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Ancient Greek and Roman Myths Notes

Hephaestus (Vulcan)

Hephaestus (Roman Vulcan) is the son of Hera and Zeus, god of fire and smiths, god of fire and smiths, husband of Aphrodite. He was one of the 12 great Olympian gods. According to his myth, Hephaestus was so sickly at birth that his mother cast him off Olympus in disgust. However, he landed in the sea and was shortly thereafter rescued by the goddesses Thetis and Eurynome. For a while he lived with them in an underwater cave where he set up a smithy and repaid their kindness by forging all kinds of useful tool and decorations. Nine years later Hera learned of his existence and brought him back to Olympus, where she set him up a greater smith shop and arranged his marriage to Aphrodite.
See: François Boucher. Venus at Vulcan's Forge.
Anthony van Dyck Venus Asking Vulcan for Arms for Aeneas.
Jacopo Robusti, called Tintoretto. Venus and Mars Surprised by Vulcan.
Diego Velázquez. The Forge of Vulcan.
The paintings depict a scene from the Aeneid, where Virgil recounts the story of how Venus (Roman Aphrodite) asked Vulcan to make a suit of armor for her son Aeneas.
 

Ancient Greek and Roman Myths Index

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