He may have been lame, but he was given the goddess with the most revered beauty as his wife. Hepaestus was looked down upon for his deformity, which the Olympians saw as a grotesque weakness. In this article, you will learn more about the god who was linked to fire and the forge.
Hephaestus is portrayed with dark and may be seen dragging his foot, as he has difficulty walking due to a foot that hadn’t fully formed. Some art works show him as small in stature. The forge and fire are symbols used to represent the god. Herphaetus was also shown in works of art with symbols, such as the hammer, anvil, and tongs.
It is believed that Zeus and Hera are the parents of Hephaestus. However, there are some accounts that state the goddess gave birth to him without any assistance from a father. Some Greek myths state that Hera tossed Hephaestus back into the sea, but Thetis and her sisters eventually rescued him. The god had four siblings, including the god of war, Ares. He was also related to Enyo (ancient goddess of war, who acted as a counterpart and companion to Ares), Hebe (the goddess of youth), and Eileithyia (the Cretan goddess adopted into ancient Greek religion and myth as the goddess of childbirth and midwifery).
As for having a mate, Hephaestus was given the most beautiful goddess, Aphrodite (the goddess of love). Since Aphrodite was blessed with great beauty, Zeus believed that marrying her to someone that was no threat at all (because of his lameness) could keep the other gods from fighting over her. Aphrodite was not pleased with this arrangement, and rebelled at times, including having affairs with the god of war, Ares. There are some Greek tales that say Hephaestus was married to the youngest of the Graces, Aglaia.
Hephaestus is listed as having no children in many historic texts, but he is linked to creating the infamous Pandora (of the unforgettable ‘box’ myth). Other tales say that he is the father of Eros, even though some texts state that this child was born from the affairs of Ares and Aphrodite.
Weaknesses and Strengths
With the ability to beautifully shape metal, Hephaestus is creative and has a cunning sense. However, it’s not suggested to get the god intoxicated, as he can turn into a rather crafty and vindictive individual.
In Roman mythology, it was Vulcan that was the most comparable to Hephaestus.
Located close to the Acropolis in Athens, the Hephaestaion is one of the best preserved Doric-style temples in Greece. It was constructed in 449 BCE. The god was also linked to the islands of Naxos and Lemnos.
Myth Involving Hephaestus
After feeling rejected by his mother Hera, one Greek myths shows Hephaestus constructing a beautiful throne for her and sending it to Olympus. When Hera sat on it, she learned that she could not get up from it. The chair then lifted into the sky. The other Olympian gods attempted to get Hephaestus to correct the chair, but not only Ares could talk senses into the god, who used fire to drive away his brother.
Finally, Dionysus gave Hephaestus enough wine to make him drunk and was brought to Olympus. He still refused to free his mother unless he could take either Aphrodite or Athena as his wife. This is one of the tales that show how Aphrodite became the life of the lame smith-god.