|Title(s)||God of Fire and the Forge|
|Consort||Aphrodite, later Aglaea of the Charities|
|Parents||Zeus and Hera|
|Sibling(s)||Ares, Hebe, Eris and Eileithyia|
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Hephaestus ( Hephaistos)
is the Greek lame Olympian god of the forge and of fire. He is the son of Hera, who bore him in retaliation for Zeus having bore Athena (though in many traditions, Hephaestus is present at the birth of Athena). Along with Athena, Hephaestus is an important god for city dwellers. He is the protector of smiths; she of weavers. His Roman counterpart is Vulcan.
Hephaestus was so ugly he brought shame to Hera so she threw him off Mount Olympus. Another account states that Hera, being embarrassed that her son was born a cripple, threw Hephaestus off Mount (Other stories say that it was Zeus that threw him after he came to Hera's side in an argument) Olympus, where Thetis and Amphitrite caught him. The seafolk taught him blacksmithing, and he had stayed there until he was the greatest blacksmith. He had made a chair for his mother and asked Hermes to deliver it to her, but it was actually a trap and when she sat down she couldn't move. When he refused to release her, the gods sent Dionysus to intoxicate Hephaestus. Hephaestus, under the influence of Dionysus' potent wine, released his mother.
As the god of fire, he makes all the armor, weapons and furnishings for the gods, working with the Cyclopes in his forges. He created handmaidens out of gold to help him in his forge beneath volcanoes.
In mythology, while Hephaestus was away, Ares sneaked to Aphrodite's chamber and slept with her. Hephaestus, when informed of the ongoing affair by Helios, resolved to catch the lovers in the act. He set up a trap that consisted of a net of very strong, very fine bronze webs, that would shoot out and trap Ares and Aphrodite. When the trap was sprung, Hephaestus invited the Olympians to watch them. The goddesses, wisely did not come, but the gods did. Hephaestus demanded a fine from Ares for sleeping with his wife, and did not let him out until Poseidon, feeling embarrassed about watching all this, said that he would pay the fine. Ares then fled the scene.
Family of Hephaestus
- the Palici
Notable Mortal Offspring
Hephaestus created various if not all the divine weapons and items for the gods, with the help of chthonic Cyclopes, which were his assistants in the forge. Among his creations are:
- Achilles' armour
- The Aegis
- Agamemnon's staff of office
- Aphrodite's girdle
- Eros' bow and arrows
- Heracles' bronze clappers
- Hermes' Winged Helmet and sandals
- Shoulder of Pelops (after it was eaten by Demeter)
- (Hamilton 1998, p. 34-35)
Mortal Descendants in Athens
|Classical Olympians||Aphrodite • Apollo • Ares • Artemis • Athena • Demeter • Dionysus • Hephaestus • Hera • Hermes • Poseidon • Zeus|
|Other deities||Asclepius • Eros • Hades • Hebe • Heracles • Hestia • Pan • Persephone|
|Greek mythology articles|
|Deities||Aphrodite • Apollo • Ares • Artemis • Athena • Demeter • Dionysus • Hephaestus • Hera • Hermes • Poseidon • Zeus|
|Heroes||Abderus • Bellerophon • Daedalus • Diomedes • Achilles • Cadmus • Heracles • Perseus • Odysseus • Orpheus • Theseus • Jason • Argonauts|
|Groups||Demigod • God • Titans • Graeae • Gorgons • Protogenoi|
|Creatures and monsters||Chimera • Centaur • Charybdis • Cyclops • Ceryneian Hind • Cretan Bull • Empusa • Erinyes • Erymanthian Boar • Minotaur • Typhon • Medusa • Makhai • Lernaean Hydra • Pegasus • More...|
|Titans||Atlas • Coeus • Crius • Cronus • Epimetheus • Gaia • Helios • Iapetos • Pallas • Perses • Prometheus • Oceanus • Hyperion • Rhea • Styx|
|Topics||Titanomachy • Overthrowing of Ouranus|