Mars was the god of war and also an agricultural guardian.
Symbols: Spear and shield
Parents: Jupiter and Juno
Siblings: Apollo, Bacchus, Bellona, Diana, Hercules, Minerva, Vulcan
Consort: Nerio, Venus, Rhea Silvia, Bellona
Children: Romulus and Remus
Greek equivalent: Ares
Festivals: Agonalia, Armilustrium, Equirria, Equus Octobris, Mamuralia, Tubilustrium
He was second in importance only to Jupiter and he was the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman army. Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Martius), and in October, which began the season for military campaigning and ended the season for farming respectively.
Although Ares was viewed primarily as a destructive and destabilizing force, Mars represented military power as a way to secure peace, and was a father (pater) of the Roman people. In the mythic genealogy and founding myths of Rome, Mars was the father of Romulus and Remus with Rhea Silvia. His love affair with Venus symbolically reconciled the two different traditions of Rome’s founding; Venus was the divine mother of the hero Aeneas, celebrated as the Trojan refugee who “founded” Rome several generations before Romulus laid out the city walls.
The importance of Mars in establishing religious and cultural identity within the Roman Empire is indicated by the vast number of inscriptions identifying him with a local deity, particularly in the Western provinces.