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MARS, MLLE—MARs

Man (1844); The Mission, or Scenes in Africa (1845); The Little Savage (1848–1849), published posthumously; and Valerie, not completed (1849). His novels form an important link between Smollett and Fielding and Charles Dickens.

Captain Marryat had retired from the naval service in 1830, becoming equerry to the duke of Sussex. He edited the Metropolitan Magazine from 1832 to 1835, and some of his best stories appeared in that paper. He spent a great part of his time in Brussels, where he was very popular. He visited Canada during Papineau's revolt and the United States in 1837, and gave a disparaging account of American institutions in a Diary published on his return to England. While at New York he wrote a play, The Ocean Waif, or Channel Outlaw, which was acted, and is forgotten. His versatility is further shown by the fact that he drew rough caricatures and other sketches with some spirit. Some capital snatches of verse are scattered throughout his novels, the best being “ Poll put her arms akimbo ” in Snarle-yow, and the “ Hunter and the Maid ” in Poor Jack. In 1843 he settled at Langham Manor, Norfolk. He indulged in costly experiments in farming, so that in spite of the large income earned by his books he was not a rich man. He died at Langham on the 9th of August 1848, his death being hastened by news of the loss of his son by shipwreck.

His daughter, Florence Marryat, herself a novelist, published his Life and Letters in 1872. See also David Hannay, Life of Marryat (1889).  (D. H.) 


MARS, MLLE [ANNE FRANÇOISE HYPPOLYTE BOUTET] (1779-1847), French actress, was born in Paris on the 9th of February 1779, the natural daughter of the actor-author named Monvel [Jacques Marie Boutet, 1745-18121, and Mlle Mars Salvetat, an actress whose southern accent had made her Paris début a failure. Mlle Mars began her stage career in children's parts, and by 1799, after the rehabilitation of the Comédie Française, she and her sister (Mars ainée) joined that company, of which she remained an active member for thirty-three years. Her beauty and talents soon placed her at the top of her profession. She was incomparable in ingénue parts, and equally charming as the coquette. Moliére, Marivaux, Sedaine, and Beaumarchais had no more accomplished interpreter, and in her career of half a century, besides many comedy roles of the older repertoire, she created fully a hundred parts in plays which owed success largely to her. For her farewell performance she selected Elmire in Tartuje, and Silvia in ]eu de l'amour et du hasard, two of her most popular roles; and for her benefit, a few days after, Céliméne in Le M misanthrope and Araminthe in Les Femmes savantes. She retired in 1841, and died in Paris on the zoth of March 1847.


MARS (Mavors, Marmar, Marspiter or Maspiter), after Jupiter the most important deity of the Roman state, and one who, unlike most Roman deities, was never so much affected by foreign influences as to lose his essentially Roman and Italian character. Traces of his worship are found in all parts of central and southern Italy, in Umbria, Picenum, Samnium, and in one or two Etruscan cities, as well as in Latium; and in several communities, as we learn from Ovid (Fasti, 3. 93 seq.), he gave his name to a month, as at Rome to the first month of the old Roman year. We know little of the character of his cult except at Rome, and even at Rome it has been variously interpreted. He has been explained as a sun-god, a god of wind and storm, a god of the year and a god of vegetation; and he has been compared with Apollo by Roscher (Apollo, and Mars, 1873, and in the article “ Mars” in his Lexicon of Mythology). But in historical times his chief function at Rome was to protect the state in war, and it is as a god of war that he is known to all readers of Roman literature. So entirely did this characteristic get the better of all others, that his name came to be used as a synonym for bellum; and in the latest and most careful of all accounts of the Roman religion he is pronounced to have been from first to last a god of war only (see Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Römer, p. 129 seq.).

Until the time of Augustus Mars had but two temples at Rome, and both are connected with warlike operations. One of these was originally only an altar; it was in the Campus Martins, the exercising-ground of the army. The other was outside the Porta Capena, the gate through which the army marched on its way to campaigns to the south: here too each year the Equites met in order to start in procession through the city (Dion. Hal. 6. 13). Each of these sites was outside the pomerium, and this has been explained to mean that the war-god “ must be kept at a distance ” (Carter, Religion of Numa, p. 19). But in the heart of the city there was a sacrarium of Mars in the regia, originally the king's house, in which the sacred spears of Mars were kept, and the fact that on the outbreak of war the consul had to shake these spears, saying as he did it, Mars vigila (“ Mars, wake up!”), shows that the god was believed to reside here in some spiritual sense. If the spears moved of themselves, the omen was bad and called for expiation. The ancilia, or sacred shields, also formed part of this symbolic armoury of the Roman state: they were carried in procession by the Salii (q.v.) or dancing warrior-priests of Mars on several occasions during the month of March up to the 23rd (tubilustrium), when the military trumpets (tubae) were lust rated: and again in October to the 19th (armilustrium), when both the ancilia and the arms of the exercitus were purified and put away for the winter. During the four months of the Italian winter the worship of Mars seems at a standstill: we have no trace of it in the calendar or in Roman literature. His activity is all in the warm season, i.e. in the season of warfare. It is only at the end of February that we find indications of the coming force of the Mars-cult in the month which bears his name: Quirinus, who was probably the Mars of the community settled on the Quirinal Hill, and had his twelve Salii corresponding to those of the Palatine Mars, held his festival on the 17th of February, and on the 27th was the first festival called Equirria, the second being on the the 14th of March. The name ndicates horse-racing; horses were bred and used at Rome chiefly for military purposes, and it is possible to see here, as in the Equirria of the 14th of March, which we know was a festival of Mars (W. W. Fowler, Roman Festivals, p. 44), an exercise of the war-horses, accompanied with sacrifice to Mars, preparatory to the opening of the season of arms.

There is thus abundant evidence, based on the ancient calendars and the features of the cult, that Mars was all along a deity especially connected with warfare; and it is hardly necessary to add proof of a less convincing kind, e.g. that the wolf, his special animal, is a warlike beast, or that Nerio, a female deity who may anciently have been coupled with him, seems to be etymologically “ the strong one,” or that he is in legend the father of Romulus the warlike king and founder of the Roman army, as compared with Numa, who instituted the Roman law and religion. Enough has been said to show why Mars should have become exclusively a god of war, even if the Roman state in its advance in the conquest of other peoples had not given a continual impulse to this aspect of the cult. In founding his famous temple of Mars Ultor (the avenger of Caesar) in the Forum Augusti, Augustus gave a new turn to this worship, and for a time it seems to have been a rival of that of the Capitoline lupiter (see Carter, Religion of Numa, p. 174 seq.), and late in the period of the empire Mars became the most prominent of the di militares worshipped by the Roman legions.

There are however certain features in the Mars cult which make it probable that this god was not entirely warlike in character. He seems, in early times, at least, to have been also associated with agriculture; and this is in harmony with the facts: (1) that the season of arms is also the season of the growth, ripening and harvesting of the crops; (2) that the early Roman community was an agricultural as well as a military one, as is indicated in its religious calendar (Fowler, Roman Festivals, p. 334); Thus Mars was invoked in the ancient hymn of the Arval Brothers, whose religious duties had as their object to keep off enemies of all kinds from crops and herds (Herzen, Acta Fratr. Arv. p. 26, 1874; Wordsworth, Fragments and Specimens of Early Latin, p. 385 seq.), and his association here