Monday, 7 October 2013

Hephaestus

Hephaestus in his workshop

            In Greek mythology, Hephaestus was Greek god of fire, metal working, stone-masonry, and art of sculpture. 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.  Hephaestus was the son of Zeus and Hera. Other version state that he had no father and that Hera gave birth to him independent of Zeus, as she was jealous of Zeus having given birth to Athena independent of her. This, however is opposed to the common story, that Hephaestus split the head of Zeus, and thus assisted him in giving birth to Athena, as Hephaestus is there represented as older than Athena.

Aphrodite and Hephaestus
Hephaestus had been cast form heaven by his mother Hera at birth, because she was ashamed at bearing a lame or crippled son. He was rescued by Thetis and Eurynome and raised in a cave on the shores of river Okeanus. Where he became a skilled smith. Angry at his mother's treatment. Hephaestus sent various gifts to Olympus including a golden chair for Hera. When Hera sat on the chair, she had triggered a trap which bound her to the chair.  Zeus sought the assistance of the gods in the freeing his queen and offered the goddess Aphrodite in marriage to god who could bring Hephaestus to Olympus. Aphrodite agreed to the arrangement in the belief that her beloved Ares would prevail. Ares stormed the forge of Hephaestus, bearing arms, but was driven back by the Hephaestus with showers of flaming metal. Dionysus next approached Hephaestus and suggested that he might claim Aphrodite for himself, if he release his mother. Hephaestus was pleased with the plan and ascended to heaven with Dionysus, released his mother. Aphrodite married Hephaestus but betrayed him with Ares. Although Hephaestus afterwards remembered the cruelty of his mother, but he was always kind and obedient towards her. 




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