets, not hellenic.

Best regards. -- 11:46, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Mars Had Sex with Rhea?[edit]

Mars had sex with Rhea? Rhea had sex with Atlas? What are the references for this? Since when is Zeus the son of Atlas? Romans the "sons of freaks".

I deleted the entry; I did a google search, and the only reference to the whole thing was this article. T@nn 08:25, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Reason for disambig[edit]

Is there really any reason for the disambig? Either people followed the right links or they didn't, and I can't imagine someone looking for the planet to type "(mythology)" at the end… but maybe I'm missing something. — Lenoxus 07:28, 14 March 2007 (UTC)


Any idea why the one reference is repeated so many times? Corvus cornix 21:47, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

I did that. The Celtic titles that I found for Mars are scattered alphabetically throughout the earlier list that someone else did. T@nn 12:19, 13 April 2007 (UTC)


Can anone who has contributed to this page verify if this edit [1] is correct? Thanks Giano 12:00, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Contradiction with Ares[edit]

The section on etymology contains this quote.

"There may also be a connection with the Roman war god Mars, via hypothetical Proto-Indo-European *M̥rēs; compare Ancient Greek μάρναμαι (marnamai), "to fight, to battle"."

and then it's cited. I'm not expert on this stuff, but I think someone like an expert on this stuff should have a look at it.

--Leodmacleod (talk) 06:26, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

The source seems reputable, but it only says it's a possible link so it isn't super important. Random hypotheses may not be appropriate but, when it comes to etymology, it is a for-interest and not valueless point. Regardless, there is no contradiction, it's just that this article does not contain that particular piece of information. I am going to remove the notice.

Telanis (talk) 18:42, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Name and nature[edit]

The article states the name Mars is not of IE origin. On what authority? It is certainly IE, from a root MAS with along A meaning power, stregth, virility.(Preller 1858) See Lat. marius, masculine, maritus. The Etruscan Maris derives from Italic Mars and not the other way round. Mars was the Roman god of war and his connexion to agriculture has generated lengthy disputes. This idea was first supported by German scholars and then by H.J.Rose in the middle XX century. It seems his protective function in agriculture was mainly a negative one and he was invoked in rituals (eg Carmen Arvale) for abstaining from causing damage to the harvest, similar to the way Robigus was worshipped to not destroy wheat by the flamen quirinalis. I would suggest editing the article. If nobody objects I shall do some editing in the next days.Aldrasto (talk) 11:17, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Other error: Mars is the son of Juno but not of Jupiter: Juno generated him alone Aldrasto (talk) 11:57, 13 January 2010 (UTC)


Oscan name of Mars. Böri (talk) 11:47, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

another mane for mars is aresBold text

Mars Augustus[edit]

The augusti are always so damn slippery. Here's a very minor quibble; I'm comfortable with everything but "it also implied that the deity and the emperor were one"; in some way, yes, but also not. August seems more a divine quality shared. There's an interesting passage in John Lott, The Neighborhoods of Augustan Rome, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2004, pp. 107 - 117. I summarised his argument in footnote 222 of Imperial cult (ancient Rome). More of the same at Lares. Haploidavey (talk) 17:29, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Will look at this "footnote 222" (isn't that the HBO mini-series based on the true lives of Wikipedians?). I kinda see what you mean, but I seem to recall that the point of the source cited other than Fishwick was that however carefully parsed the theology might be in intention, the result among the gentle provincials would be to blur the two entities, or elide the difference? Yes, reading your footnote I remember it now. But does Lott's observation apply to all deities so appended, or is talking about the Lares? Cynwolfe (talk) 18:43, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
(Yes, and footnote 222 is actually a vicus of area 42... but read the book, 'cos the movie's dreadful). Lott questions the theology behind august as a term, and its particular application to dei Compitalicii. It's a quite expansive discussion; if he's right, "august" can be interpreted in several ways at any time, and in any place. Wonderfully flexible, and apt to how Imperial cult has to work: it has to mean one thing for most (not all) provincials, and another for some (not all) Romans, at least those who might otherwise find the whole business rather offensive. I don't know if anyone other than Lott has handled the issue this way, or taken it further. I have the book, which has an extensive bibliography. So what I might do, all other things permitting, is find out. Haploidavey (talk) 19:46, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Have mulled. Here's a possible solution. Since IMHO this article needs to be kept uncluttered, light, and readable, even at the risk of oversimplification, and since Augustus as a title requires explanation, would you be at all susceptible to encouragement that you add a section to Augustus (honorific) on the use of the title with names of deities? That article currently lacks such (as well as any sources, but never mind that; it strikes me as pretty smart and informative, on the surface). If this can be worked through in that space, it should facilitate a one-sentence explanation here. Cynwolfe (talk) 17:43, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I'll put that on my "to do" list. Haploidavey (talk) 13:42, 22 November 2010 (UTC)


