secure so valuable a pledge, Numa caused eleven others of
the same form to be made, and entrusted the preservation of
these to an order of priests, which he constituted for the
purpose, called Salii, or priests of Mars, in whose temple
the twelve ancilia were deposited.
The fiercest and most ravenous creatures were consecrated to
Mars: the horse, for his vigor; the wolf, for his rapacity
and quickness of sight; the dog, for his vigilance; and he
delighted in the cock and the vulture. He was the
reputed enemy of Minerva, the goddess of wisdom and arts,
because in time of war they are trampled on, without
respect, as well as learning and justice.
Ancient monuments represent this deity as of unusual
stature, armed with a helmet, shield, and spear, sometimes
naked, sometimes in a military habit; sometimes with a
beard, and sometimes without. He is often described riding
in a chariot, drawn by furious horses, completely armed, and
extending his spear with one hand, while, with the other, he
grasps a sword imbued with blood. Sometimes Bellona, the
goddess of war, (whether she be his sister, wife or
daughter, is uncertain,) is represented as driving his
chariot, and inciting the horses with a bloody whip.
Sometimes Discord is exhibited as preceding his chariot,
while Clamor, Fear, Terror, with Fame, full of eyes, ears,
and tongues, appear in his train.