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Greek Mythology >> Greek Gods >> Olympian Gods >> Hephaestus >> Hephaestus Family

HEPHAISTOS FAMILY

Greek Name

Ἡφαιστος

Transliteration

Hêphaistos

Latin Spelling

Hephaestus

Roman Name

Vulcan

Hephaestus riding donkey and Satyrs | Athenian red-figure calyx krater C5th B.C. | Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge
Hephaestus riding donkey and Satyrs, Athenian red-figure calyx krater C5th B.C., Harvard Art Museums

HEPHAISTOS was the Olympian god of fire, smiths, craftsmen, metalworking and stonemasonry.

This page provides a comprehensive overview of the divine and mortal children of the god. The majority of these, however, were only linked to him with the briefest of genealogical references. His only significant mortal son was Erikhthonios (Erichthonius), an early king of Athens.


(1) DIVINE OFFSPRING

EUKLEIA (Eucleia) The goddess of good repute and glory, a daughter of Hephaistos and Aglaia.

EUPHEME The goddess of being well-spoken, a daughter of Hephaistos and Aglaia.

EUTHENIA The goddess of prosperity and plenty, a daughter of Hephaistos and Aglaia.

KABEIROI (Cabeiri) Gods or daimones of the Mysteries of the island of Samothrake (Greek Aegean). They were sons of Hephaistos and the nymph Kabeiro.

KABEIRIDES (Cabeirides) Nymphs of the Mysteries of the island of Samothrake (Greek Aegean). They were daughters of Hephaistos and the nymph Kabeiro.

PALIKOI (Palici) Gods of the hot-springs and geysers of the region of Palikoi in Sicily (southern Italy). They were sons of Hephaitos and Aitna (or, according to others, of Zeus and Hephaistos' daughter Thaleia).

PHILOPHROSYNE The goddess of friendliness and welcome, a daughter of Hephaistos and Aglaia.

THALEIA (Thalia) A nymph of the island of Sicily (southern ITaly). She was a daughter of Hephaistos loved by Zeus.


(2) MORTAL OFFSPRING

ARDALOS (Ardalus) A man of Troizenos in Argolis (southern Greece) who invented the flute. He was a son of Hephaistos.

ERIKHTHONIOS or EREKHTHEUS (Erichthonius or Erechtheus) An early king of Attika (southern Greece), son of Hephaistos and Gaia who was born from an attempt by Hephaistos on the virginity of Athena. He was raised by the goddess in her temple on the Akropolis.

KAIKALOS (Caecalus) A king of Prainestes (central Italy). He was a son of Hephaistos.

KAKOS (Cacus) A barbarous, fire-breathing giant of Latium (central Italy), who was slain by Herakles. He was a son of Hephaistos.

KERKYON (Cercyon) A bandit of Eleusis in Attika (southern Greece) who used to wrestle and murder passers-by. He was slain by Theseus. According to some his father was Hephaistos (others say it was Poseidon or a local man Brankhos).

OLENOS (Olenus) A king of the town of Olenos in Akhaia (southern Greece) and son of Hephaistos.

PALAIMONIOS (Palaemonius) A lord of Olenos in Akhaia (southern Greece) and one of the Argonauts. He was a son of Hephaistos (or alternatively of Lernos or Aitolos).

PERIPHETES or KORYNETES (Corynetes) A bandit of Epidauros in the Argolis (southern Greece) who used to club passers-by until slain by Theseus. He was a son of Hephaistos and Antikleia (or, according to others, of Poseidon).

PHILAMMON A king and musician of Phokis (central Greece). According to one author he was a son of Hephaistos ( most accounts however make him a son of Apollon).

PHILOTTOS A son of Hephaistos.

PYLIOS (Pylius) A man of the island of Lemnos (Greek Aegean) who cured the Trojan-War hero Philoktetes of his snake-bite wound.

RHADAMANTHYS A judge and lawmaker of the island of Krete (Greek Aegean). According to one author he was a son of Hephaistos (although the usual account makes him a son of Zeus and Europa).

SERVIUS TULLIUS A king of Rome and Latium (central Italy). He was a son of Hephaistos (Volcanos) and Ocresia.

SPINTHER A son of Hephaistos.


