Ares was the Greek God of war and perhaps the most unpopular of all the gods of Olympus due to his explosive temperament, his aggressiveness and his insatiable thirst for conflict. He is famous for having seduced Aphrodite, having fought without success with Hercules and having enraged Poseidon killing his son Hallerotio. Being one of the most human Olympic gods, it was a recurring theme in Greek art and even more in Roman times, when he adopted a much more serious aspect like Mars, the Roman God of war.
Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera, and his sisters were Hebe and Illithia. Despite being a god, the Greeks considered him to come from Thrace, perhaps in an attempt to associate him with what they considered war-loving foreign peoples, totally different from them. Ares had several children with different partners, several of whom had the bad luck of facing Hercules when he performed his famous twelve labors. Ares's daughter, Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons, lost her girdle to Hercules; Eurytion, her other son, lost his cattle; and the Greek hero stole Diomedes's horses. The brave but warlike Amazons were also thought to be descendants of Ares.
The most popular myth in which Ares appears is his fight with Hercules. Ares's son, Cycnus, became famous for robbing pilgrims on their way to the oracle at Delphi, earning the displeasure of Apollo, who sent Hercules to deal with him. Hercules killed Cycnus, so a furious Ares engaged the hero in a fight. However, Hercules was protected by Athena and even managed to hurt Ares. Another embarrassing myth and episode for Ares was his capture by the giant twins Ephialtes and Oto when they stormed Mount Olympus. The god was imprisoned in a bronze jug (or cauldron) for a year and was only released through the intervention of Hermes.