Fiction: In the Heat After Battle (Ares / Alektryon)

Fiction: In the Heat After Battle (Ares / Alektryon)
Crop showing only Ares of the illustration created by Amanda Freitas

Hello my lovelies,

enjoy adorable simp Alektryon living the dream and winning the subject of his admiration and affection, the bloody God of War.

Aphrodite / Hermes is already about halfway done but as I'm with family for another week I assume that I'll be slower with the writing and editing. Despite that I'm confident to post Aphrodite domming Hermes by the end of the month.

A little teaser of this month's illustration, a super cute Ares with an even cuter Alektryon, was created by Amanda Freitas, self-identifying Ares simp. Find the illustrated version of the story here.


body hair: The main thing separating a youth from an adult man. The ancient Greek same sex relationship between a mature, adult man (erastes) and a youth (eromenos) was supposed to end when the eromenos could grow a full beard. In ancient texts, facial hair, leg hair, and other body hair are treated as marring the beauty of a male youth. I decided to make Alektryon, who is the youthful partner, actually be attracted to his "mature" partner and the signifiers of his adult manhood in particular.

chitoniskos: While a chiton usually reached to the knees or ankles, the chitoniskos (literally "little chiton") was even shorter, mid-thigh or shorter. See Peleus in a chitoniskos and Thetis in a long chiton here.

crying: as opposed to several modern Western cultures today, crying was not an unmanly thing to do in ancient Greece. At least in myth, boys (Kyparissos), adult men (Achilles, Odysseus), and even gods (Apollon, Zeus) shed tears, usually out of grief but also out of rage and frustration (Diomedes), defeat (Agamemnon), or seeing a loved one wounded (Patroklos).

cuirass: is a piece of armour which covers the torso. It generally refers to both the chest plate and the back piece together, so while a chest plate only protects the front and a back plate only protects the back, a cuirass protects both the front and the back. In ancient Greece and Rome, the chest piece of the cuirass was designed to mimic the idealised musculature of the male torso. This kind of cuirass is called "muscle cuirass" and looks like this.

gigantes: in Greek mythology the gigantes or giants are the offspring of Gaia. They are of great strength and aggression, though not necessarily of great size. They battled the Olympians in the Gigantomachia (or Gigantomachy) in which Ares fought (alongside his family, even mortal Herakles gets in on the action).

Keres: female spirits (daimones) of violent death, including death in battle, by accident, murder or ravaging disease. Their brother Thanatos is the god of non-violent, gentle death.


masculinity: Ares is the God of Masculinity and Courage because the ancient Greek word andreia, a word deriving from andreios (manly), is synonymous with masculinity and courage.

phalanx: a military formation made up of rows of shoulder-to-shoulder hoplites. The hoplites would lock their shields together and the first few ranks of soldiers would project their spears out over the first rank of shields. In combat, the whole formation would consistently press forward trying to break the enemy formation, so when two phalanx formations engaged, the struggle essentially became a pushing match.

pteryges: literally "feathers", the iconic strip-like defences that formed a defensive skirt of leather or multi-layered fabric or lappets worn from the waists of ancient Greek and Roman cuirasses, protecting the hips and thighs.

Titanomachia: Τιτανομαχία, "Titan battle", a war fought between the older generation of the gods known as titans and the younger generation of the Olympian gods to decide which generation of gods would have dominion over the universe. Zeus and his allies emerged victorious.

trireme: an ancient Greek war ship

xiphos: a one-handed straight shortsword used by the ancient Greeks in the Iron Age.