This etymology is linguistically impossible. Perhaps also the one I gave here from mas/maris proposed by Preller. Here above somebody gave a better one. The Maruts are the sons of Indra and may be compared with the Salii.Aldrasto11 (talk) 13:36, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

I haven't looked much at the etymology section, which I've moved deeper into the article. My thinking is that this is a "gateway" topic — that is, it will be consulted by people who know absolutely nothing about Roman religion nor any scholarly approach to "mythology." I'm attracted to the mas, maris etymology myself — but maybe because it helps give a coherent interpretation of this deity. So at present I'm trying to add very basic info that I think is still missing, without putting off the 14-year-old who comes looking for more information because she's seen the god Mars in pop fiction or mythology handbook. (In fact, I'm actually going to ask a smart 14-year-old to read the article to make sure it makes sense to a novice to the topic.) A sane approach might be to reserve the in-depth look at certain rituals and festivals for the more specialized articles on the festivals themselves, though at present they aren't even mentioned here (that's the kind of thing I'm trying to fill in). I'm finding that it's slower and more difficult to distill these things to the essence of clarity and straightforwardness than to write an article on a particular festival and cover it thoroughly. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:51, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
More specifically to your point, Schilling says that Mars has no IE etymology. I haven't deleted the Sanskrit ref yet, but it seems dubiously sourced. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:07, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Mallory and Adams loc. cit. mention it as a possible theory (it implies that the root is *Mamort- and Mavors is dissimilation, which is not impossible but is unlikely; it is also difficult to square with the agricultural cult). I don't think this should stand (although something like some have associated it with the Maruts, but there are etymological and substantive difficulties after the Italic derivation with possible IE might do.) Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:18, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I won't be working on that section unless a tidy, lucid, easy-to-pull bit falls on my head. So it awaits the attention of someone with greater diligence. Cynwolfe (talk) 19:50, 22 November 2010 (UTC)


I found some dubious and some untenable points.

Untenable: Mars's consort is not Nerio. Nerio is a feminine entity usually defined as his paredra along Moles and Heries like for other gods Hora and Virites Quirini, Heries (Martis) or Iovis, Salacia and Venilia Neptuni, Lua Saturni who were invoked by the pointiffs together with the god. They are considered generally to represent an aspect or the power of the god (cf. Latte as I quoted in di indigetes). According to Dumezil Nerio is an ancient IE word associated with a noun that in Latin did not survive but is attested in Greek aner, man and Vedic god Indra. Meaning not sexual virility but manliness in the sense of moral valour, bravery.

