previous.gif     next.gif    


by Alfred de Grazia




A Homeric hymn addressed Ares:

"who whirl your fiery sphere among the planets in their sevenfold courses through the aether wherein your blazing steeds ever bear your above the third firmament of heaven." [1]

Ares had many names and epithets in and among the peoples of the world. He is Mars of the Romans, Nergal of the Babylonians, Gokihar (and Indra) of the Hindus, Odin of the Teutons, Huitzilopochtili of the Aztecs, and the Archangel Gabriel of the Jews. In Babylonia, writes P. F. Gossmann, he is Nergal, and also Era, Irra, and Death [2] . Odin had over fifty names and epithets. This Gokihar of the Hindus was "born of the wolf," was a "special disturber of the Moon," and became involved in yuddha, which in ancient Hindu astronomy meant a clash of planets in conjunction [3] .


Ares, scholars typically assert, was the simplest character among the Olympian gods. Ares means in Greek "male warrior." Eris, "strife," is his sister. He is bloodthirsty, ruthless, warlike, fleet, ruddy, and, of course, well-muscled. He is drunken, quarrelsome, impetuous, and a favorite lover of Aphrodite; he had a number of children by her and other women.

"Rushing Stars" often appear to the vision as swords Ares seemed especially prone to the sword. Velikovsky expounds the theme of the sword in the international background of Ares. He quotes a hymn to Nergal:

Shine of horror, god Nergal, prince of battle, Thy face is glare, thy mouth is fire, Raging Flame-god, god Nergal.

Thou art Anguish and Terror, Great Sword-god Lord who wanderest in the night, Horrible, raging Flame-god... Whose storming is a storm flood [4] .

Of the Scythians, Solinus wrote: "The god of this people is Mars; instead of images they worship swords." [5] . Herodotus tells that they sacrificed human beings and poured their blood upon the sacred sword.

The Romans, sons of Mars, perfected their sword, a short, straight, double-edged steel weapon with an obtuse-angled point. Their drill, their fighting formations, and their tactics were based upon the sword in the hand of the legionnaire.

The male-chauvinist Greeks and Romans made Mars out to be a handsome athletic lover. He both vanquished and loved Aphrodite-Venus. The sword is a phallic symbol by an easy stretch of the imagination: a "dashing young blade" and "a swordsman" are used in vernacular epithets today of the sexually eager pursuers of women.

Homer, pro-Athena, grants her the victory over Ares in his epics, but around the world, Mars is victor more than vanquished because planet Athena never threatened Earth again after the age of Mars. Ares was called "Alloprosallos" because he fought indiscriminately, without principle, "on one side or the other."

We have pointed to Odysseus in his wanderings as the representative of Athena in her planetary behavior over the centuries. It would be well to investigate Hercules as the representative of Ares, performing an analogous set of tasks. Although his exploits find him sometimes assisted by Athena and in opposition to Ares, he is said to be Mars himself by Eratosthenes and Varro, the ancient commentators. Hercules, son of Zeus, wanders and is directed over much of the world. He destroys Pylos; he captures Troy in a preview of the Trojan War. At times he goes mad, explicitly so. His stories often do parallel the probably older Babylonian Gilgamish, but his exploits are sometimes transferred to the western regions where the Greeks have gone in large numbers. Indeed Hercules is engaged in measuring the new dimensions of the world.

Hercules spawns the Heraclids who are identifiable with the Dorian invaders (reinvaders) of post-Mycenaean Greek places in the period following the planetary disasters visited upon earth in the eighth and seventh centuries. More than Odysseus, Hercules is one of our crazed heroes of the catastrophic generation, just as his godhead is a cause of the catastrophes.

Gods, like people, have different reputations depending upon whom you ask about them. Priests, poets, and people - all have a say. Gods have a good side and a bad side. In the case of Aphrodite - sheer beauty and concupiscence may pass for good in the later Greek lexicon, whereas sheer irresponsibility denominates evil. In the case of Ares, physical beauty combine with swift force on the good side; ruthless destructiveness highlights the bad.

The terrible presence of Mars attended the birth of Rome and warranted him a longer and more fateful career than the Greeks could afford him. The Judeans, striving for monotheism, incorporated the visitations of Mars variously - now as a divine intervention of the Lord (and the archangels) against the army of Sennacherib, blasting it to death, then again as a divine retribution for a collective "immorality" that the population and its rulers appeared to exhibit prior to each natural or human disaster visited upon them [6] .

