Mars - Lore, Myths, and Legends

About Mars, lore, myths, legends, and theories from different cultures.


Lore: The brilliant red color of Mars, symbolic of fire and of blood, gave the planet a remarkably uniform interpretation throughout early astronomy. To the Chaldeans it was Nergal, the god of battle and of the dead, and to the Persians the planet was Pahlavani Siphir, the Celestial Warrior. Both the Greek Ares and the Roman Mars were the god of war. Even the symbol for Mars (?), also used to denote the male gender in biology and botany, is believed to be a military symbol, composed of shield and spear.

Such a god was to be respected and placated. The Sabians, a religious sect that originated among the Persians and Chaldeans, expressed this attitude most intensely. Dressed in red, they smeared themselves with blood, carried naked swords or daggers, and met on the day of the week named for Mars (in English this is Tuesday, from the German word for the god of war). The ideas of the Sabians spread as far westward as Rome, although they eventually declined because of Christian rejection of star worship.

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