A disputed point is the agrarian interpretation of Mars. It has been presented at length by Dumezil and other subsequent French scholars. If one accepts Dumezil's trifunctional ideology underlying the structure of the archaic triad then clearly it is impossible to propose an agrarian interpretation of the nature of this god. He may well be related to human fertility as the divine ancestor worshipped by the Italic peoples, but certainly not as a god of agriculture: the function of agricultural fertility being proper of Ceres, Ops and in the archaic triad of Quirinus. Quirinus is in fact connected with the cult of Ops at the Consualia in which his flamen officiates.(Mars is called ferus in the carmen arvale: I read Schilling (in Bonnefoy) interprets this epithet as ferocious, violent and refuses the meaning of belonging to the wild. I am not so certain of this: see the meaning of Feronia, in fact is the goddess of the wilderness). Dumezil maintained Mars's agricultural function consisted in that of armed protection of crops: he explaines in this light Cato's prayer and the carmen arvale (sali limen, sta berber). On the different function of the two flamines of Mars and Quirinus Dumezil devotes an exhaustive discussion in his ARR. It is a fabled story that Palmer ever refused to read Dumezil, consequently to him they have remained obscure. The cults related to Mars were officiated by his flamen even though perhaps only the Equus October is certainly attested but other are probable (Armilustrium, Equirria) and those involving the flamen quirinalis were the Quirinalia known as Fornacalia, the Opiconsivia, the Larentalia, the Robigalia. This shows one god was a god of war and the other of agriculture, wealth, and civil life. Aldrasto11 (talk) 09:56, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Hm, well. As ever, you're interesting. I've read very little on this topic, and have no basis for disputing the conclusions of cited sources. Nor should the article attempt it; it's a summary of scholarship, nothing more, nothing less. As it stands, these issues have been presented briefly, cogently and clearly; their being "right" or "wrong" is subjective and immaterial. That applies whether Palmer read and rejected, or simply refused to read poor Dumezil – who of course is no longer in a position to read anything at all. If he was, he might debate the issue, and we could present the outcome. But he isn't, and we can't debate his or any other scholarly cause in article space. I will say, though, that if Dumezil's conclusions differ substantially from those of other sources, they can and probably should be represented – succinctly, of course, and without undue weight or favour. Haploidavey (talk) 15:52, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
One quick note before I fling myself into the Black Friday malestrom. The modern view of Mars' essential virility/masculinity/manliness is based in part on the mas, maris etymology, which Varro proffers. Although sexual potency is an element of his vis, as it is with Jupiter, Mars is obviously not a "sex god" like divinities commonly depicted with a phallus; rather, his virility is the complement to the femaleness of Venus, hence the popularity in Roman art of the scene of Venus and Mars in bed. The perception of Nerio as Mars' uxor is as old as Plautus; the process of personification is noted in the article. Cynwolfe (talk) 16:28, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
Dumezil passed away but his work and ideas are alive. French scholars (and part of Italian) accept and develop his hypotheses. That Palmer refused to read Dumezil is a known fact because he himself said it. See the article on various epithets of Iuno in ANRW by two Belgian scholars.
Mars is certainly a male god since a bull was sacrificed to him. However Nerio is certainly not connected with sexual virility or potency. Palmer says it is the equivalent of Latin virtus as connected to vis. It is in fact the equivalent (etymologically too) of Greek andreia i.e. the quality of valour and bravery. And Greek aner is not etymologically the equivalent of Latin vir. Iupiter was sexually ambiguous: He is called Ruminus and only white oxen are sacrificed to Him. The myth of Nerio as the consort passes through the identification of Nerio with Minerva as is shown by Ovid in the story of Anna Perenna.Aldrasto11 (talk) 10:51, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

On the inedibility of horses[edit]

The claim that the October Horse sacrifice to Mars is the sole example of an inedible offering needs to be justified. Horse meat is indeed edible, as anyone who has ever been to France knows well. Is the author claiming that horse meat is inedible, which is manifestly untrue, or is s/he claiming that the Romans *regarded* horse meat as inedible? If the former claim, this is incorrect and needs to be edited; if the latter claim, this needs to be backed up with citation. (talk) 10:14, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

(Just moving this comment down the page, where it'll be noticed). The passage is an accurate representation of its source, which confirms that the Romans regarded horse-flesh as abhorrent, thus inedible. I'll make that clear, and hope not to burden a very pleasantly written paragraph with more stilted prose. Haploidavey (talk) 12:27, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Preliminary to GA review[edit]

