Mars was the son of Jupiter and Juno; like Apollo and Mercury, he belonged to the second generation of Olympian gods. He was the god of war in its cruel and violent dimension (warlike fury), unlike Minerva who represented the more positive and rational form of war.
According to Greek mythology, he was particularly active during the episodes of the Trojan war, in which he participated on the Trojan side. Mars only gave up his weapons when he was in love, especially with Venus. The latter’s husband, Vulcan, surprised them together one day and caught them in a huge net, so that the other Olympian gods could make fun of them.
Mars was especially important to the Romans as he was the father of the city’s founding heroes, Romulus and Remus. The first Roman emperors, particularly Augustus, considered themselves direct heirs of the founders of Rome, and therefore attached particular importance to this god.