Good and bad traits of a god are, hence, a combination of what happened alike to a set of cultures, what happened differently to them, and whether in either event what happened chanced to be good or bad in its contemporary historical circumstances [7] . Also, the fear of offending a god brought about the coinage of multiple names and related gods, so that good and bad epithets might be buried in obscure and "innocent" references.


Let us examine more closely the present and possible prior condition of the "blood-stained stormer of walls" as the Iliad called Ares. The state of Mars today is known not only by means of transcribed legends, but by telescopes and space explorations.

Ancient history, myth, and theology have advised what to expect in general. They suggest that Mars underwent severe electrical encounters and some exchanges of material involving Venus, Moon and Earth. Its satellites entered the picture as the Steeds of Mars, the Maruts, etc., terrifying "animals" or "angels" indeed, if we heed the ancient accounts. J. Ziegler, a physicist interpreting the Hindu Vedas, finds the "Maruts" to be electrical phenomena, or at least short-circuits and resistors for cosmic electricity [8] .

The two satellites of Mars are rough rocks of small size. Today they are called Phobos (fear) and Deimos (rout), names given to the steeds of Mars by the ancients. There is some likelihood that, although they are invisible now, the ancients may have recognized them [9] . Legend has it that they are the sons of Aphrodite . Hence we must raise the possibility that they were engendered in the Love Affair, the lovers' last encounters. Just as some mascons of the Moon may have been welded upon it by interplanetary thunderbolts, the sons of Aphrodite and Mars may have been exploded from the Moon and carried off by their father. They were part of a frightful bombardment of debris and ball-lightning which Earth suffered in the days of the Vedas and the Hebrew Prophets [10] .

Velikovsky wrote in 1950 that an atmosphere, now residual, existed on Mars and that organic carbons may characterize the polar caps. Soviet sources now report that a considerable proportion of the thin Martian atmosphere is of argon. Recent photographs indicate that the polar caps, which advance and retreat seasonally, are composed of solid carbon dioxide with possibly some ice beneath [11] . In Solaria Binaria, Milton and I speculate that all planets have had experience with life forms. That the surface of Mars was devastated beyond recognition and beyond any remaining possibility of "higher" forms of life is consistent with the legendary damage done to the warrior god, and also with the legend concerning the removal of Venus from an orbit that threatened Earth.

As was remarked in Chapter Six, a heavy contamination of the carbon constant was noted to have occurred in the 8th century B. C. This might result from several causes, granted the near presence of Mars in the sky. Electrical and geological disturbances on Earth and material and atmospheric exchanges among Earth, Moon and mars are suggested. Electrical charges can assemble and disassemble molecules of many different types. As a smaller planet, Mars was much larger than Moon and might devastate it, but be equally devastated in turn by Earth. In the heavens, even more than among men, the larger force strips the smaller.

The present features of Mars are becoming known and even give hints of what it might have lost 3200 years ago. First its geosphere. The mariner IX flight (1972) that provided year-long observations by camera in orbit provide evidence that, in Velikovsky's words (1950), "Mars has been subjected to stress, heating and bubbling activity in recent times." [12] . Also that hot spots of presumed radioactivity would be found as evidences of electrical exchanges [13] . The cracks of Mars, concentrated upon one face and along the equator, appeared quite fresh to the readers of its photographs. Little erosion has occurred. It was as if, some said, a highly vigorous water system had carved itself onto Mars' face and then all the water had been instantly removed.

How fresh is "fresh"? No one will speak up, unless one has a prior theory (the Velikovsky position). The uniformitarians are hesitant.

"One week?"
"Impossible, we would have photographed it."
"One century?"
"No, we would have observed something going on through our telescopes."
"One-two-three thousand years?"
"Events of this magnitude even then would have caused apparitions that are neither recorded nor geologically possible if not observed."
"Apparitions were observed in the eighth and seventh centuries B. C. respecting Mars."
"That is astronomically impossible."
"Well, how fresh is fresh, then, do tell?"
"Fresh is millions of years. It has to be."
"What happened then?"
"We don't know, but we know that you cannot know either."

As Eugene Rabinowitch, physicist and editor of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists once wrote, historical evidence is "inevitably tentative and often controversial matter." [14] "I see.. Unlike historical geology."

