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Mars, the Roman god of war
Sarutahiko.

A war god in mythology associated with war, combat, or bloodshed. They occur commonly in both monotheistic and polytheistic religions.

Unlike most gods and goddesses in polytheistic religions, monotheistic deities have traditionally been portrayed in their mythologies as commanding war in order to spread their religion. (The intimate connection between "holy war" and the "one true god" belief of monotheism has been noted by many scholars, including Jonathan Kirsch in his book God Against The Gods: The History of the War Between Monotheism and Polytheism and Joseph Campbell in The Masks of God, Vol. 3: Occidental Mythology.) [1][2]

The following is a list of war deities.

Contents

African mythologyEdit

Ancient EgyptianEdit

  • Anhur, god of war, not a native god
  • Bast, cat-headed goddess associated with war, protection of Lower Egypt and the pharaoh, the sun, perfumes, ointments, and embalming
  • Horus, god of the king, the sky, war, and protection
  • Maahes, lion-headed god of war
  • Menhit, goddess of war, "she who massacres"
  • Montu, falcon-headed god of war, valor, and the Sun
  • Neith, goddess of war, hunting, and wisdom
  • Pakhet, goddess of war
  • Satis, deification of the floods of the Nile River and an early war, hunting, and fertility goddess
  • Sekhmet, goddess of warfare, pestilence, and the desert
  • Set, god of the desert and storms, associated with war
  • Sobek, god of the Nile, the army, military, fertility, and crocodiles
  • Sopdu, god of the scorching heat of the summer sun, associated with war
  • Wepwawet, wolf-god of war and death who later became associated with Anubis and the afterlife

BerberEdit

  • Gurzil, bull-headed warrior god.[3]
  • Ifri, war goddess

East AfricanEdit

YorubaEdit

  • Kokou, powerful Yoruba warrior god
  • Ogoun, Yoruba deity who presides over fire, iron, hunting, politics, and war
  • Oya, Yoruba warrior-goddess of the Niger River

Armenian mythologyEdit

  • Anahit, goddess of healing, fertility, wisdom, and water; in early periods associated with war

Balkan mythologyEdit

Baltic mythologyEdit

  • Kara Māte, Latvian goddess of war
  • Kauriraris, Lithuanian god of war and war steeds
  • Kovas, Lithuanian god of war

Celtic mythologyEdit

 
Guan Yu, Chinese god of loyalty, righteousness, and valor.
  • Agrona, reconstructed Proto-Celtic name for the river Aeron in Wales, and possibly the name of an associated war goddess
  • Alaisiagae, a pair of goddesses worshiped in Roman Britain, with parallel Celtic and Germanic titles
  • Andarta, Brittonic goddess theorized to be associated with victory, overcoming enemies, war
  • Andraste, Gaulish warrior goddess
  • Anann, Irish goddess of war, death, predicting death in battle, cattle, prosperity, and fertility
  • Badb, Irish goddess of war who took the form of a crow; member of the Morrígan
  • Bandua, Gallaecian God of War
  • Belatucadros, war god worshipped by soldiers and equated with the Roman war god Mars
  • Camulus, god of war of the Belgic Remi and British Trinovantes
  • Catubodua, Gaulish goddess assumed to be associated with victory
  • Cicolluis, Gaulish and Irish god associated with war
  • Cocidius, Romano-British god associated with war, hunting and forests
  • Macha, Irish goddess associated with war, horses, and sovereignty; member of the Morrígan
  • The Morrígan, Irish triple goddess associated with sovereignty, prophecy, war, and death on the battlefield
  • Neit, Irish god of war, husband of Nemain of Badb
  • Nemain, Irish goddess of the frenzied havoc of war; member of the Morrígan
  • Rudianos, Gaulish god of war
  • Segomo, Gaulish god of war
  • Teutates, British and Gaulish god of war and the tribe

