athena vs ares
i’ve seen this common mistake everywhere where when athena is referred to as a war goddess, people will say “no she’s the wisdom goddess, ares is the god of war,” and you’re not wrong. she is the goddess of wisdom but she is also a war goddess. so here’s the difference between athena’s “war” and ares’ “war.”
athena is a strategist, the tactician: she represented the ‘higher’ arts of warfare, and was also known as a patron of the ‘hero.’ she guided and supported those who did heroic deeds and was instrumental in demi-gods beating their monsters. (perseus’ and medusa), while aiding heracles during his twelve labours, and enabling achilles to defeat hector. she thinks along the lines of cunningness and not just pure violence without thought.
now ares is a much bigger difference. he represents the brutality and violence of war. it doesn’t matter who is at the end of the brutality. he enjoys it, i mean his chariot is pulled by horses that are red (the color of blood). he isn’t smart or cunning (often he is alongside another deity that will aid him in this aspect or help along with his victory like nike), he uses cruel violence. this displays who worshipped him (which surprise, wasn’t many; he didn’t have many temples either)
also so it’s clarified; greek mythology has many gods, goddesses, or deities that share aspects of the same thing. hekate and artemis share the moon aspect as goddesses, athena, hephaestus, and techne (all deities of arts)
Ares: I vote we-
Athena: No, sorry, and no offense, Ares, but the stakes here are too high to let someone with your limited intellectual processing capacity weigh in.
Ares: I was gonna agree with you.
Athena: Oh, great, well, that's two votes for my plan.
Hestia, virgin goddess of the hearth and the home.
Listen, this is a very specific topic to be iffy about, but for your knowledge, the Roman gods are not the Greek gods.
The Romans were big on syncretism (the combination of different forms of belief or intellectual thought) and the adoption of foreign gods. The Greek deities were known since very early periods via the Etruscan culture, which was heavily influenced by Greece since the middle of the 8th century BC because of trade routes as well as the Greek cultural potential and would come to be completely engulfed around the third century BC with the Roman-Etruscan wars, but just like you’d see the Romans claiming the Germanic tribes worshipped their own gods under different names (the Germania by Roman historian Tacitus, written around 98 AD), the same happened here, and the fusion wasn’t 100% accurate.
While in the case of Zeus and Jupiter, for example, it worked well, Venus is far more motherly and political than Aphrodite (as Mars is the Father of Rome via the myth of Romulus and Remus, Venus is Venus Genetrix, Venus the Mother, and the only time you’ll see Aphrodite being motherly is in... the Aeneid, a distinctively Roman piece), Mars is an agricultural god as well as the god of war and has way more political connotations than Ares (he was a member of the archaic Capitoline Triad), Mercury is far more linked with commerce than the more pastoral Hermes, and the list goes on. Apollo was imported directly and very early (a temple for him, the Temple of Apollo Sosianus, was erected in the city of Rome as early as 431 BC), thus keeping the name but undergoing a very distinct Romanization of his attributes and worship. Janus, Quirinus and Terminus were very important Roman gods which had no Greek equivalent.
Isis, for example, was worshipped as herself, equated with a number of deities in both the Greek and the Roman worlds and some of her methods of worship and symbolism were associated with the Virgin Mary. It’s a far more complicated scenario, babes, especially when you consider Alexander’s conquests and the expansion of Hellenistic culture as well as its contact with many other cultures.
Syncretism is way more complicated than “the Romans just stole the Greek gods and gave them different names, the uncreative fucks”. The traditional date for Rome’s foundation is 753 BC and the Western Roman Empire would last until 436 AD. That’s over a thousand years of conquest, trade and growing and shrinking territories, and none of these factors are likely to leave a religion unaltered.
Besides, the practice of religious syncretism is way older and more common than you’d expect. The Akkadians did it to Summerian deities a few thousand years before this especially after the conquest of Sargon of Akkad in 2340 BC ("Mesopotamia: the Sumerians". Washington State University). The Greeks were doing much the same with the Roman pantheon itself (Dionysus of Halicarnassus and Plutarch use Greek names for Roman cult), with the Egyptian pantheon and with the Scythian pantheon (Herodotus in both cases, though the associations would outlive him, such as the case of Zeus/Amon).
So, no the Roman gods aren’t the plagiarized versions of the Greek gods, and I could defend this in front of a jury.
[at a parent-teacher conference]
Teacher: Hebe is an absolute delight, but she��s started to say some swear words
Hera: okay, I’ll talk to her
Hera: Hebe, where the fuck did you learn to say such foul shit??
Helios, sliding into the passenger seat: Wait. Do you have a driver's license?
Apollo, hands on the wheel: [evil laugh]