Ares - Names and Epithets

Names and Epithets

The etymology of the name Ares is traditionally connected with the Greek word ἀρή (arē), the Ionic form of the Doric ἀρά (ara), "bane, ruin, curse, imprecation". There may also be a connection with the Roman god of war Mars, via hypothetical Proto-Indo-European *M̥rēs; compare Ancient Greek μάρναμαι (marnamai), "to fight, to battle", or Punjabi maarna (to kill, to hit). Walter Burkert notes that "Ares is apparently an ancient abstract noun meaning throng of battle, war." The earliest attested form of the name is the Mycenaean Greek a-re, written in Linear B syllabic script.

The adjectival epithet Areios was frequently appended to the names of other gods when they take on a warrior aspect or become involved in warfare: Zeus Areios, Athena Areia, even Aphrodite Areia. In the Iliad, the word ares is used as a common noun synonymous with "battle."

Inscriptions as early as Mycenaean times, and continuing into the Classical period, attest to Enyalios, another name for the god of war.

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Famous quotes containing the words epithets and/or names:

    Horribly stuffed with epithets of war.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

    Consider the islands bearing the names of all the saints, bristling with forts like chestnut-burs, or Echinidæ, yet the police will not let a couple of Irishmen have a private sparring- match on one of them, as it is a government monopoly; all the great seaports are in a boxing attitude, and you must sail prudently between two tiers of stony knuckles before you come to feel the warmth of their breasts.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)