Hephaestus is the Greek god of fire, metalworking, blacksmithing, forging, and masonry. Hephaestus was born in Olympus to Hera but was cast out of the city. Later in life, Hephaestus was ordered to marry Aphrodite by Zeus for one of two reasons.
One myth states that Hephaestus had made his mother, Hera, a throne for her to sit, and when she sat upon the throne, she was unable to stand. Therefore, Zeus ordered Hephaestus to marry Aphrodite, the most beautiful goddess, in return for releasing Hera from the throne.
The other myth states that Zeus ordered Aphrodite to marry Hephaestus to prevent a war among the gods. As Aphrodite was the goddess of love, she was the most beautiful and desired goddess among gods. The order of Hephaestus to marry Aphrodite would keep the peace among the gods.
Hephaestus was the Greek god of fire who was married to the most beautiful goddess, but what other quick facts are there about this god? We will look at his life, love, and livelihood when listing some of these facts.
Life – Who was Hephaestus?
- Hephaestus was born to Hera, but was unsightly and had a deformity that made him lame; thus, he was banished from Olympus.
- There are two myths that describe the reason for Hephaestus deformity. One myth describes that Hephaestus was born with the deformity, while another myth suggests that Hephaestus received the injury to his foot when he was thrown from Olympus and landed on the earth.
- Hephaestus returned to Olympus by acting as a mediator between Zeus and Hera, as well as showcasing his metalwork as a gift he can offer both mankind and the gods.
- Hephaestus was a mild and peaceful god who watched after the cattle of Geryon while Hercules searched for a missing bull.
- Hephaestus is associated with the volcano, and Greek mythology suggests that his workshop lie underneath a volcano, which he used as a forge.
- Hephaestus Roman name is Vulcan, which is derived from Volcano.
Love – Why Does He Marry Aphrodite?
- Zeus ordered Aphrodite to marry Hephaestus.
- Aphrodite was unfaithful to the unattractive Hephaestus on many occasions.
- Aphrodite had been intimate with Ares, the god of war, and Hephaestus become aware of the affair through Helios, god of the sun.
- Hephaestus used his workmanship to create an unbreakable chain-link net to catch them naked in bed and take them to display on Mount Olympus.
- Aphrodite and Hephaestus had the following children: Eukela, Eupheme, Euthenia, and Philophrosyne.
Livelihood – What Did Hephaestus Do for a Living?
- Hephaestus had his own palace within Olympus which contained his workshop filled with his anvil and bellows.
- Hephaestus made all of the weapons and armor for the Olympians.
- Hephaestus made the breastplate shield that Athena carried.
- Hephaestus made the winged helmet and sandals for Hermes, Aphrodite’s belt, Agamemnon’s staff, the armor for Achilles, the armor for Diomedes, a clapper for Hercules to use during one of his labors, a chariot for Helios, and the bow and arrows for Aphrodite’s son, Eros.
- There are versions of the myth that says Prometheus gave fire to mankind by stealing fire from the forge of Hephaestus.
- Hephaestus created the woman, Pandora, as a gift to man at the request of Zeus.
- Hephaestus created woman’s pithos, which was a large storage container.
- Hephaestus made a necklace for Aphrodite’s daughter, Harmonia, and cursed the necklace to bring bad luck to anyone who possessed it; thus, Harmonia and her husband were turned into serpents.
Temple of Hephaestus
The Temple of Hephaestus is built from marble and is located in Athens, Greece. The Temple of Hephaestus housed workshops of potters, metalworking, and blacksmithing as an honor to the god.
Hephaestus was depicted as an unattractive man with an unkempt beard, deformed foot, and holding a crafting tool. The foot of Hephaestus may also be turned facing backward to signify its deformity.
If Hephaestus was portrayed on vases or relics, he would be bent over an anvil creating something from fire.
The association between metalworking and Hephaestus ugly appearance has evolved into modern-day correlations. The prolonged exposure to fire, metalworking, and blacksmithing is symbolic of the skin issues that can come from excessive sunlight and heat exposure.
Hephaestus is Similar to Athena
Athena is the goddess of wisdom, and it is believed that Hephaestus possesses similar qualities as Athena. Hephaestus would not have the same dominance and supremacy that Athena would carry, but he would be considered wise, intelligent, and skilled.
Just like Athena, Hephaestus would help those who called upon his help. Hephaestus is linked to many Greek gods and heroes in mythology because of his nature, as well as his contribution to weaponry and armory.
Hephaestus had many powers to offer. He was the god of fire, the forge, blacksmithing, metalworking, and masonry. Hephaestus constructed the armor and weapons for Olympus, as well as constructed many accessories that helped other Greek heroes in mythology.
Hephaestus was married to Aphrodite, which would not be a faithful marriage. Aphrodite was unfaithful to Hephaestus, and her most notable lover was Ares. Hephaestus used his forging capabilities to construct an indestructible chain-link net to catch Aphrodite and Ares together in bed and display them on Olympus.
Regardless of his displeasure with Aphrodite, Hephaestus remained an honorable and wise god who had a temple constructed and dedicated to him and his powers.