Areography

The physical study of the planet Mars.

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But why Areography? Mars has always been associated with the god of war. The Babylonians were keen astronomers and names Mars Negral. Negral is the Babylonian god of war. This appears to have carried over to other civilisations but it was the Roman name for the god of war that has ‘stuck’. Ares was the Greek god of war, the son of Zeuss and Hera. Ares is the root of this word … it does have a better ring to it than marsography!

No one can say for certain why each planet was names for a particular god, some say that it is because of the red colour of the planet in the night sky that reminded the ancients of blood and therefore battles. I guess it is also possible that one of the city states of the middle east was attacked when Mars appeared in the sky. The winners of the battle may have then decided that it was the god of war looking down on their efforts and helping? Who knows?

The first areographer of note was the Italian, Giovanni Schiaparelli, who started the myth of the canals of mars. The word he used to describe the features he had seen was ‘canali’ which properly translates as ‘channels’. That was in 1877 and people have been seeing all sorts of evidence of a former civilisation on Mars ever since!

As a result, there are many fiction and factual books concerning Mars …

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