The "erosion," "vulcanism," or devastation of Mars is most impressive, by earthly standards. Its major feature consists of a canyon running along the equator for nearly 2200 miles in a sinuous line that brings the "crack" to 3300 miles. The canyon, called Coprates, is over 300 miles wide near its center, and about 4 miles deep. Proceeding beyond the canyon and various associated faults with the same general orientation, one encounters "volcanoes" of massive diameters and great heights relative to earthly experience. Nix Olympica, previously believed to be a crater, appears now to have a base that is 300 miles wide and a 100-mile peak. The Island of Hawaii, the world's largest volcano, can be easily lost in it, along with Fujiyama, Vesuvius, and Etna.

The response of the scientific establishment to the evidence produced by its own work may have been predicted but is continually frustrating. It is not only that conventional hypotheses are advanced, but that they are exclusively employed. For example, an article by Bruce C. Murray in the Scientific American of January 1973 is possessed of full documentation from the flight of Mariner IX and illuminated by all the graphic tools that imagination and skillful hypothetical speculation might demand. The article describes the enormous canyons and craters, and a number of features of the battered Martian hemisphere.

But faced with the facts, the same author reverts to conventional theory. He accepts the eternal, unchanging order of the heavens. He resorts to internal heat and vulcanism. He wonders at the sudden burst of activity that must have erupted upon an earth-like atmosphere and that produced canyons, craters, and liquid flows in dozens of meandering rifts by a single event. Then a sudden freeze, et voilà, the present surface of Mars. The author says he cannot believe this could happen but he is forced to believe in miracle. The "waters" that "produced" the vast canyon and rift system are nowhere to be found, nor is there evidence that they existed. Further, the "waters" would have existed solely in one region of the Martian surface.

The claim is made that Mars has no magnetic field, yet the enormous dust storms that howl over the planet go unexplained, too. The cameras of Mariner IX circled the planet for weeks before the dust settled enough to photograph the surface. Now would not cavities miles deep and many miles across, and craters that would contain cosily the great cities of Earth offer a settling place for this dust? How does this dust pick itself up and fly about the planet? And, if it is once up, and accelerated in a vacuous atmosphere, whatever brings it down? It would seem reasonable to assume that the Martian "atmosphere" is capable of regular electrical phenomena such as produce clouds, winds and tides on Earth even if the constituent material is so humble as to be called "dust." In fact, as Ralph Juergens has mentioned, airborne dust is an ideal medium in which to "brew" electrical discharges [15] .

Nor, for that matter, is Murray perturbed by the fact that the carbon dioxide caps photographed at the poles of Mars are a couple of hundreds of kilometers off center. Here, again, is evidence of a tilting of the axis of the planet. The obvious hypothesis is that Mars was intruded upon externally in recent times; and suffered an axial tilt. The polar caps have not had time to reassemble around the true geographic poles.

Furthermore "Mariner 9's pictures also disclosed a most peculiar terrain in the south polar area... It covers much of the south polar region up to about 70 degrees south latitude. The laminated terrain is composed of very thick layers, alternately light and dark, whose gently sloping faces exhibit a certain amount of texture, or relief." [16] These "plates" are perhaps half a kilometer thick and up to 200 kilometers across, with slopes that face outward. They exist only in the polar regions. They have few impact craters.

To our eyes the feature appears as a frosting to a turning cake applied erratically by a baker between filing orders, each layer flowing out and hardening before the next diminished batch was poured over the center. In the wintertime of mars, the error is partially concealed by a coating of carbon dioxide. These laminated plates may well reflect a series of meltings of the Martian surface, produced concurrently with a series of axial tilts. If in the six or seven near passes of Mars with Earth, the Earth's axis tilted twice (or, for that matter, not at all), the possibility of more numerous changes in the Martian axis of rotation would be greater.

However, there is also to be considered, given the thermal melting of the surface, the possibility that a period of axial wobbling from a single blow would produce the "start-stop" effect observable on the poured-out area. The thermal melting itself might have been produced by the rush of electrons to the poles of Mars, when, with a negatively charged surface, Mars approached other like-charged bodies, especially Moon, equatorially; there the electrons would pour out into space inciting discharges upon encounter with the positive ions that had been contained from them hitherto by a neutral belt.

Whereupon we return to the main features of the devastation of "fiery, bridling" Mars: the canyons and crater system. None of the hundreds of Mariner-watchers who have spoken up under establishment sponsorship by the time these words are written have dared to mention an external force. Much more is at stake for the human mind than a scientific theory; Holy Dreamtime is threatened if a disorderly cosmos is recalled. Only a few non-establishment scientists, almost exclusively sympathizers with the ideas of Velikovsky, were quick to recognize how relevant were the materials of Mariner 9 to the theory of an erratic cosmos.

