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The Olympian Gods (again). A smith, a lovely lady, and a lush. . Hephaestus/Vulcan. Who’s your daddy? Hephaestus had none. Hera conceived him to spite Zeus Some versions: retaliation for having Athena by himself Not pretty-- in fact, crippled Ugly dude from the get go

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The Olympian Gods (again)

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The Olympian Gods (again)

A smith, a lovely lady, and a lush.


Hephaestus/Vulcan

  • Who’s your daddy?

    • Hephaestus had none.

    • Hera conceived him to spite Zeus

    • Some versions: retaliation for having Athena by himself

  • Not pretty-- in fact, crippled

    • Ugly dude from the get go

    • Crippled from Hera’s rejection or Zeus gave him a toss after a squabble

Hey, you’d limp too if you were tossed of Mt. Olympus!


The ugly man finds a home…

  • After he fell, he was rescued and raised secretly for 9 years in a cave.

  • Learned a few skills in the forge

  • Spite mommy: made a beautiful thrown of gold

  • She loved it and sat down.

  • Curses! A trap! No one could help her get free

  • Hephaestus invited to Olympus where the gods tried to get the answer by getting him drunk. Only Dionysus could get the answer from him.

  • Invited to stay at Olympus and eventually reconciled with Mommy-dear


A Handyman

  • God of fire, the forge, and smiths

  • Office located in volcanoes, god of volcanoes

    • Vulcan, volcanic, get it?

  • The original Cyclopes become assistants

  • Nothing he can’t build!

  • Chains for Prometheus, arrows for Apollo and Artemis, armor, all the houses on Olympus, Shield of Achilles (Thetis raised Hephy and birthed Achilles).


A gentle man…

  • Tried to bring peace during quarrels

    • Once refilled everyone’s cup during a dinner argument; the sight of the hobbling, ugly god made everyone laugh and forget the argument

  • People of Athens loved him: peaceful, kind, patron of craftsmen.

    • Hephaestion: a temple in Athens dedicated to him

  • A peaceful man who did get angry from time to time…


Aphrodite,Venus, Cyprian, Bridal Aphrodite, Aphrodite of the Deep Sea, Heavenly Aphrodite(Insert your favorite name for an attractive lady here)

  • Sometimes born in foam of Uranus’s, umm, well, ah, er, yeah, you remember that story.

  • Other times, Zeus conceived her with Dione, an Oceanid

  • Floated to shore in a shell, landed in Cyprus where flowers sprouted wherever she stepped.


Aphrodite: unknown name origin, but may mean “foam-born”

  • Beautiful, sexy, had the power to make people fall in love (even gods, except…)

  • Weapon of choice: a magic girdle

    • Anyone wearing it will be irresistible to everyone who sees the person.

    • Once lent it to Hera to recapture her man!

  • Enjoyed helping mortals obtain their beloved, and enjoyed making gods squabble over affairs.


She took home a lot of senior superlatives

  • Goddess of love, sex, reproduction

  • Worshipped by:

    • Brides (to make marriage and wedding bed “good”)

    • Prostitutes—hey, the oldest profession!

    • Poets (they love to write about love)

    • Just about everyone: love makes the world go ‘round!


“Erotic” comes from the name “Eros”

Eros had a very popular following

Embodies physical desire

Very popular in homosexual relationships during the classical period of Greece.

In some versions, she had a son, Eros (daddy is Ares).

Other versions, Eros is older than most of the gods.

Cupid: small, pudgy, darling baby

Eros: a vindictive, malevolent teen whose arrows are full of mischief and even death! (Although sometimes can be a swell guy)

Eros/Cupid


As the Myths Turnor

All My Gods

Aphrodite married Hephaestus: Beauty and the Beast.

Some versions say it was an arranged marriage by Zeus

what kind of a sick and twisted joke is that?

to get revenge from when Aphrodite refused his pick up lines (insert favorite pickup line here)


Aphrodite was really in love with Ares (why him?)

Hephaestus wanted to catch them sleeping in their wedding bed.

Rigged a booby trap

Busted: one naked goddess of love trapped with a naked god of war.

Hephaestus brought the gods back with him to see their naughty behavior

Everyone had a good laugh, except for the two naked, trapped deities.

Then, the mood soured.

Shame on Hephaestus for such a lowly trap!


Only Olympian to have a mortal mother.

Zeus promised Semele (mom) anything, made that pesky oath.

She wanted to see him in full glory.

Not a good idea: she died instantly.

Zeus took unborn baby and put in his his thigh

Don’t ask me how that worked! Who needs detail anyway?

After being born (don’t ask how that worked either), Hermes rescued him (Jealous Hera) and took him to be raised by nymphs (young, scantily clad women)

Dionysus, Bacchus, Twice Born, Acratophorus (Bringer of Unmixed Wine), Nocturnal, Torch-bearing, Citizen Dionysus


Dionysus missed his mom, asked Hades for her back.

He agreed. Semele and Dionysus went to live on Olympus

Hera became upset (go figure) and made Dionysus, his mom and the nymphs who raised him go insane with madness.

Hera relented eventually

Dionysus became:

God of madness

God of wine

God of parties

God of the vine/ivy

God of vegetation

A very popular god


Followers of Dionysus:

Pan and other Satyrs (aka: Fauns)

Half human, half goat

Ran around woods drinking, playing pipes, dancing, having lots of sex

Very erotic creatures with all sorts of perverse depictions


  • The Maenads/Bacchae:

    • Women followers of Bacchus

    • Known to dance, sing, drink, and have orgies in honor of Bacchus

    • These ceremonies eventually transformed into dramatic plays: rituals to honor Dionysus (first ever theatrical character)

    • Mythically, the Bacchae would go “mad” and tear animals and even humans apart with hands and teeth.


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