Chinese mythologyEdit

  • Ba Yikao, Pole Star of Purple Subtlety Emperor. God of Military Outcomes
  • Chiyou, god of war
  • Di Qing, Star of Military Fortune, God of Valor
  • Erlang Shen, a three-eyed warrior
  • Guan Yu, Han dynasty general. God of loyalty, righteousness, and valor.
  • Jinzha, marshal of the center altar
  • Jiutian Xuannü, goddess of war, sex, and longevity [4]
  • Li Jing, Guardian of Celestial Palace
  • Muzha, marshal of the center altar
  • Nezha
  • Wang Shan, Song dynasty general. Primordial Lord-General of Heaven. Guardian of Celestial Palace
  • Wen Qiong [5]
  • Yue Fei
  • Zhao Lang (Zhao Gongming), God of Military Fortune, Guardian of Celestial Palace, Protector of Households

Etruscan mythologyEdit

  • Laran, god of war.
  • Menrva, goddess of war, art, wisdom, and health

Germanic mythologyEdit

 
Idise by Emil Doepler.

Continental Germanic mythologyEdit

  • Baduhenna, a western Frisii goddess of warfare
  • Idis (Germanic)/itis/ides, the West Germanic cognates of North Germanic dís, they are connected with battle magic and fettering enemy armies
  • Sandraudiga, goddess whose name may mean "she who dyes the sand red", suggesting she is a war deity or at least has a warrior aspect
  • Týr, god of war, single combat, law, justice, and the thing, who later lost much of his religious importance and mythical role to the god Wōden
  • Wōden, god associated with wisdom, poetry, war, victory, and death

NorseEdit

  • Dís, a group of lesser goddesses who are sometimes connected with battle magic; valkyrie may be a kenning for them
  • Freyja, goddess associated with love, beauty, fertility, gold, seiðr, war, and death
  • Odin, god associated with wisdom, war, battle, and death
  • Týr, god associated with law, justice, victory, and heroic glory
  • Ullr, god associated with archery, skiing, bows, hunting, single combat, and glory
  • Valkyries, choosers of the slain and connected to Odin, ruler of Valhalla; they may be the same as the dís above

Greek mythologyEdit

  • Alala, spirit of the war cry
  • Alke, spirit of courage and battle-strength
  • Amphillogiai, goddesses of disputes
  • Androktasiai, spirits of battlefield slaughter
  • Ares, the main Greek god of war, despised by all the city-states except Sparta
  • Athena, goddess of wisdom, war strategy, and weaving, more beloved by ancient Greeks than Ares and tutelary deity of Athens, Sparta's rival
  • Bia, spirit of force and compulsion
  • Deimos, personification of terror
  • Enyalius, god of war; in early periods apparently an epithet of Ares, they were differentiated later
  • Enyo, goddess of war, sometimes appears to be identical to Eris
  • Eris, goddess of discord and strife
  • Hera, in the Illiad she has a martial character and fights (and wins) against Artemis; however, this warlike aspect of her appears nowhere else in the surviving corpus, suggesting it was dropped early on
  • Homados, spirit of the din of battle
  • Hysminai, female spirits of fighting and combat
  • Ioke, spirit of onslaught, battle-tumult, and pursuit
  • Keres, female spirits of violent or cruel death, including death in battle, by accident, murder, or ravaging disease
  • Kratos, personification of strength and power
  • Kydoimos, spirit of the din of battle
  • Makhai, male spirits of fighting and combat
  • Nike, spirit of victory
  • Palioxis, spirit of backrush, flight, and retreat from battle
  • Pallas, Titan god of war-craft and of the springtime campaign season
  • Perses, the Titan of destruction
  • Phobos, spirit of panic, fear, flight, and battlefield route
  • Phonoi, spirits of murder, killing, and slaughter
  • Polemos, spirit of war
  • Proioxis, spirit of onrush and battlefield pursuit

Hindu mythologyEdit

 
Kartikeya, god of war by Surendra Nath Ganguly, 1913.
  • Kartikeya, god of war and battle
  • Mangala, god of war
  • Nirrti, goddess of strife
  • Parvati, her forms Durga and Kali are known for fighting demons
  • Shiva, god of avenging and destroying and several of his avatars
  • Vishnu, several of his avatars are associated with fighting and vanquishing evil

