with the ancient alchemists, designated iron.
Under this planet “is borne theves and robbers nyght walkers and quarell pykers, bosters, mockers, and skoffers; and these men of Mars causeth warre, and murther, and batayle. They wyll be gladly smythes or workers of yron lyers, gret swerers. ... He is red and angry ... a great walker, and a maker of swordes and knyves, and a sheder of mannes blode ... and good to be a barboure and a blode letter, and to drawe tethe.”
(Compost of Ptholomeus.)
Mars, in Camoën's Lusiad, is “divine fortitude” personified. As Bacchus, the evil demon, is the guardian power of Mahometanism: so Mars or divine fortitude is the guardian power of Christianity.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894