Posted by: episystechpubs | September 11, 2013

Editor’s Corner: Mars

Let’s return today to the symbols of planets we covered while talking about capitalization. Since I covered Venus (♀)

last time, it seems only right to talk about her planetary mate, Mars. The symbol for Mars is also the alchemical symbol for iron, and the biological symbol for man:

As the symbol for Venus represented the mirror the goddess held, the symbol for Mars represents the Roman god’s shield and spear. Though both the Roman god Mars (and his Greek equivalent Ares) represent the god of war, the two cultures regarded the god of war differently. Mars was considered the father of the Roman people and was highly regarded and dignified in ancient religion as a “guardian diety.” The Greek myths don’t spend much time on Ares. While his sister, the goddess Athena represented strategy and wisdom in war, Ares represented raw strength, violence, carnage, and the untamed.

Ares (Mars) minus his spear

One of the most interesting aspects of Mars is the two moons: Deimos and Phobos. Indeed, these two moons (probably former asteroids that became stuck in Mars’ gravity) revolve around the planet Mars; however they are also part of mythology. In Greek mythology, Ares (Mars) and Aphrodite (Venus) “got together” and became the proud parents of two boys, Deimos (which means “terror” or “dread”) and Phobos (which means “fear,” as in “phobia”). Deimos and Phobos followed their father into battle, as the moons named after them follow the planet Mars in the solar system.

Ares (middle), Phobos, and Deimos

Kara Church

Senior Technical Editor


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