The 12 Gods

Hephaestus' Appearance: A dark haired man who has difficulty walking due to misformed feet. Some accounts make him small in stature.

Symbol or Attribute of Hephaestus: The forge and fire.

Strengths: Hephaestus is creative, cunning, and an able metal worker

Weaknesses:Can't handle his liquor; can be crafty and vindictive.

Parents: Usually said to be Zeus and Hera; some say Hera bore him without the help of a father. Hera is also said to have thrown him into the sea, where he was rescued by Thetis and her sisters.

Spouse: Aphrodite. The blacksmith-god married well. Other tales give him as wife the youngest of the Graces, Aglaia.

Children: He created Pandora of the famous box; some tales give him as the father of Eros, though most ascribe this love-god to the union of Ares and Aphrodite. Some divine genealogies have him as the father or grandfather of Radamanthys who ruled at Phaestos on the island of Crete, though Radamanthys is usually considered to be the son of Io and Zeus.

Some Major Temple Sites: The Hephaestaion near the Acropolis in Athens, which is the best-preserved Doric-style temple in Greece, built in 449 B.C.E. He was also associated with the islands of Naxos and Lemnos.

Basic Story: Feeling rejected by his mother Hera, Hephaestus made a lovely throne for her and sent it to Olympus. She sat in it and discovered she could not get up again. Then the chair levitated. The other Olympian gods tried to reason with Hephaestus, but even Ares was driven off with his flames. He finally was given wine by Dionysus and, drunk, was brought to Olmypus. Drunk or not, he still refused to free Hera unless he could have either Aphrodite or Athene as wife. He ended up with Aphrodite, who in this instance was not a quick learner. When she lay with his brother Ares in the bed Hephaestus had made, chains emerged and they could not leave the bed, exposing them to the laughter of the rest of the Olympians when Hephaestus called them all together to witness his adulterous wife and brother.

Interesting Fact:Hephaestus could sometimes be called Daidalos, connecting him to the famous Cretan craftsman who was the first to fly.

Alternate spelling Hephaistos, Ifestos, Iphestos

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