Although to me the GA nom for this article was premature, I've been trying to address some deficiencies in case a reviewer decides to go with it. Would like to hear some suggestions. Right now I'm working through the provincial epithets, and am wondering whether that list ought to be spun off into another article. I thought I'd just keep working through it in situ for now, but all opinions welcome. There are still some other aspects of Mars that ought to be covered, and some stronger citations are needed in spots. Cynwolfe (talk) 22:19, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

You're probably right the GA nomination is premature. (Just like those of Talk:Janus/GA1 and Jupiter. Is there any GA on a Roman god, by the way? If not, why don't people try to bring an easier article on a minor god, like Bellona, to GA quality, instead of nominating unfinished and complicated articles like Mars?)
That list of those provincial epithets doesn't necessarily have to be spun off to a new article. You can keep it where it is, because it doesn't seem contrary to any of the Wikipedia:Good article criteria. Nevertheless, if you prefer to move it into a new article (like Epithets of Jupiter), that's no problem either.
A few other remarks:
  • Some images at the left margin (i.e. "A bronze Mars from Gaul" and ""Mars Balearicus"") interfere with the bullets of the "Epithets" and "See also" lists
  • Several (sub)sections are particularly short (for instance: Priesthoods, In Roman religion). Couldn't they be expanded or merged with other (sub)sections.
  • The 8th C BC Mars is different from Ovid's 1st C AD Mars, who is not necessarily the same as the Mars depicted in art and literature up to the present day. I might be wrong, but aren't each of these (and other) Martes within the scope of this article?
    In other words, this article inludes Mars in Roman religion, Mars in mythology, and Mars in art and literature, and none of those aspects should be restricted to a certain period. It'll be quite difficult to discuss all of these subtopics in a single, coherent, and well written article that meets the GA criteria.
Anyway, thank you in advance for your intended work on this article. I'm sure you'll improve it! Michael! (talk) 09:24, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

Just wish to say that among the paredrae invoked by the pontiffs there is also Moles perhaps in the plural. I would expand: Etymology (list some hypotheses), In religion and Priesthoods.Aldrasto11 (talk) 01:01, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 25 April 2013[edit]

Add the following external link:

Lautensack (talk) 10:34, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

Edit request: Commons link[edit]

The current Commons link goes nowhere. Please replace it with

{{Commons category|Mars (deus)}} (talk) 20:41, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Mars (mythology)/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: North8000 (talk · contribs) 14:22, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

I'm starting a GA review of this article. North8000 (talk) 14:22, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Review discussion[edit]

Sorry I have not made a lot of comments on this. I'm wrestling with one sort of complex issue and am not sure what to say about it or recommend, and so have been planning to research how it has been handled in other similar article. This is tat the statements of mythology are put in as fact, without qualifiers. I'm sure there is a smoth and graceful way to handle this without prefacing every statement from mythology with "according to Greek mythology" Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 01:18, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

I really don't see what the problem is, but I tweaked the first sentence to state the frame of reference more clearly: that this is a figure from religion and myth, not a historical figure. The article presents the beliefs of the ancient Romans as described by modern scholars. Once the frame of reference is established, I really don't see what dangers you're trying to avoid. I might suggest, however, that you take a look at the articles Religion in ancient Rome and Roman mythology as background, since the only time the article should say "according to Greek mythology" is when a comparison is made to the myths of Ares. Cynwolfe (talk) 17:10, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Regarding your edit summary, I'm no expert in this field (and used the wrong term), I just volunteered to take on the has been waiting for over 3 months for someone to take it. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 17:22, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

GA criteria final checklist[edit]


  • Meets this criteria.North8000 (talk) 01:49, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

Factually accurate and verifiable

  • Meets this criteria. North8000 (talk) 01:49, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

Broad in its coverage

  • Meets this criteria.North8000 (talk) 01:50, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without bias, giving due weight to each

  • Meets this criteria. North8000 (talk) 01:51, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute

  • Meets this criteria. North8000 (talk) 18:17, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Illustrated, if possible, by images

  • Meets this criteria. Has 16 images. No non-free images, so no article-specific use-rationales are required.


