Blacksmiths for Gods and Heroes: Tracing the Magical Blacksmith through Myth
Hephaestus from an Attic red Kylix vase decoration.
Who Were the Legendary Smiths?:
The figure of the often deformed or maimed blacksmith who forges remarkable weaponry and armour for gods or heroes is a re-occurring archetype in myth across many cultures.
We have Hephaestus in Greek myth who becomes Vulcan in Latin literature and may have travelled with trade routes and language to other cultures or, indeed have been absorbed from other cultures into the Classical pantheon. Both are regularly depicted in art carrying the tools of their trade – the blacksmith’s hammer and tongs.
Vulcan – God of fire and volcanoes as well as smith of the gods
Comparative parallels exist in the Ugarit craftsman and magician -god Kothar-wa-Khasis, who is identified from afar by his distinctive walk—possibly suggesting that he limped, and the Egyptian God, Ptah, described as a naked and deformed dwarf by Herodotus. He is…
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