|Ludovisi Ares from Wiki Commons|
It was while I was writing Helen that I wondered about how many sons the gods had in their affairs. It seemed like everyone had sons, and the reason that Helen was so sought after was in part because she was a rarity. I'm not sure I know anyone who can name another demi-god daughter of Zeus off the top of their heads, and according to Theoi, he only has two: Helen and Herophile (of Libya).**
In contrast, Ares is named as the father of the entirety of the Amazons, and several of their most important leaders in particular (Penthesileia, Hippolyta, and Antiope!) as well as a Queen (Thrassa) of another tribe, and an Athenian girl (Aklippe), who doesn't seem to be of much consequence at all, except for her rape and Ares' murder of the man who did it. Ares fathered and re-fathered an entire people of women!
So what does this tell us about Ares? Maybe it meant he wasn't quite as virile as Zeus, who never once shot a blank, and his only failing was producing two girls out of the 50 named demi-god children (Ares has 30). But maybe it also says something else -- maybe it says Ares wasn't ashamed of the girls he fathered. Certainly it's a rare thing to hear about a god killing a man for raping his daughter. Helen is raped at least twice, and Zeus doesn't so much as grumble. He used her outright to start a war that would result in the deaths of most everyone she ever knew or cared about, in fact. Maybe it says that Ares believed in his daughters, no matter how great or how lowly. Perhaps the god of war had a soft spot for women -- and not only for the pleasure he could take from them, but for their overlooked strengths.
But what else would you expect from the father of the Amazons?
*I can't really see how Mars and Ares could be considered as two separate entities, personally, but I know there are differences, where Mars has his own Roman myths alongside those the Greeks gave to Ares. Not unlike Hercules and Heracles.
** there is also Keroessa, but she's possibly a nymph, not a mortal, so I don't think that counts.