GENEALOGICAL LISTING

OFFSPRING IMMORTAL

[1.1] THE KABEIROI (by Kabeiro) (Nonnus Dionysiaca 14.17 & 27.120)
[1.2] THE KABEIROI, THE KABEIRIDES (by Kabeiro) (Pherecydes Frag, Strabo 10.3.21)
[1.3] KADMILOS (by Kabeiro) (Acusilaus Frag, Strabo 10.3.21)
[2.1] EUKLEIA, EUTHENIA, EUPHEME, PHILOPHROSYNE (by Aglaia) (Orphic Rhapsodies Frag)
[3.1] THE PALIKOI (by Aitna) (Stephanus Byzantium?)
[4.1] THALEIA (Stephanus Byzantium?)

OFFSPRING MORTAL

KINGDOM OF ATTIKA (Southern Greece)

[1.1] ERIKHTHONIOS (by Gaia) (Apollodorus 3.187, Callimachus Hecale Frag 1.2, Pausanias 1.2.6, Hyginus Fabulae 166 & Astronomica 2.16)
[1.2] ERIKHTHONIOS (by Atthis) (Apollodorus 3.187)
[2.1] KEKROPS (Hyginus Fabulae 158)
[3.1] KERKYON (Hyginus Fabulae 38 & 158)

KINGDOMS OF ARGOLIS (Southern Greece)

[1.1] PERIPHETES (by Antikleia) (Apollodorus 3.217)
[2.2] PERIPHETES (Hyginus Fabulae 158)
[2.1] ARDALOS (Pausanias 2.31.3)

KINGDOM OF OLENOS-AKHAIA (Southern Greece)

[1.1] OLENOS (Hyginus Astronomica 2.13)
[2.1] PALAIMONIOS (Apollodorus 1.112, Apollonius Rhodius 1.203)

KINGDOM OF PHOKIS (Central Greece)

[1.1] PHILAMMON (Hyginus Fabulae 158)

KINGDOM OF LEMNON (Greek Aegean)

[1.1] PYLIOS (Ptolemy Hephaestion 6)

KINGDOM OF KRETE (Greek Aegean)

[1.1] RHADAMANTHYS (Pausanias 8.53.5)

KINGDOM OF LATIUM (Central Italy)

[1.1] KAKOS (Virgil Aeneid 8.195, Ovid Fasti 1.543)
[2.1] SERVIUS TULLIUS (Ovid Fasti 6.625)

KINGDOM OF PRYNESTES (Central Italy)

[1.1] KAIKALOS (Virgil Aeneid 7.678)

UNKNOWN LOCATION

[1.1] PHILOTTOS (Hyginus Fabulae 158)
[2.1] SPINTER (Hyginus Fabulae 158)

 


CLASSICAL LITERATURE QUOTES

GENERAL LIST OF SONS

Gaea, birth of Erichthonius and Athena | Athenian red-figure calyx krater C5th B.C. | Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond
Gaea, birth of Erichthonius, and Athena, Athenian red-figure calyx krater C5th B.C., Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 158 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Sons of Vulcanus [Hephaistos]. Philammon. Cecrops. Erichthonius. Corynetes. Cercyon. Philottus. Spinther."

Sphinster and Pilottus are not mentioned by any other authors and Hyginus gives no further explanation.


FAMILY ON MOUNT OLYMPUS (HOME OF THE GODS)

LOVED : 1. Aphrodite, goddess of love; 2 - 5. Kharis Aglaia, goddess of beauty.
FATHERED : 2. Eukleia, goddess; 3. Eupheme, goddess; 4. Euthenia, goddess; 5. Philophrosyne.

For the MYTH of the god's love for Aphrodite see Hephaestus Loves: Aphrodite
For MORE information on his goddess daughters see: EUKLEIA, EUPHEME, EUTHENIA, PHILOPHROSYNE


FAMILY IN ATTICA (SOUTHERN GREECE)

LOVED : 1. Athena & Gaia, goddesses; 1. Atthis, princess of Athens.
FATHERED : 1. Erikhthonios, king of Athens; 2. Kerkyon, bandit of Eleusis.

