Hephaestus ( ancient Greek Ἥφαιστος Hḗphaistos , Latin Hephaestus , Germanized Hephast) is the god of fire and blacksmithing in Greek mythology . Hephaestus corresponds to the later Roman Vulcanus . He is one of the twelve Olympian deities .
Hephaestus was “responsible” for the entire artistic spectrum of metalworking, including the manufacture of jewelery , weapons , sacred rituals and profane everyday objects. The temple of Hephaestus dedicated to him in the center of Athens is one of the best preserved Greek temples .
The son of Zeus and Hera (or produced by Hera in parthenogenesis ) was, because he was born small, ugly and screaming, or was already lame, thrown from Olympus by his mother and fell near the island of Lemnos in the Oceanos - from In some ancient sources, the lameness is only explained by the fall. There he was rescued, nursed to health and raised by the sea nymphs Thetis and Eurynome . With them he learned the art of blacksmithing and made jewelry for them. Because of the volcanic activity of this island, his cult had started from Lemnos, the Romans located his workshops under Mount Etna .
Growing up, he sent his mother a golden throne. When Hera sat on it, she was handcuffed and no one could free her. After the efforts of other gods failed to move Hephaestus to return to Olympus, Dionysus intoxicated Hephaestus with wine, tied him on a donkey and transported him back to Olympus. The return of Hephaestus is a pictorial motif on numerous vases.
According to another representation, Hephaestus is said to have supported the mother in a quarrel between Zeus and Hera, whereupon the father grabbed his foot and threw him down from Olympus. A Thracian tribe, the Sintoi , who had emigrated to Lemnos (where Hephaestus fell into the sea) nursed him to health, but a limp remained.
As a reconciliation, Zeus decided to give him Aphrodite as his wife. But Aphrodite cheated on him, among other things, with Ares . Hephaestus found out about it and made an elaborate, indestructible net that he attached to the marital bed. When - as Homer reports - Aphrodite and Ares were amusing themselves in the bed, they were caught in this net, and Hephaestus summoned the other gods, who burst out laughing at the sight, the proverbial " Homeric Laughter ". Thereupon Hephaestus and Aphrodite separated.
He proved to be an obstetrician when Athena rose from the head of Zeus ("Hephaistosschlag"). As a thank you Zeus is said to have given him Athena as his bride. Athena, however, disappeared; when Hephaestus caught up with her and wanted to unite with her, according to the library of Apollodorus, his seed fell on the thigh of the goddess, who wiped it away with a rag of wool ( ἔριον érion "wool") that was thrown on the ground . So Erichthonios , the legendary hero of the Athenians , was born of Gaia ("earth"). According to Augustine , who offers another popular etymological explanation of the name, the part of the name Eri- comes from ἔρις éris "dispute" - the dispute between Hephaestus and Athena. The Aglaia , one of the three Graces (daughters of Zeus and Eurynome) is said to have impregnated the "glorious Hinkfuß" Hephaestus. However, Hesiod does not mention the child's name.
Works of Hephaestus
In his underground forge , Hephaestus makes his most famous works, the attributes of the gods and weapons of heroes:
- two mechanical (golden) maidservants
- Gate of the palace and iron halls on Mount Olympus as the home of the gods
- Throne for Hera with an invisible fetter
- Scepter and thunderbolt for Zeus
- the chariot of Helios
- the necklace of Harmonia
- the aegis of Athena
- the fire-breathing bulls of Aietes (on behalf of Zeus)
- Figure of Pandora (as wife of Epimetheus )
- Artemis Arch
- Arrows for Apollo and Artemis
- Safety net for his wife Aphrodite, who is unfaithful to Ares
- Chain to Prometheus to the Caucasus to captivate
- the armor of Ares
- Arms and shield of Achilles (commissioned by Thetis )
- Shield of Aeneas (on behalf of Aphrodite)
- Talos , the bronze giant who guarded Crete
- Bident of Hades
- Trident of Poseidon
Blacksmith gods in other cultures
Hephaestus is the only manual worker among the Olympic deities. This could point to a religious significance of the blacksmithing . The topos of the “blacksmith god” also appears in Finnish mythology ( Ilmarinen ), and a “lame blacksmith” appears in the Germanic legend ( Wieland the blacksmith ). This has led to the assumption that this is a European hiking motif. The Brothers Grimm found a resemblance to the Nordic Loki . More likely, however, is a relationship to Asian Minor and Syrian blacksmith gods such as Pygmalion , Kinyras and Kothar .
See the main article: Blacksmith in Culture .
- Frank Brommer : The coins of Asia Minor with Hephaestus. In: Chiron. Volume 2, 1972, pp. 531-544.
- Frank Brommer: Hephaestus. The blacksmith god in ancient art. von Zabern, Mainz 1978, ISBN 3-8053-0334-3 .
- Marie Delcourt : Héphaistos ou la légende du magicien. Belles Lettres, Paris 1957, ISBN 2-251-33414-9 .
- Antoine Hermary, Anne Jaquemin: Hephaestus . In: Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC). Volume IV, Zurich / Munich 1988, pp. 627-654.
- Klaus Junker, Sabrina Strohwald: Gods as Inventors. The Origin of Culture in Greek Art. von Zabern, Darmstadt / Mainz 2012, ISBN 978-3-8053-4479-1 .
- Ludolf Malten : Hephaestus. In: Paulys Realencyclopadie der classischen Antiquity Science (RE). Volume VIII, 1, Stuttgart 1912, Col. 311-366.
- Ruth Neubauer-Petzoldt: Hephaestus. In: Maria Moog-Grünewald (Ed.): Mythenrezeption. The ancient mythology in literature, music and art from the beginnings to the present (= Der Neue Pauly . Supplements. Volume 5). Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2008, ISBN 978-3-476-02032-1 , pp. 318–321.
- Adolf Rapp : Hephaestus . In: Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher (Hrsg.): Detailed lexicon of Greek and Roman mythology . Volume 1,2, Leipzig 1890, Sp. 2036-2074 ( version ).
- Hephaestus in the Theoi Project
- Homer , Iliad 1, 578
- Homer, Iliad 1, 572
- Hesiod , Theogony 927-928
- Homer, Iliad 18: 394-397
- Homer, Iliad 18: 397-405
- Virgil , Aeneid 8, 440
- See Hyginus , Fabulae 166
- Homer, Iliad 1: 590-594
- Homer, Odyssey 8, 266-366
- Libraries of Apollodorus 3, 14, 6.
- Augustine, De civitate Dei 18,12,10.
- Hesiod, Theogony 64; 945-946
- Pausanias 2, 31, 3
- Pausanias 2,1,4; Libraries of Apollodorus 3,16,1; Ovid , Metamorphoses 7, 437.
- Homer, Iliad 18: 417-420
- Homer, Iliad 1, 607-608
- Hyginus, Fabulae 166
- Homer, Iliad 2: 100-107
- Libraries of Apollodorus 3, 4, 2
- Libraries of Apollodorus 1, 9, 23
- Hesiod, Works and Days 47-105
- Hyginus, Fabulae 140
- Homer, Odyssey 8, 272-275; Ovid, Metamorphoses 4,173-179
- Aeschylus , Prometheus 3-6
- Homer, Iliad 18: 478-482
- Libraries of Apollodorus 1, 9, 26