Hittite mythologyEdit

Hungarian mythologyEdit

  • Hadúr, god of war and the metalsmith of the gods

Japanese mythologyEdit

  • Futsunushi, god of swords, martial arts, and conquest; god of the Mononobe clan
  • Hachiman Daimyōjin, Shinto god of war (on land) and agriculture, divine protector of the Minamoto clan; mostly worshiped by samurai
  • Sarutahiko, god of war and misogi; the deity who stands at the junction of Heaven and Earth; one of the main Kunitsukami; actively worshipped by Ueshiba Morihei
  • Takemikazuchi, god of war, conquest, martial arts, sumo, and lightning; general of the Amatsukami; god of Kashima and Ujigami of Nakatomi clan
  • Suwa Myōjin (Takeminakata-no-kami), god of valor and duty, protector of the Japanese religion
  • Bishamonten, Buddhist god of war

Lusitanian mythologyEdit

  • Neto, god believed to be associated with war, death, and weaponry

Mesopotamian mythologyEdit

Mongolian mythologyEdit

Native American mythologyEdit

Aztec mythologyEdit

  • Patterns of War
  • Huitzilopochtli, god of will, patron of war, fire, and sun; lord of the south
    • Mixcoatl, god of war and hunting
    • Tlaloc, god of thunder, rain, and earthquakes
    • Xipe-Totec, god of force, patron of war, agriculture, vegetation, diseases, seasons, rebirth, hunting, trades, and spring; lord of the east
    • Xiuhtecuhtli, god of fire

Maya mythologyEdit

  • Tohil, god associated with fire, the sun, rain, mountains, and war

Pacific NorthwestEdit

PlainsEdit

Nuristani mythologyEdit

Polynesian mythologyEdit

Hawaiian mythologyEdit

  • , god of war and birds
  • Pele, goddess of fire, lightning, dance, volcanoes, and violence

Māori mythologyEdit

Roman mythologyEdit

 
Juno Sospita Statue holding a spear and shield.
  • Bellona, goddess of war
  • Honos, god of chivalry, honor, and military justice
  • Juno, has a consistent martial character and the patron goddess of Rome, the mother of Mars and Bellona
  • Mars, god of war and agriculture, equivalent to Ares as far as being war gods; aside from this they have very little in common
  • Minerva, goddess of wisdom, medicine, music, crafts, and war, while somewhat equivalent to the Greek Athena, the Romans did not emphasize her war aspect like the Greeks did
  • Nerio, warrior goddess and personification of valor
  • Victoria, personification of victory, equivalent to the Greek goddess Nike
  • Virtus, god of bravery and military strength

Semitic mythologyEdit

  • Agasaya, "the Shrieker", goddess of war
  • Anat, goddess of war
  • Astarte, goddess of sex and war, western Semitic version of the Mesopotamian Ishtar and Inanna
  • Resheph, god of plague and war
  • Tanit, main Carthaginian goddess whose functions included war and the moon, a composite of Anat and Astarte/Ishtar/Inanna

Slavic mythologyEdit

  • Jarovit, god of vegetation, fertility, and spring, also associated with war and harvest
  • Perun, god of thunder and lightning, associated with war
  • Svetovid, god of war, fertility, and abundance
  • Zorya Utrennyaya, goddess of the morning star, sometimes depicted as a warrior goddess who protected men in battle

Turkic mythologyEdit

Vietnamese mythologyEdit

  • Cao Lỗ, god of military innovations
  • Độc Cước, the protector of coastal settlements. Legend has it that he split himself in two with his axe, each half guards coastal villages against sea ogres.
  • Thần Đồng Cổ, the armored protector of the Lý dynasty
  • Thánh Gióng, god of triumph over foreign invaders


VoodooEdit

  • Ogoun, loa who presides over fire, iron, hunting, politics, and war

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Kirsch, J. (2004). God Against the Gods: The History of the War Between Monotheism and Polytheism. Viking Compass. ISBN 9780670032860. Retrieved 2015-06-22.
  2. ^ "Occidental Mythology (Masks of God): Joseph Campbell: 9780140194418: Amazon.com: Books". amazon.com. Retrieved 2015-06-22.
  3. ^ Morris, Arnold Hugh Martin Jones, John Robert: The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire p. 612
  4. ^ Cahill, Suzanne E. (18 July 2013). "Sublimation in Medieval China: The Case of the Mysterious Woman of the Nine Heavens". Journal of Chinese Religions. 20 (1): 91–102. doi:10.1179/073776992805307692.
  5. ^ http://etheses.lib.cuhk.edu.hk/pdf/004777762.pdf[permanent dead link]