Tales From The Volcano: 10 Hot Facts About The Greek God Hephaestus

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Hephaestus was the god of fire, metal work, stone masonry, forges, as well as the art of sculpture. The latter led him to become the patron god of art. He worked with gold, silver, bronze, and even clay. He was responsible for creating the best weaponry and furnishing known to god and man alike. He was the son of Zeus and Hera, and was wed to Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love. To learn more about the god, here are 10 hot facts coming right up:

Fact 1: Hephaestus, also known as Vulcan, was the god of fire and the blacksmith of the gods of Mount Olympus. Metal workers in early Greece prayed to him. His skills for metal working were unparalleled; his symbol was the hammer. He made his craft inside a volcano, and there his Cyclopes would help him create the finest bronze, silver, and gold items known to god and man. He created the winged helmet and sandals of Hermes, the golden chariot of Helios, and the silver bow and arrows of Eros. He was also believed to have created the first mortal woman out of clay. She was known as Pandora.

Fact 2: The god of fire and metal work was a good natured god, and often got along with everyone. He was the son of Zeus and Hera, and although he was a significant part of life on Mount Olympus, there was one thing about the god that you couldn’t over look: he was ugly. In fact, he was so ugly that the vain Hera once threw him off Mount Olympus. He hit the earth and fractured his foot. The goddess Thetis nursed him back to health, but the god had to walk with a limp ever since.

Fact 3: Angry at Hera for what she had done, he created a beautiful thrown made out of solid gold. When she had sat on it, invisible chains started to wrap around her, and the throne rose to the highest point of the sky. The gods begged for Hera to be released but to no avail. Hephaestus only agreed to let her go once Aphrodite agreed to become his wife. Their marriage prevented future wars to ensue for Aphrodite’s hand in marriage. Who else would have the guts to steal the wife of Zeus’ son?

Fact 4: His parents were Zeus and Hera, the most powerful deities on Mount Olympus. His siblings were Ares, Eileithyia, Enyo, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Aphrodite, Dionysus, Hebe, Hermes, Heracles, Helen of Troy, Perseus, Minos, the Muses, and the Graces. Hephaestus was one of the 12 gods who were allowed to live on Mount Olympus. His beautiful wife Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love, was in love with his brother Ares, the god of war.

Fact 5: Despite Aphrodite’s marriage to Hephaestus, she still went on to have several affairs with god and man alike. The clever Hephaestus once invented a trap that enabled him to catch Aphrodite and Ares in bed. Once ensnared, he revealed them to the world of the gods, where they were laughed at and tormented.

Fact 6: Achilles was the son of the goddess Thetis. The goddess, always worrying for her son’s well being, asked that the best forger on Mount Olympus create an armor that would guarantee his safety. The god of fire agreed wholeheartedly, as he was still grateful for Thetis nursing him back to health. Hephaestus was responsible for creating the armor that Achilles wore to his innumerable victories. The very same armor that brought about the demise of Ajax.

Fact 7: During the war between the Olympians and the Giants, Hephaestus grew faint from the heat of the battle. The sun god Helios carried the exhausted smith off to safety. To repay the sun god’s kindness, he sent lavish presents to his son, King Aietis. He gifted the king with four magical fountains which surrounded his palace. The first fountain sprung to life with milk, the second wine, the third fragrant oil, and the fourth sprung water that was cold during summer and warm during winter. Now that’s how you say thank you!

Fact 8: The forge and the fire are always attributed to the god Hephaestus. Other symbols that may be attributed to him include the hammer, anvil, tongs, the donkey, and the quail. He is the only grotesque god among the flawless deities who reign on Mount Olympus.

Fact 9: Hephaestus created the Aegis shields Zeus and Athena are seen toting around. He was the craftsman of all gods, and was responsible for creating everything from weaponry to jewelry, palaces, and even dwellings.

Fact 10: His children were Eros, a half-man half-serpent named Erichthonius, Thalia, Eucleia, Eupheme, Philophrosyne, Cabeiri, as well as Euthenia.

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