Phobos last edited by wnpoland on 09/06/20 07:56PM View full history

In Classical Greek mythology, Phobos is more of a personification of the fear brought by war and does not appear as a character in any myths. In Roman mythology, he has also been referred to as Pavor or Terror.

Mythology

Phobos was the son of Ares and Aphrodite. He mainly appears in an assistant role to his father who causes disorder in armies and does not appear as an independent figure in mythology. In the Iliad, he accompanied his father Ares into battle along with the Goddess of Discord Eris and his twin brother Deimos (terror). In Shield of Herakles, Phobos and Deimos accompany Ares into battle and remove him from the field once he is injured by Herakles. In Nonnus' Dionysiaca, Zeus arms Phobos with lightning and Deimos with thunder to frighten Typhon. Later in the work, Phobos and Deimos act as Ares's charioteers to battle Dionysus during his war against the Indians.

In Seven Against Thebes by Aeschylus, the seven warriors slaughter a bull over a black shield and then "...touching the bull's gore with their hands they swore an oath by Ares, by Enyo, and by Rout [Phobos]". According to Stesichorus Ares's son, Kyknos, "...beheaded strangers who came along in order to build a temple to Phobos (fear) from the skulls."

Depictions

Hesiod depicts Phobos on the shield of Heracles as "…staring backwards with eyes that glowed with fire. His mouth was full of teeth in a white row, fearful and daunting…"

Phobos often is depicted as having a lion's or lion-like head. This may be seen in Description of Greece by Pausanias, "On the shield of Agamemnon is Phobos (Fear), who[se] head is a lion’s…".

Worship

Plutarch makes reference to a shrine to Phobos at Sparta in addition to shrines dedicated to Death (Thanatos) and Laughter (Gelos), and he claimed that the Spartans honored fear as a positive force that held the state together. Pausanias, writing during Imperial Rome, noted that the temple dedicated to Phobos was located outside of the city.

The Iliad

There are many places within the Iliad, where Homer mentions the presence of Phobos and Deimos. Some references are:

Homer, Iliad 11. 36 ff :"[The shield of Agamemnon:] And he took up the man-enclosing elaborate stark shield, a thing of splendour. There were ten circles of bronze upon it, and set about it were twenty knobs of tin, pale-shining, and in the very centre another knob of dark cobalt. And circled in the midst of all was the blank-eyed face of the Gorgo (Gorgon) with her stare of horror, and Deimos (Terror) was inscribed upon it, and Phobos (Fear).

Homer, Iliad 15. 119 ff :"So he [Ares] spoke, and ordered Deimos (Terror) and Phobos (Fear) to harness his horses, and himself got into his shining armour."

Historical reference

According to Plutarch, Alexander the Great offered sacrifices to Phobos on the eve of the Battle of Gaugamela (in all probability asking for Darius to be filled with fear). This was believed by Mary Renault to be part of Alexander's psychological warfare campaign against Darius III. Darius fled from the field of Gaugamela, making Alexander's praying to Phobos seem successful as a tactic.

Phobos was depicted on the chest of Cypselus on the shield of Agamemnon.

Astronomy

American astronomer Asaph Hall named a satellite of the planet Mars, Phobos, which he discovered along with the second Mars satellite, Deimos, in 1877. Phobos is the larger of the two satellites.

Psychology

The word "phobia" derives from phobos, (Φόβος), meaning fear.

DC Comics

Born of the brief union of the War God Ares with the goddess Aphrodite, Deimos (his brother) and Phobos dwelt principally in the Netherworld, from which they intended to aid their father in the destruction of the Earth, and thus the hated Amazons, as well as the other Olympian Gods.

At first Phobos attempted to slay the Amazon Princess Diana, who had been chosen by combat and the Gods to oppose Ares' plans, by bringing to life the creature called Decay, but the Amazon Princess destroyed Decay after a savage battle across the city of Boston.

At length, the Princess Diana, accompanied by four humans who had befriended her, brought the battle against Ares to the Netherworld itself. Here she confronted Deimos and Phobos, and a struggle to the death began. During the course of the battle Deimos attempted to poison the Amazon with the venomous bite of his serpentine hair; venom that would fill the Princess Diana with blind, unreasoning terror.

In the last seconds before she could succumb to the venom, Diana hurled her razor-sharp tiara at the gloating Deimos, and Decapitated him. The cowardly Phobos, fearing for his own life, fled into the darkness, swearing vengeance on the Amazon Princess.

Phobos returned to exact revenge upon Diana months later with the help of the Gorgon, Euryale. Together they captured Hermes, the messenger god, and unleashed on Boston, Ixion the mass murderer - who he had freed from Hades. Diana fought the villians and freed Hermes. Together they destroyed Euryale and Ixion and Phobos was imprisoned for his crimes in Tartarus.

During the War of the Gods, Circe released Phobos and enlisted his help in destroying the Gods and Creation itself. Phobos awakened the Aztec god, Quetzalcoatl and sent him to attack a villiage in South America. This brought him to the attention of Superman and Starman where the heroes beat him. Phobos, being a coward at heart, retreated to Areopagus, the fortress home of his father Ares. Here he murdered his sister Harmonia before running back to Circe side on Olympus. When the battle turned, he abandoned his allies and vanished.

Again seeking revenge against those who had stood in his way. Phobos reappeared in Gotham City. This time inhabiting the body of Scarecrow. Here he resurected the spirits of his slain brother Deimos and sister Eris and placed them in the bodies of Joker and Poison Ivy. The three siblings sought to make Gotham into a new Aeropagus, a base for their father Ares on earth. Phobos hoped this plan would gain him favour in his fathers eyes. Wonder Woman, Batman and their allies fought the gods but during the battle Phobos took over the Batman, making the ultimate god of fear. Wonder Woman freed Batman from Phobos influence and in front of his father, Ares. The God of War was disgusted by his sons incompetance yet again and ripped his children's spirits from their human hosts and banished them back to Tartarus.

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