Hephaestus was a master blacksmith. In his giant forge at Mount Olympus he fashioned the armor and shield of Achilles, as well as Cupid’s arrows and Jupiter’s thunderbolts. He is the only Greek god depicted as lame and his offspring were usually ugly.
The reasons for his lameness might be related to the ancient belief that certain gifts were bestowed on those with disabilities.
To add to his woes, his consort Aphrodite often cheated on him (with gods and men), but Hephaestus is also depicted with another consort.
According to most versions, Hephaestus’s consort is Aphrodite, who cheats on him with a number of gods and mortals, including the god Ares. However, in Homer’s Iliad, the consort of Hephaestus is a lesser Aphrodite, Charis “the grace” or Aglaia “the glorious”, the youngest of the Graces, as Hesiod calls her.¹
Hephaestus is also interesting as a figure who undergoes a massive fall from and subsequent return to grace. Hera flung him from Olympus but he won his return by fashioning a giant golden throne which, when she sat on it, couldn’t get out of.
Some stories say that the act of Hera throwing him out of Olympus caused his lameness, others say he was rejected because of it. In any case, Hephaestus was eventually asked back in order to free Hera from being stuck on her throne. His triumphant return is depicted in pottery paintings in Attica and Corinth.
Related Posts » Tiresias
- Who were the twelve olympian gods and what did they do (wiki.answers.com)
- Hera by Garrison Meeks (freshfolk.wordpress.com)
- Gods and priests (oup.com)
- Greek Island Angry at Portrayal in Videogames (escapistmagazine.com)
- How is Hephaestus related to The Odyssey (wiki.answers.com)
- Goddess of the Day for October 11th – Aphrodite (witchesofthecraft.wordpress.com)
- What did the greek goddesses and gods do (wiki.answers.com)
- The Spunkiest Of All: Hercules’ Megara (lissawrites.wordpress.com)
- What was a fire breathing monster in Greek mythology (wiki.answers.com)
- Pandora Gets Jealous by Carolyn Hennesy – Children’s Books – ages 7-12 (meditatingmummy.wordpress.com)