HEPHAESTUS was the great Olympian god of fire, metalworking, stonemasonry and the art of sculpture. He was usually depicted as a bearded man holding hammer and tongs--the tools of a smith--and riding a donkey.
Some of the more famous myths featuring the god include:
- His fall from Olympos in which he was cast away by Hera at birth;
- The trapping of Hera in a cursed throne and his return to Olympos;
- The adultery of his wife Aphrodite who was trapped with Ares in a golden net;
- The crafting of Pandora, the first woman, at the command of Zeus;
- The attempted rape of Athena which resulted in the impregnation of Earth and the birth of Erikhthonios;
- The crafting of the cursed necklace of Harmonia which doomed her descendants to a cycle of tragedy;
- The Trojan War in which he fought the river-god Skamandros with fire;
- The crafting of the armour of Akhilleus at the request of the hero's mother Thetis.
In Greek mythology, Hephaestus is the god of forges, fire and blacksmiths. Haphaestus was born directly from Hera, and is one of the Twelve Olympians. He was married to Aphrodite.
Due to Zeus' giving birth to Athena, Hera was angry at his actions. She then gave birth to Hephaestus. He was an ugly and deformed child. A rumor was spread by Hera that Zeus threw him from Mt. Olympus at birth due to his ugliness, when it was really Hera herself. Another story makes the claim that Hephaestus stepped in between his mother and father's argument and sided with Hera. In rage of his son's actions, Zeus seized Hephaestus by the legs and threw him from the top of Mt. Olympus, which caused his drastic injuries. After being nursed to health, Zeus (in a rare act) apologized and welcomed his son back with open arms.
Hephaestus is the Greek word for fire. This god had many cults around Ancient Greece and Rome. Hephaestus had many priests who worshiped in his name, usually paryed to before battle so that their swords and weapons would be strong in battle.
In Roman mythology Vulcan is the god of fire. As Vulcan, he becomes more disciplined, warlike, and militaristic. The Greeks envisioned Hephaestus as a benevolent and clever being. To the Romans, Vulcan was the god of volcanoes (which were named after him), giving him greater power than his Greek aspect.
The goddess of love, Aphrodite, was causing a lot of problems in Olympus due to her radiant beauty. Zeus decided to wed her to Hephaestus to keep her off the market, though she still had multiple affairs with Ares,the god of War. Though these days the affair is considered old news and every one just accepts it but Hephaestus still tries to find ways to publicly embarrass his wife and her lover in front of the other gods with elaborate traps and tricks. The most famous one and the first one was when he caught the two lovers in a magical net and then invited the other gods to come and laugh at the unfortunate sight.
He also took part in creating the metal giant Talos, the Trojan Horse, and other various automatons.