Twelve gods and goddesses used to live on the top of Mount Olympus. Their disputes, their quarrels, their passions and their obsession with interfering in human life are the main characteristics that distinguish them in relation to other gods. They behaved as if they weren't gods. They had a tendency to experience tender loves, to fight each other and to hatch out plans, while they were immersed in any kind of sins.
Of these twelve gods and goddesses, Hephaestus has the longest name measuring 10 letters long. But who was Hephaestus, and why was he important? And who were the Ancient Greeks and what they believed?
Ancient Greeks used to believe in many deities, as they tried to explain all the natural phenomenons and the chaos of the universe through human nature.
However, the twelve gods and goddesses who were the most famous and the center of the ancient Greek religion were Zeus, the father of gods and the sky and thunder god, Hera who was Zeus' wife, Demetra the Greek goddess of agriculture, Poseidon the god of the sea, Hades the god of the dead, light, music, poetry, healing and prophecy, Artemis the goddess of hunting, Aphrodite the goddess of beauty and passion, Ares the god of war, Hermes the god of wealth, trade, thieves and travelers and of course Hephaestus the god of...well keep reading to find out.
Zeus and his wife Hera had many children and one of them was Hephaestus. However, Hesiod mentioned that Hera gave birth to Hephaestus on her own without Zeus being part of the conception, as Hera wanted to take revenge for Zeus giving birth to Athena. Moreover, Homer in Odyssey and Iliad added that there wasn't evidence that Zeus was the father of Hephaestus. There are so many assumptions and theories about his roots, but what matters is that Hephaestus was equal to the other Greek gods and one of the most powerful ones.
However, Hephaestus didn't always have a place among the other gods. When he was an infant, Hera threw him from Olympus, as he was deformed and ugly. He fell into the sea and he became lame.
However, two goddesses, Thetis and Evrynomi took care of him and they raised him for nine years. When he grew up, he immediately set up his first blacksmith shop at the bottom of the Aegean sea where he used to make artifacts for Thetis and Evrynomi.
These artifacts were so beautiful that it is assumed that Hera asked and learned that they were made by her despised son, Hephaestus. Consequently, she brought him back to Mount Olympus where she gave him a new blacksmith shop and the beautiful Aphrodite as his wife.
Hephaestus is the god of fire and blacksmith and his name itself means lit, as it derives from the ancient Greek word “ἧφθαι”.
Generally, he is the deity of fire in all its forms and uses, such as a lightning in the sky, a volcano on earth and as an inner human flame of creation and inspiration. Hephaestus himself had mastered every art related to fire and he devoted his life to making exquisite artifacts for the gods and goddesses and weapons for some of the human-beings.
In general, Hephaestus appeared to have lived a life full of difficulties, as it is clear that he wasn't loved or even accepted from his mother, while his wife cheated on him with Ares, the god of war on their marital bed. However, he was clever enough to trap them in a thin golden net and expose them in front of the other gods.
On top of that, he was thrown from Olympus again in a later incident. This time, it was Zeus who did it, as Hephaestus tried to help his mother when hanging from the celestial dome. Hera had to serve her sentence because she had sent a storm against Herculis.
To disobey the orders of Zeus was punishable too, so Hephaestus got expelled from Olympus and he fell on the island Lemnos where Synthians found him exhausted and with both legs broken. Their hospitality and care made Lemnos the favorite place of Hephaestus and that's the reason why he made the decision to stay there on the mount Mosichlon where he rebuilt his blacksmith shop.
In conclusion, Hephaestus can be described as hard-working, caring, but unfortunate. Furthermore, one may think that he is a perfectionist, too, as his artifacts were great and enviable.
Among his best was the clay woman, Pandora, whom Zeus gave as a wife to Epimetheus in order to avenge him, as his brother Prometheus insulted him by stealing the fire.
Hephaestus was an interesting god, and with a name 10 letters long had the longest name of the 12 gods and goddesses, beating Aphrodite by one letter.
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