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Hephaestus

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Hephaestus was gradually transformed from an artisan-god into a noble craftsman god and mighty Olympian artist. Yet when his own worshippers (potters, bronze workers and sculptors) lost status in the fourth century B.C., so too did Hephaestus lose respect. The transformation proceeded in the following way. In the Bronze Age lame men could find employment as smiths. An artist's god resembles the artist, so Hephaestus was thought lame. Later Greeks will attempt to explain his lameness through a story in which Zeus throws Hephaestus from heaven.

Zeus seized me by the foot and hurled me from the threshold of heaven. I fell all day, and as the sun sank I fell half-dead in Lemnos where I was picked up and looked after By the Sintians.

Hephaestus is the son of Zeus and Hera. Sometimes it is said that Hera alone produced him and that he has no father. He is the only god to be physically ugly. He is also lame. Accounts as to how he became lame vary; some say that Hera, upset by having an ugly child, flung him from Mount Olympus into the sea, breaking his legs. Others say that he took Hera's side in an argument with Zeus, and Zeus flung him off Mount Olympus. He is the god of fire and the forge. He is the smith and armoire of the gods. He uses a volcano as his forge. He is the patron god of both smiths and weavers. He is kind and peace loving, his wife is Aphrodite.