Many of the dark Gods of War resided in the dark, terrifying depths of the Underworld and in Tartarus (Hell), the place of punishment where wicked souls suffered endless punishment and torture.
The Greek Gods of War
According to ancient Greek mythology the Gods of War spanned several generations consisting of three major dynasties :
- The First dynasty of Ancient Greek Gods were the Primeval or Primordial deities
- The Second dynasty were the Titans
- The Third dynasty were the famous Olympian gods
The Gods of War and death detailed in this article are from all of these generations.
Greek Goddesses and Gods of War
Ancient Greek war gods and goddesses performed various tasks and functions. These functions and tasks included the Keres, or “Death Fates” who were the 'scavengers of the battlefield who defiled the dead' and Eris, the Primordial goddess of battle strife and feuds. Goddesses and gods of war also personified the feelings associated with war such as terror, panic, dread, fear, shock, trauma, confusion and sheer terror.
Greek Goddesses and Gods of War - The Theoi Polemikoi
Theoi Polemikoi is the English version of a Greek phrase for Deities who include within their primary functions issues of War. The Theoi Polemikoi were therefore the gods of war. The Greek goddesses and gods of war were led by Ares and Athena, and included various war gods including Eris (Strife), Deimos (Terror) and Phobos (Fear). The Theoi Polemikoi also those gods that had specific wartime functions such as Zeus, as the god of fate, Nike, goddess of Victory and Apollo, the god of archery.
Roles and Names of the Gods of War
Many Gods of War feature in Ancient Greek mythology. The following list details the roles and names of the ancient Greek Goddesses and Gods of War, providing a list detailing fascinating additional info to increase your knowledge about Gods of War who featured in Greek Mythology and legend.
Ares was the god of war and battle, the patron of warriors. He is depicted as a powerful, strong war god who rode a chariot drawn by four gold-bridled fire-breathing stallions who were called Aithon (Red-Fire), Phlogios (Flame), Konabos (Tumult) and Phobos (Panic and Flight).
Athena is best known as the goddess of wisdom but she was also the goddess of strategic warfare
Wartime function as the god of fate
Wartime function as the god of archery. He was also the god of plague
The Furies, Megaera, Tisiphone and Alecto, were the tormentors and punishers of the souls in Tartarus. The Furies acted as agents of the Fates (Moirai), exacting the punishments decreed by the gods and were also associated with the Keres, the 'Death Spirits'.
The Keres, or “Death Fates” were 'scavengers of the battlefield who defiled the dead'. "Their hearts were glutted with human blood: they threw away the corpse and back to the tumult and fighting they rushed, in new desire"
Wartime function as the weavers of fate who determined when life began, when it ended and all that happened in-between.
Nike was the winged goddess of victory, strength and speed identified with victory on the battlefield
Enyalius was a minor god of war and attendant of Ares
Enyo was a minor goddess of war and female battle attendant of Ares
Erebus was the first god of the Underworld, a primordial deity associated with darkness and death
Eris the goddess of Discord, quarrels and feuds. Eris personified all chaos and strife resulting in the warfare, death, unhappiness and pain.
Nemesis was the avenging goddess of Divine Retribution. The Roman counterpart for Nemesis was Invidia, who was the patroness of gladiators
Oizys, goddess of misery distress, anxiety and worry. She played her part in the causes of wars and disharmony and feuds between families and friends.
The malevolent god of fear and panic who brought alarm, confusion and dismay to the battlefields of mortals.
Deimos, brother of Phobos, was the God of terror who instilled fear, terror, dread and panic resulting in a loss of control during wars and conflicts.
Moros was the god of Impending Doom who brought menacing feelings of panic, hopelessness, and helplessness. He represented the inescapable feeling in mortals of meeting their appointed death and destruction
Kydoimos was the personification of confusion and uproar
Homados was the personification of the noise of battle, the shouts and cries of men and clash of weapons
Palioxis was the goddess of backrush, flight and retreat from battle
Proioxis, the sister of Palioxis, presided over the surge of battle and was the war goddess of onrush and battlefield pursuit
Alala was was the female personification of the war cry or battle cry
Polemos was a god of war, civil battle, the brother of Enyo and the father of Alala, goddess of the battle-cry
The Titan God of warfare and warcraft
Perses was the Titan god of destruction.
Cratus was a winged enforcer of Zeus, the Titan son of Pallas and Styx and the personification of strength and power. His siblings were Nike ("victory"), Bia ("force"), and Zelus ("zeal")
Bia was a winged enforcer of Zeus, the Titan daughter of Pallas and Styx and the personification of force. Her siblings were Nike ("victory"), Cratus ("strength and power"), and Zelus ("zeal")
Zelus was a winged enforcer of Zeus, the Titan son of Pallas and Styx and the personification of envy, jealousy, and zeal. His siblings were Nike ("victory"), Cratus ("strength and power"), and Bia ("force")
The Androktasia were the daughters of Eris and the female personifications of slaughter on the battlefield
The Machai were the gods of battles
The Amphilogiai were the goddesses of disputes
The Hysminai were the gods of fights
The Phonoi were the gods of murders
Gods of War - Battles of the Gods
The Ancient Greek gods themselves were not immune to war. Whilst the gods were immortal, and therefore lived forever, they were also vulnerable. The ancient Greek gods could be wounded but they could not be killed. They had to be imprisoned or forced to leave the provinces of the gods. Each dynasty and generation of gods were overthrown by the following, younger generation. The Battle of the Titans (called the Titanomachy) was a war that was fought between the first primeval deities of Ancient Greece (the TItans) and the gods and goddesses who would become known as the Olympians. The Gigantes then made war on the gods of Mount Olympus that is referred to as the Battle of the Giants or the Gigantomachy.