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The origins of Hephaistos are obscure but he probably derives from the common idea that early kings should also be masters at certain crafts, especially metalwork, and perhaps, too, magic (which would have included the manipulation of fire). In Classical Greek mythology, the god was born from Hera and, without a father, Hephaistos was, unlike the other gods, a less than beautiful figure. So much so, that in Greek mythology he is said to have been thrown from the heavens by his mother (or in other accounts by Zeus) because of his ugliness and on landing on the island of Lemnos, the god was crippled. Cared for by Thetis (and possibly also by Eurynome, the daughter of Ocean), he would construct his workshop on the island’s volcano where he lived in an imperishable bright bronze house, where he created his masterpieces of metallurgy.

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