Allan Kelly has described what may have happened to create the gigantic canyon of Coprates. He had written, with Frank Dachille, a seminal book on comets and geology in 1953, and has lately come to regard close-encounter as important as collision in the carving of planetary surface [17] . An "Intruder (much more massive than Mars) was traveling in the same direction as Mars and in nearly the same direction as the Martian rotation about its axis. This nearly parallel movement of the two bodies provided a relatively long period of time in which the gravitational force could act... As the two bodies approached each other, the gravitational power of the Intruder suddenly came to a focus [we would say "arrived at a sufficient intensity"] on the surface of Mars, ripping off the crust in a swirling motion beginning at the eastern end of the canyon called Coprates." Mars was zipped open. The sinuous "unzipping" we would imagine to be the effect of erratic jostling between Mars and the Intruder.

From the wound crustal material exploded and lava flowed. Possibly the satellites of Mars, with their rough shapes, blew out at this time along with a stream of material that was not recaptured. The metaphor of the unzippering of Mars reminds one of the battle of the gods in the Iliad, when Pallas Athena charged Ares and cast her spear "mightily against his nethermost belly," upon which "the brazen Ares bellowed loud as nine thousand or ten thousand warriors cry in battle, when they join in the strife of the Wargod." And Homer adds, marvelously, "Even as a black darkness appears from the clouds when after heat a blustering wind arises, even thus... did brazen Ares appear as he made his way among the clouds towards the sky."

As for the "volcanoes" of Mars, Kelly argues, these number twenty and all except one are found along the same straight line, but at some distance from the unzippered canyon. These Kelly explains as being created by related, gravitationally induced, explosions produced as the Intruder pulled away from Mars.

In the Iliad (Books XX and XXI) we find additional details of the fighting between Athena and Ares. Athena screams great war cries (one thinks of Wagner's Valkyrie). Ares comes "spouting" against her, shrieking to his Trojans, and leaps at her with his spear, driving it into her tasseled aegis. She gives ground, but smites him on the neck with a huge rock that "loosed his limbs," or, as we say, "shook him from head to foot." When Aphrodite tried to help him off the battlefield, she too was struck by the hand of Athena and her heart melted.

Planet Athena-Venus was probably the Intruder that devastated Mars. The Earth, while doing damage also, was too remote to have produced the Coprates complex. Yet it may be incorrect to believe that the Coprates complex was a product of gravitational explosion alone. Electrical forces were assisting. True, the point of minimal distance and weakest material strength between two bodies would be the first disrupted area. But to overcome the resistant gravitation of these two points inwards upon their parent body is not all that is needed to cause material dislocation. At the protruding points, the chemical bonding of the material would have to be overcome. That is, a rock is self-contained hardly at all by its center of gravity, but is held together by the chemical ties among its molecules. Otherwise mountains would flow down to the sea like water.

The Coprates complex exhibits the important qualities of the rilles of the Moon, which the electrical theory of Juergens appears to explain. The zig-zag eruptions (also explainable as "wobbling"), the sharp cleavages in the waterless environment, pointy canyon bottoms, "river" valleys that stop in the middle of nowhere instead of by the banks of a sea, and rilles that do not approach "volcanic" mountains close enough to "drain" them of liquid are reasons to diagnose the "blood-stained stormer of walls" as a victim of electrical as well as of gravitational disruption.

Therefore, probably both Moon and Mars were affected during the Love Affair by electrical discharges building on gravitational pulls. These were sufficient to soften and break the chemical bonds of many places on both spheres. Such, at least, is the terminology I am using in this book. Elsewhere, most prominently in Solaria Binaria, I join with Earl R. Milton in an exclusively electrical formulation of interactions between large bodies. We find that the concept of gravitation is no longer needed, in accounting for the transactions.

