Fast Facts: Hephaestus
- Pronunciation: HA-fes-tus
- Origin: Greek
- Role: God of fire and blacksmith
- Symbols: Hammer, Anvil, Tongs
- Wife: Aphrodite
- Children: Euklela, Euthenia, Eupheme, Philophrosyne
- Other Name: Vulcan
Who Is Hephaestus?
Hephaestus is the god of fire and metallurgy. He makes weapons to the gods of Olympus but is paradoxically in search of peace. Hephaestus’ Roman equivalent is Vulcan. In some versions of Greek mythology, Hephaestus was Hera’s parthenogenous child, rejected by his mother because of his deformity and thrown off Mount Olympus and down to earth.
Childhood Of Hephaestus:
At birth and unlike the other gods of Olympus, Héphaïstos was so ugly, lame and deformed, that it is said that his mother, Hera threw it over Mount Olympus. Thetis and Eurynome, the two deities of the Sea, received him and took care of him. Thus, Hephaestus grew up in a cave under the sea, then on the island of Lesbos. Growing up, in revenge for his mother Hera, Hephaestus made a throne of gold trapped and sent her. The instant she settled there, invisible chains imprisoned her.
Hephaestus – The Blacksmith Of Olympus
Hephaestus is adept at handling iron and metals. For the gods of Olympus, he manufactures, helped Cyclops, several weapons or accessories including:
- Lightning for Zeus
- The shield for Athena
- Arrows for the Eros Bow
- The belt of Aphrodite
- The Poseidon trident
- The throne of Zeus
Hephaestus is also the designer of Pandora, the first woman. He also helped a lot with his blacksmithing skills during the Trojan War and Gigantomachy.
Loves Of Hephaestus:
The Odyssey gives him the beautiful Aphrodite for his wife, but she secretly deceived him with Ares. Warned by Helios, Hephaestus imprisoned him with chains.
Attributes & Symbolism: Hephaestus
The attributes of Hephaestus are the Anvil and the hammer that allow him to work the metals.
Hephaestus was sometimes portrayed as a vigorous man with a beard and was characterized by his hammer or some other crafting tool, his oval cap, and the chiton. Hephaestus is described in mythological sources as “lame” (cholōs), and “halting” (ēpedanos).
Some illustrations of Hephaestus:
(1) Temple of Hephaestus in Athens, main sanctuary of the deity
(2) Painting depicting Hephaestus handing Thessis the weapons of Achilles