1) ERIKHTHONIOS (or EREKHTHEUS) King of Attika

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 187 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Erikhthonios [king of Athens], according to some, was the son of Hephaistos and Kranaus' daughter Atthis, while others say his parents were Hephaistos and Athene, in the following manner [see HephaestusLoves: Athena for this story]."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 48 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Kings of the Athenians . . . Erichthonius, son of Vulcanus [Hephaistos]."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 158 :
"Sons of Volcanus [Hephaistos] . . . Cecrops [of Attika]. Erichthonius [of Attika]."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 2. 759 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"The infant boy [Erikhthonios], great Volcanus' [Hephaistos'] child, the babe no mother bore."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 9. 420 ff :
"A rumbling argument arose in heaven, the gods all grumbling why others should not be allowed to grant such gifts [the rejuvenating power of the goddess Hebe] . . . Mulciber [Hephaistos] required new life for [his son] Erichthonius."

Cicero, De Natura Deorum 3. 22 (trans. Rackham) (Roman rhetorician C1st B.C.) :
"Volcanos [Hephaistos] . . . was reputedly the father by Minerva [Athena] of the Apollo [Erikhthonios] said by the ancient historians to be the tutelary deity of Athens."

Suidas s.v. Panathenaia (trans. Suda On Line) (Byzantine Greek lexicon C10th A.D.) :
"Erikhthonios, the son of Hephaistos and Athena."

For the MYTH of Hephaistos' attempted rape of Athena and the impregnation of Gaia see Hephaestus Loves: Athena & Gaea

2) KERKYON Bandit of Eleusis

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 38 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"[Theseus] killed by force of arms Cercyon, son of Volcanus [Hephaistos]."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 158 :
"Sons of Volcanus [Hephaistos] . . . Cercyon [of Eleusis, Attika]."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 238 :
"Cercyon, son of Vulcanus [Hephaistos]."


FAMILY IN ARGOLIS (SOUTHERN GREECE)

LOVED : 1. Antikleia, woman of Epidauros.
FATHERED : 1. Periphetes, bandit of Epidauros; 2. Ardalos, musician of Troizenos.

1) PERIPHETES (or KORYNETES) Bandit of Epidauros

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 217 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"He [Theseus] cleared the route [from Troizenos to Athens] of criminal types who were occupying it. The first of these was Periphetes, son of Hephaistos and Antikleia, who was nicknamed Korynetes, the Mace-man, from the club he carried. Weak in his underpinnings, he sported an iron club with which he killed people passing by. Theseus killed him at Epidauros."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 158 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Sons of Volcanus [Hephaistos] . . . Corynetes [another name for Periphetes]."

2) ARDALOS Musician of Troizenos

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 31. 3 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"[At Troizenos in the Argolis is] a sanctuary of the Mousai (Muses), made, they told me, by Ardalos, son of Hephaistos. This Ardalos they hold to have invented the flute, and after him they name the Mousai Ardalides."


FAMILY IN ACHAEA (SOUTHERN GREECE)

FATHERED : 1. Olenos, king of Olenos; 2. Palaimonios, Olenian lord.

1) OLENOS King of Olenos

Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2. 13 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"A certain Olenus, son of Volcanus [Hephaistos], had two daughters, the Nymphae Aex and Helice, who were nurses of Jove [Zeus]."

2) PALAIMONIOS Olenian Lord

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 112 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"[Numbered amongst the Argonauts was:] Palaimon, son of Hephaistos or Aitolos."

Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 1. 203 ff (trans. Rieu) (Greek epic C3rd B.C.) :
"At the same time came Palaimonios [to join the Argonauts], who was the son, or rather the reputed son, of Olenian Lernos, his real father having been Hephaistos. This accounted for his being lame."


FAMILY IN PHOCIS (CENTRAL GREECE)

FATHERED : 1. Philammon, king of Phokis.

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 158 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Sons of Volcanus [Hephaistos]. Philammon [of Phokis]."


FAMILY IN LEMNOS (GREEK AEGEAN)

Hephaestus, Gaea, infant Erichthonius and Athena | Athenian red-figure stamnos C5th B.C. | Staatliche Antikensammlungen, Munich
Hephaestus, Gaea, infant Erichthonius and Athena, Athenian red-figure stamnos C5th B.C., Staatliche Antikensammlungen

LOVED : 1 - 2. Kabeiro, sea nymph.
FATHERED : 1. Kabeiroi, demi-gods of Samothrake; 2. Kabeirides, nymphs of Samothrake; 3. Pylios, Lemnian lord.

