The Roman god Mars was one of the most important deities in the Roman pantheon – directly associated with the art of war (hence the English word “martial arts” for example). Tuesday was named after him and still is in romance languages (eg
Italian “Martedì”, Spanish “Martes” and French “Mardi”) and indeed the month of March
in the Roman calendar
given that in the most ancient of Roman times, when Roman militia
was still formed of Roman citizen farmers
, the war season was closely dictated by the weather and agricultural season.
In Roman mythology Mars was frequently portrayed in his illicit relationship with Venus goddess of love, behind the back of her maimed husbandVulcan. Myth would have it that Vulcan caught them red handed by casting a net over them and the other deities looked on to deride the lovers.
Notwithstanding an evident Roman devotion to war it is curious to notice that the Capitoline Triad of deities included Jupiter, Juno and Minerva; not Mars. The Goddess Bellona was also closely associated with war.