Hephaestus, also known as Vulcan or Vulcanalia, is known as the blacksmith god, or the god of fire. He is the son of Zeus and Hera. But, unlike them and any of the other gods, he is portrayed as ugly and lame. Hephaestus was said to be born from Hera’s thigh or head. When he was a baby Hera threw him off of Mount Olympus because he was so ugly, which in turn crippled his legs permanently. She hated him for his lack of looks. Hephaestus is the god of blacksmiths, fire, metalworking, stonemasonry, the art of sculpture, technology, and volcanoes. Hephaestus used his talents to make the thrones for the other gods. He also made Zues’ lightning bolts. He made many arts, arms, iron, and jewelry for heroes. Hephaestus also created Pandora (of Pandora’s box), who was Zeus’ daughter, and the first women to be created out of clay. When he was a child he would create slave women, made of gold, to do his jobs. Hephaestus can be represented by many symbols such as fire, hammers, volcanoes, anvil, and tongs. One day he found fire on the beach and became fascinated with it. It only took him three days afterwards to begin to shape metal with it. When Hephaestus’ wife Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, was unfaithful to him he would pound hot metal with such force he would cause a volcanic eruption. Although Hephaestus was born of Zeus and Hera, he was raised by the sea-nymph Thetis. His siblings included Eilithyia, the goddess of childbirth, Hebes, the goddess of youth, and Ares, the Olympian god of war. He was married to the goddess Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. One time Hephaestus, to make his mother angry, sent her a beautiful chair. When she sat in it she was strapped to it. Hephaestus did this in revenge for her throwing him off of Mount Olympus. He only agreed to free her when Zeus offered him a wife, Aphrodite.
The main and most ancient sanctuary in Rome was the Volcanal. It was located in the area Volcani, and there was an area dedicated to...
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