1 -2) THE KABEIROI & KABEIRIDES Lemnian Gods

Strabo, Geography 10. 3. 21 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Akusilaüs, the Argive, calls Kadmilos the son of Kabeiro and Hephaistos . . . Pherekydes says that . . . three Kabeiroi and three Nymphai called Kabeirides were the children of Kabeiro, the daughter of Proteus, and Hephaistos, and that sacred rites were instituted in honor of each triad."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 14. 17 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"From the firepeak rock of Lemnos the two Kabeiroi in arms answered the stormy call beside the mystic torch of Samos [Samothrake], two sons of Hephaistos whom Thrakian Kabeiro had borne to the heavenly smith, Alkon and Eurymedon well skilled at the forge, who bore their mother's tribal name."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 27. 120 ff :
"[Deriades addresses his Indian troops :] ‘Let Lemnian Kabeiro unveiled lament the death of her two sons [the Kabeiroi]; let sooty Hephaistos throw down his tongs, and see the destroyer of his race sitting in the car of the Kabeiroi.’"

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 27. 325 ff :
"[Zeus addresses Hephaistos :] ‘Do you sit still, Hephaistos, and will not you save your children? Lift your accustomed torch to defend the Kabeiroi; turn your eye and see your ancient bride, your Kabeiro, reproaching you in love for her sons.’"

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 29. 193 ff :
"Two firestrong citizens of Samothrake [the Kabeiroi] . . . sons of Lemnian Kabeiro; their eyes flashed out their own natural sparks, which came from the red smoky flame of their father Hephaistos."

For MYTHS of Hephaistos and his sons see Hephaestus Favour: the Cabeiri
For MORE information on these gods see KABEIROI, KABEIRIDES

3) PYLIOS Lemnian Lord

Ptolemy Hephaestion, New History Book 6 (summary from Photius, Myriobiblon 190) (trans. Pearse) (Greek mythographer C1st to C2nd A.D.) :
"Philoktetes [a hero of the Trojan War], at Lemnos, was cured by Pylios son of Hephaistos, from whom he learned how to draw the bow."


FAMILY IN CRETE (GREEK AEGEAN)

FATHERED : 1. Rhadamanthys, lawmaker of Krete.

Pausanias, Description of Greece 8. 53. 5 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"Kinaithon too in his poem represents Rhadamanthys as the son of Hephaistos, Hephaistos as a son of Talos, and Talos as a son of Kres. The legends of Greece generally have different forms, and this is particularly true of genealogy."


FAMILY IN SICILY (SOUTHERN ITALY)

LOVED : 1 - 2. Aitna, nymph of Etna.
FATHERED : 1. Palikoi, gods of geysers; 2. Thaleia, nymph of Etna.

For MORE information on these gods see PALIKOI, THALEIA


FAMILY IN ROME & LATIUM (CENTRAL ITALY)

LOVED : 2. Okresia, princess of Rome.
FATHERED : 1. Kakos, giant of Latium; 2. Servius Tullius, king of Rome.

1) KAKOS Bandit-Giant of Latium

Virgil, Aeneid 8. 195 ff (trans. Day-Lewis) (Roman epic C1st B.C.) :
"This ogre [Kakos], was the son of Volcanos [Hephaistos]; as he moved in titan bulk, he breathed out his father's deadly flame."

Ovid, Fasti 1. 543 ff (trans.Boyle) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Savage Cacus . . . this monster's father was Mulciber [Hephaistos] . . . he resorts unbravely to his father's arts, and retches roaring flame. You would think every blast was Typhoeus' breath, a bolt of lightning hurled from Etna's fire."

Ovid, Fasti 6. 65 ff :
"Cacus found no defence in his father's [Hephaistos'] gift of flame."

For MORE information on this giant see KAKOS

2) SERVIUS TULLIUS King of Rome & Latium

Ovid, Fasti 6. 625 ff (trans.Boyle) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"The temple [of Tullius seventh king of Rome] burnt down, but fire spared the statue; Mulciber [Hephaistos] himself assisted his son. For Tullius' father was Volcanus [Hephaistos], his mother lovely Ocresia from Corniculum."


FAMILY IN PRAENESTE (CENTRAL ITALY)

FATHERED : 1. Kaikalos, king of Praeneste.

Virgil, Aeneid 7. 678 ff (trans. Day-Lewis) (Roman epic C1st B.C.) :
"Caeculus . . . the founder of Praeneste, the king who men throughout the ages have believed was the son of Volcanos [Hephaistos], born among flocks and herds, and found on the hearth."


SOURCES

GREEK

ROMAN

BYZANTINE

BIBLIOGRAPHY

A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.