Hephaestus


Hephaestus
/hi fes"teuhs/, n.
the ancient Greek god of fire, metalworking, and handicrafts, identified by the Romans with Vulcan.

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or Hephaistos

Greek god of fire.

He was originally a deity of Asia Minor and nearby islands (especially Lemnos); his Roman counterpart was Vulcan. Born lame, or crippled at an early age, he was cast out of heaven by his parents, Zeus and Hera. His wife was Aphrodite, goddess of love. He was the patron of smiths and craftsman and was often depicted working at his forge. Volcanoes were believed to be the fires of his workshops.

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Greek  Hephaistos,  

      in Greek religion, the god of fire. Originally a deity of Asia Minor and the adjoining islands (in particular Lemnos), he had an important place of worship at the Lycian Olympus. Born lame, Hephaestus was cast from heaven in disgust by his mother, Hera, and again by his father, Zeus, after a family quarrel; he was brought back by Dionysus. His ill-matched consort was Aphrodite, or else Charis, the personification of Grace.

      As god of fire, Hephaestus became the divine smith and patron of craftsmen; the natural volcanic or gaseous fires already connected with him were often considered to be his workshops. His cult reached Athens not later than about 600 BC (although it scarcely touched Greece proper) and arrived in Campania not long afterward. In art Hephaestus was generally represented as a middle-aged, bearded man, although occasionally a younger, beardless type is found. He usually wore a short, sleeveless tunic and a round, close-fitting cap on his unkempt hair. His Roman counterpart was Vulcan.

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Universalium. 2010.

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