From all over the world, a small collection of peculiar meteoritic stones has been collected over the past hundred and fifty years, half of which were originally seen to fall from the sky, none of them anywhere near active volcanos. Lately, examinations have been made of the rocks by new techniques, and they have been deemed to have originated from Mars. A high content of mineral maskelynite along with crystals of augite, indicates that they were originally igneous feldspar and later were converted by an explosion or impact that did not melt them. Their chemical composition is "unlike that of any known Moon rock," reports S. P. Maran [18] . The clouds of Venus would prevent such material from escaping. The rocks are young with respect to the time of impact (assigned 180 m/ y), and they could not be part of the asteroid belt because the asteroids are supposed to be much older and a large one would have to explode more recently producing a great many more small rocks of the same age than have been observed. Io, the explosive Jupiter satellite, is dismissed because it appears to have much more sulphur in its constitution than these so-called SNC meteorites. "The tests reveal that the meteorite's content of neon, argon, krypton, and xenon, and especially the relative amounts of two isotopes of argon and two isotopes of xenon, have an uncanny resemblance to the relative abundances of these gases as measured in the Martian atmosphere by the Viking Landers." There is an equally good match with the chemical composition of Martian soils.

"Mars would accordingly appear to be the parent body of the SNC meteorites," writes Maran, "but how did they get from there to here? Alternative theories are, first, collision, but the heat of such would have melted the rocks when they separated from the parent body, or, second, a glancing encounter with an obliquely approaching body that pulled off rock fragments in its vapor stream without melting them." This problem is not serious, it seems to the present author. Furthermore, to these two mechanical theories may be added electrical effects: lightning strokes can pull up material from the ground without melting it; so can tornadoes which are closely related to lightning phenomena; I discuss such matters in The Lately Tortured Earth.

As expected, the dates given to these episodes by the investigators are uniformly far older than the mere 2700 years of which we speak in Moon and Mars. Still, within their very old framework, the SNC meteorites "represent notable exceptions," to all other extraterrestrial ages, 1.3 b/ y instead of 4.5 b/ y. Also, the shock waves that produced the maskelynite are dated only 180 b/ y. In the grossly short-time perspective of the Quantavolution Series, the .180 b/ y figure would be 2700 y and the 1.3 b/ y figure would be between .5 and 1 m/ y.

As to whether the Earth or Venus was the wounder of Mars, Venus seems the more likely, astrophysically as well as historically. The evidences of change and destruction on Earth, although great, are less than those of its earlier encounters with Venus. Furthermore its motions changed less than did those of Mars and Venus. Tentatively Venus-Hephaestus is designated as the assailant.

More will be said on this subject later on, in pondering "How the Gods Fly." For now, it is proposed that the main encounter devastated Mars - that it was caused by Venus, that an enormously long venting fissure and holes opened up, and that it was recent. Too, the blow was forceful enough to change any and/ or every motion that characterized Mars beforehand.

Furthermore, the Martian surface and atmosphere may have been quite different before this particular incident, as before the series of incidents with Venus, Moon, and Earth that Mars experienced. It probably vented poisonous carbon dioxide clouds through the Earth's atmosphere, in association with electrical discharges, resulting in occasional episodes of mass asphyxiation such as I have cited in The Lately Tortured Earth. It may also have lost a considerable atmosphere, a soil (that precious few feet upon which all terrestrial life depends) and a hydrosphere (on which all marine life depends).

Apart from signs and remnants of these features, the planet Mars has been reduced to a naked force, resembling what the Greeks thought of Ares as a god, a narrow-minded compulsively destructive force whose solitary spark of sensitivity was reflected in the perverse love that Aphrodite bore for him. But virtue triumphed:

"Behold on wrong Swift vengeance waits...

... and the god of arms Must pay the penalty for lawless charms."

Notes (Chapter 11: The Blasted Career of the Mighty Swordsman)

1. Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns and Homerica, trans. H. G. Evelyn-White (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard U. Press, Loeb edition, 1950), p. 433.

2. Das Era-Epos (Wurzburg, 1956).

3. W in C, p. 256.

4. W in C, p. 261.

5. Ibid., p. 263.

6. W in C, Part II, Chapter 1.

7. See the author's The Divine Succession (1983).

8. Manuscript kindly lent to the author for reading, 1982.

9. Velikovsky, Worlds in Collision, 279-80.

10. Ibid.

11. Bruce C. Murray, "Mars from Mariner 9," The Scientific American, January, 1973, p. 60.

12. Worlds in Collision, 36-5, 367-8.

13. Ibid., 368.

14. Actually in a letter to the author, June 23, 1964.

15. Letter to the author, Oct. 27, 1973.

16. Bruce Murray, p. 60.

17. The early work was Target: Earth (1953); the present account is based upon an unpublished paper kindly furnished the author by Mr. Kelly.

18. "Rocks from Mars," Sky Reporter, 36-9, 38.

previous.gif     next.gif