Hephaestus (Hephaistos)


Hephaestus is the god of smiths and fire. He was born lame and weak, and his mother Hera disliked him so intensely that she threw him down from Olympus. Thetis, a gentle sea goddess, found him and took care of him. Years later he returned to the Olympus, but when he sided with his mother in a twist between her and Zeus, this made the chief god so angry that he seized his son by the legs and flung him out of Olympus for the second time. For a whole day, Hephaestus fell through the air. In the evening he fell on the island of Lemnos, with a thump so hard the island shook. The islanders nursed him back to health. Since then Hephaestus walked like a flickering flame. His body was big and strong, but his weak legs could not support him for long so he built for himself two robots made of gold and silver to help him about.

He made many wonderful artifacts for the gods, including the twelve golden thrones of the Olympians, their weapons and treasures. When Hephaestus works, sparks and flames fly out of the volcanoes that he works in. Hephaestus is married to Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty.