Hephaestus facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsHephaestus
|God of fire, metalworking, stone masonry, forges, the art of sculpture, technology, and blacksmiths|
|Member of the Twelve Olympians|
Hephaestus at the Forge by Guillaume Coustou the Younger (Louvre)
|Symbol||hammer, anvil, tongs|
|Children||Thalia, Erichthonius, Eucleia, Eupheme, Philophrosyne, Cabeiri and Euthenia|
|Parents||Zeus and Hera, or Hera alone|
|Siblings||Aeacus, Angelos, Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Athena, Dionysus, Eileithyia, Enyo, Eris, Ersa, Hebe, Helen of Troy, Heracles, Hermes, Minos, Pandia, Persephone, Perseus, Rhadamanthus, the Graces, the Horae, the Litae, the Muses, the Moirai|
Hephaestus was the Greek god of fire and volcanoes. He served as the blacksmith of the gods and made all the weapons in Olympus. His symbols are a smith's hammer, anvil, and a pair of tongs. He was worshiped by metal workers. The Greeks frequently placed miniature statues of Hephaestus near their hearths.
The cult of Hephaestus was based in Lemnos. His Roman equivalent is the god Vulcan.
When Hephaestus was born, he was ugly and weak, with a broken foot. Hera did not like the way he looked and threw him off her castle which was on top of the clouds. Hephaestus fell for one day and one night before falling into the sea. The sea animals rescued him and took him to an island called Lemnos. There Hephaestus built his forge underneath a volcano. He collected precious metals, pearls and pieces of coral to fashion extraordinary jewelry. Hephaestus built little robots of gold to help him get around. Hephaestus even worked with the Cyclopes (one eyed creatures). To impress the gods and goddesses, he made a set of golden thrones for them.
Hera realized her mistake of throwing Hephaestus off Mount Olympus and pleaded Zeus to welcome Hephaestus back. Hephaestus politely refused, saying that he was quite happy where he was. Then he set to work and fashioned a beautiful golden throne and sent it to Hera as a ‘thank you gift’ for the invitation. The instant she sat on it, golden ropes flew out and tied her up locking her into the chair.
Hephaestus was still very angry with Hera because she threw him of Mount Olympus. Even though everyone tried to free Hera from the great trap, Hephaestus’ design was so clever that none could detach the ropes. Zeus sent Dionysus, the god of wine, to bring Hephaestus back to let Hera loose. Hephaestus finally freed Hera, however, he still refused to forgive her.
Hera felt very guilty and gave him loads of supplies, materials, tools, and helpers for his workshop. Hephaestus made the best weapons, jewelry, and armor. Some of his greatest creations ever were the silver bows and arrows of Artemis and Apollo as well as Apollo’s golden chariot. He also made the shield of Achilles, Athena's spear, and Hercules' breastplate. In addition to this he made the scepter of Zeus and the battle armor of the Olympian armies. He also made all of the gods and goddesses palaces and their unbreakable locks. On top of all this, Hephaestus was and is still credited with the invention of the three-legged stool and the world’s first robots. Hephaestus helpers included a complete set of life size golden maids who helped around the house.
Marriage to Aphrodite
Hephaestus married Aphrodite. When Aphrodite emerged from the sea, Zeus feared that the gods would battle over her hand in marriage, so Zeus arranged that Aphrodite would marry Hephaestus. Hephaestus gave Aphrodite his best creations and even gave her a magic girdle that made her irresistible to men. However, Aphrodite did not love him as she was married against her will and she didn't like Hephaestus' looks. She spent most of her time with Ares.
Hephaestus was well liked by all of the Olympians. He was not involved in their plots. Hephaestus preferred to be alone in his workshop. Hephaestus was also worshiped by the Greeks because he proved that those who labor are also noble.
Consorts and children
Hephaestus's consort was Aphrodite. However, he fathered several children with mortals and immortals alike.
|Eucleia, Euthenia, Eupheme, Philophrosyne||Aglaea|
|The Cabeiri, The Cabeirian nymphs||Cabeiro|
|Ardalus, Cercyon, Olenus, Palaemonius, Argonauts, Philottus, Pylius who cured Philoctetes at Lemnos, Spinter||Unknown|
In addition, the Romans claim their equivalent god, Vulcan, to have produced the following children:
- Cacus (Cacus was mentioned also as a child of Hephaestus)
Hephaestus was sometimes portrayed as a vigorous man with a beard and was characterized by his hammer or some other crafting tool, his oval cap, and the chiton. He was depicted with curved feet, an impairment he had either from birth or as a result of his fall from Olympus.
The sooty grunter (Hephaestus fuliginosus), a dark, typically sooty-coloured freshwater fish of the family Terapontidae found in northern Australia, is named after Hephaestus.
Images for kids
In Spanish: Hefesto para niños
Hephaestus Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.