What can we learn about the early west from this
To the Greeks, Ares was not merely a symbol, a story-element, or a character. To the Greeks, Ares was a god
It’s something Real from the old psyche that’s been lost. Ares is more of berserker type than a military strategist. For that reason even in Homer’s time he was seen as a more primitive god. You might think of Ajax rather than Odysseus. Ares is the god of juggernauts, of an almost blind bloodlust. Nonetheless, that had its place in human experience for the Greeks, even so that there were widespread instances of Ares cults.
Think of the hoplite formation
Jungle peoples didn’t have order like that. Wars were a lot more disorganized with them. It’s only when the hoplite formation breaks down that people start to go full Ares. If you think about war in the middle east, I doubt much “berserkerism” has occurred warfare is so scientific in modern times. A suicide-bomber is closer to Ares than someone controlling a drone.
I always talk about different conceptions of lawlessness. Nothing says lawlessness like war, and that’s what Ares is the personification of. In both Homer and Hesiod the over-preoccupation with Ares is stigmatized, for reasons you can probably imagine. No one wants a society of murderers- the only point of war is because you want a peaceful society without having to worry about murderers. If Collapse does occur you probably will want to find yourself in an Ares cult otherwise you will be the victim of one.
These two gods in particular were often synthesized
in Eumenides, Athena is represented as taming Ares, in order to channel his power in the city’s service.
I wonder why Athens had to surrender to Sparta
Euripides counters his picture of Ares as a civic deity with a striking choral depiction of war as a grotesque parody of a Bacchic festival
Laughter itself is almost something nihilistic when you juxtapose Aeschylus and Sophocles with Euripides and Aristophanes. Nothing is serious, nothing is sacred. If anyone knew Ares it was the Spartans. They were busy trying to create new gods when the god of war put them to the sword. Realpolitik.
Why Ares is not Zeus
The heroes are the warriors who conquer war’s chaos in order to protect their people.
On the other hand, there are things that call for war, and you can only protect your people if you have a war in the first place, thus Ares is one of the twelve gods in the pantheon.
What’s clear to me is that Ares mostly only exists in a verbal and textual form in the present west, and he’s used to maintain the hegemony of “Eteocles”. We could only be so lucky if the seven against Thebes worshiped Ares. With the seven it’s mostly a Euripidean nihilism that takes nothing truly seriously. That “stoppage inside the head” I brought up in my Pound post? They don’t really care if that happens. It’s mostly already happened to them. If they cared they’d challenge Eteocles, and they never do. If they do challenge him it’s in a filtered way, like how I showed above, where Athena tames Ares. Click here if you want to learn more about this old fragment of the self. If the idea of the systematic increase of “stoppage” that’s in place in the west doesn’t make you want to go into berserker mode then you’re already lost.