This passes as a Wikipedia Good article. This article represents an immense amount of high quality work. North8000 (talk) 01:59, 3 July 2013 (UTC) Reviewer

This has passed as a Wikipedia Good Article[edit]

(this is "duplicated" here for when the review is no longer transcluded)

Congratulations, this has passed as a Wikipedia Good Article. This article represents an immense amount of quality work. North8000 (talk) 02:06, 3 July 2013 (UTC) Reviewer

Mars Medocius - Syrian Mars[edit]


I made a section on Syrian Mars that referenced the following information from the following source: The relevant info on this website is written below:


"To the god of the battlefields Mars Medocius,¹ and to the victory of [Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Severus] Alexander Pius Felix Augustus,² Lossius Veda the grandson of Vepogenus Caledos,³ placed [this] offering out of his own [funds]." (RIB 191; bronze ansate plate; dated: AD222-35)

1.This god is otherwise unknown in Britain, and may be of Syrian origin.

2.The emperor Alexander Severus, who was named Caesar by his cousin the extravagant young emperor Elagabalus in AD221, and was proclaimed emperor on 13th March the following year, after his cousin was murdered in Rome by elements of the praetorian guard. This emperor was to spend most of his rule fighting against the Persians in the east, the hereditary enemies of his ancestors who were of Syrian descent. Severus Alexander was murdered at Vicus Britannicus (Bretzenheim, Germany) by soldiers under the command of the usurper Maximinus Thrax in March 235. He was buried at Rome.

3.These names are obviously not Roman, and again may be Syrian in origin.

Why was it removed? Is the source unreliable? Or was it poorly written? Perhaps the ambiguity around whether the epithet is Syrian or not wasn't clear enough in the section?

15:13, 18 August 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Razumukhin (talkcontribs)

Ah, hold on - just seen that its been neatened up - sorry! Classic example of opening my mouth before I checked! D'oh!
Razumukhin (talk) 15:50, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
I removed the section, though I incorporated Mars Medocius into the Celtic list. The names are all recognizably Celtic to my inexpert but somewhat practiced eye, and I haven't found any scholarship to support a Syrian connection. The websites don't meet standards of RS for this topic, especially when they disagree with scholarly authorities. In addition, there were issues of undue weight. The epithet Medocius occurs once only, so it doesn't need an entire section. I'm quite sure there must be Syrian Marses under the Empire, but Medocius doesn't seem to be one. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:58, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I agree. Thanks! I was just trawling through pages that I'd edited when I noticed it had gone, and so I went and flagged it up on the talk page without checking what you'd actually done! Razumukhin (talk) 16:07, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
My edit summaries were insufficiently informative. German Wikipedia has a little article on Medocius. I've misplaced my copy of Xavier Delamarre's Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise so I can't see at the moment whether he deals with any of the personal names. I seem to recall Lossio[s] as a well-attested Celtic personal name, as well as an element Vep-; there are certainly Celtic names that end in genos. The Veda I don't know. For Caledo see the entry on Calidones in Koch's Celtic Culture: An Encyclopedia, pp. 332–333. I'm not sure why the website is so sure this must be Syrian; compare the multicultural inscription discussed at Languages of the Roman Empire#Multilingualism for an interesting example of Syrian Aramaic in Britain. Someday I'm going to post an article on the Campestres; a Mars Campester appears in an inscription in Roman Spain. So the two interpretations I've found for Campesium are included in the entry. Cynwolfe (talk) 16:50, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
The website has a list of sources (yet without indicating in the text where these have been cited), two of which sound like they might be the source of the "Syrian" interpretation for the epitaph and personal name in the inscription: The Romans in Britain - An Anthology of Inscriptions by A.R. Burn (Blackwell, Oxford, 1969) and The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965). I don't know if you've come across them? At any rate, it sounds like you've been very thorough in your delvings, so the current position of Mars Medocius in the article is justified. Razumukhin (talk) 20:23, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't have access to either of those at present. I don't feel that I've been thorough, so please don't hesitate to do more. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:16, 19 August 2014 (UTC)