13 Apr 2017  Thu

The Greek God of fire, blacksmiths, craftsmen and volcanoes Hephaestus was the son of Zeus and Hera. Certain legends also say that Hephaestus was the son of Hera alone created in anger against Zeus’s infidelity. He is symbolized with a hammer, an anvil and a pair of tongs. Unlike other Greek Gods, he rode on a donkey instead of a chariot.

He was an ugly and crippled God. According to some epics, on his birth, Hera realized he was crippled and threw him off from Olympus to the Earth below. Other epics say he was thrown to the Earth by Zeus himself after Hephaestus intervened to save Hera from Zeus’s advances. One of these made him physically disabled.

He fell on the islands of Lemnos where he was found and raised by Thetis, a kindly Nereid. Hephaestus spent nine years with her underwater and learned all the skills of a blacksmith. He soon returned to Olympus and is credited with creating various thrones and crafts. Some were created to help Greek Gods; some helped Hephaestus seek revenge from Hera and from Aphrodite, his future wife who would have an affair with his brother Ares. The bow and arrow of Cupid is also credited as being made by him.

ELTA (Greece Post) issued this 40 Greek Drachma definitive stamp of Hephaestus on 17th February 1986.

Hephaestus also appears on a number of ancient and modern coins. He appears on Roman coins with the name Vulcan. One of the most beautiful coins of Hephaestus was issued by the Roman Republic in 105 BC. On the obverse of this coin is the bust of Hephaestus facing right and on the reverse is the portrait of an Eagle.

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