Mars was the Roman god of war, agriculture, and of the state. He was the son of Juno and husband to the goddess Bellona. His great festivals in March (which is named after him), and October marked the opening and closing of the military campaign season. Mars is identified with Ares, the Greek god of war.

As Mars Quirinius, he was father to the famed pair of Romulus and Remus by the vestal virgin Rhea Silvia. He saved them from drowning in the Tiber River and raised them with the help of the she-wolf and the sacred bird, Picus.