A hymn is a type of song religious written for the purpose of adoration or prayer, addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification. The word hymn derives from Greek ὕμνος, which means "a song of praise". A writer of hymns is known as a hymnodist; the singing or composition of hymns is called hymnody. Collections of hymns are known as hymnals or hymn books. Hymns may not include instrumental accompaniment. Although most familiar to speakers of English in the context of Christianity, hymns are a fixture of other world religions on the Indian subcontinent. Hymns survive from antiquity from Egyptian and Greek cultures; some of the oldest surviving examples of notated music are hymns with Greek texts. Ancient hymns include the Egyptian Great Hymn to the Aten, composed by Pharaoh Akhenaten; the Western tradition of hymnody begins with the Homeric Hymns, a collection of ancient Greek hymns, the oldest of which were written in the 7th century BC, praising deities of the ancient Greek religions.
Surviving from the 3rd century BC is a collection of six literary hymns by the Alexandrian poet Callimachus. Patristic writers began applying the term ὕμνος, or hymnus in Latin, to Christian songs of praise, used the word as a synonym for "psalm". Modeled on the Book of Psalms and other poetic passages in the Scriptures, Christian hymns are directed as praise to the Christian God. Many refer to Jesus Christ either indirectly. Since the earliest times, Christians have sung "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs", both in private devotions and in corporate worship. Non-scriptural hymns from the Early Church still sung today include'Phos Hilaron','Sub tuum praesidium', and'Te Deum'. One definition of a hymn is "...a lyric poem and devotionally conceived, designed to be sung and which expresses the worshipper's attitude toward God or God's purposes in human life. It should be simple and metrical in form, genuinely emotional and literary in style, spiritual in quality, in its ideas so direct and so apparent as to unify a congregation while singing it."Christian hymns are written with special or seasonal themes and these are used on holy days such as Christmas and the Feast of All Saints, or during particular seasons such as Advent and Lent.
Others are used to encourage reverence for the Bible or to celebrate Christian practices such as the eucharist or baptism. Some hymns praise or address individual saints the Blessed Virgin Mary. A writer of hymns is known as a hymnodist, the practice of singing hymns is called hymnody. A collection of hymns is called a hymnary; these may not include music. A student of hymnody is called a hymnologist, the scholarly study of hymns and hymnody is hymnology; the music to which a hymn may be sung is a hymn tune. In many Evangelical churches, traditional songs are classified as hymns while more contemporary worship songs are not considered hymns; the reason for this distinction is unclear, but according to some it is due to the radical shift of style and devotional thinking that began with the Jesus movement and Jesus music. Of note, in recent years, Christian traditional hymns have seen a revival in some churches more Reformed or Calvinistic in nature, as modern hymn writers such as Keith and Kristyn Getty and Sovereign Grace Music have reset old lyrics to new melodies, revised old hymns and republished them, or written a song in accordance with Christian hymn standards such as the hymn, In Christ Alone.
In ancient and medieval times, string instruments such as the harp and lute were used with psalms and hymns. Since there is a lack of musical notation in early writings, the actual musical forms in the early church can only be surmised. During the Middle Ages a rich hymnody developed in the form of Gregorian plainsong; this type was sung in unison, in one of eight church modes, most by monastic choirs. While they were written in Latin, many have been translated. Hymnody in the Western church introduced four-part vocal harmony as the norm, adopting major and minor keys, came to be led by organ and choir, it shares many elements with classical music. Today, except for choirs, more musically inclined congregations and a cappella congregations, hymns are sung in unison. In some cases complementary full settings for organ are published, in others organists and other accompanists are expected to transcribe the four-part vocal score for their instrument of choice. To illustrate Protestant usage, in the traditional services and liturgies of the Methodist churches, which are based upon Anglican practice, hymns are sung during the processional to the altar, during the receiving of communion, during the recessional, sometimes at other points during the service.
These hymns c
Heracles, born Alcaeus or Alcides was a divine hero in Greek mythology, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, foster son of Amphitryon. He was a half-brother of Perseus, he was the greatest of the Greek heroes, a paragon of masculinity, the ancestor of royal clans who claimed to be Heracleidae, a champion of the Olympian order against chthonic monsters. In Rome and the modern West, he is known as Hercules, with whom the Roman emperors, in particular Commodus and Maximian identified themselves; the Romans adopted the Greek version of his life and works unchanged, but added anecdotal detail of their own, some of it linking the hero with the geography of the Central Mediterranean. Details of his cult were adapted to Rome as well. Many popular stories were told of the most famous being The Twelve Labours of Heracles, his figure, which drew on Near Eastern motifs such as the lion-fight, was known. Heracles was the greatest of Hellenic chthonic heroes, but unlike other Greek heroes, no tomb was identified as his.
Heracles was both god, as Pindar says heros theos. The core of the story of Heracles has been identified by Walter Burkert as originating in Neolithic hunter culture and traditions of shamanistic crossings into the netherworld, it is possible that the myths surrounding Heracles were based on the life of a real person or several people whose accomplishments became exaggerated with time. Based on commonalities in the legends of Heracles and Odysseus, author Steven Sora suggested that they were both based on the same historical person, who made his mark prior to recorded history. Heracles' role as a culture hero, whose death could be a subject of mythic telling, was accepted into the Olympian Pantheon during Classical times; this created an awkwardness in the encounter with Odysseus in the episode of Odyssey XI, called the Nekuia, where Odysseus encounters Heracles in Hades: Ancient critics were aware of the problem of the aside that interrupts the vivid and complete description, in which Heracles recognizes Odysseus and hails him, modern critics find good reasons for denying that the verses beginning, in Fagles' translation His ghost I mean... were part of the original composition: "once people knew of Heracles' admission to Olympus, they would not tolerate his presence in the underworld", remarks Friedrich Solmsen, noting that the interpolated verses represent a compromise between conflicting representations of Heracles.
In Christian circles a Euhemerist reading of the widespread Heracles cult was attributed to a historical figure, offered cult status after his death. Thus Eusebius, Preparation of the Gospel, reported that Clement could offer historical dates for Hercules as a king in Argos: "from the reign of Hercules in Argos to the deification of Hercules himself and of Asclepius there are comprised thirty-eight years, according to Apollodorus the chronicler: and from that point to the deification of Castor and Pollux fifty-three years: and somewhere about this time was the capture of Troy." Readers with a literalist bent, following Clement's reasoning, have asserted from this remark that, since Heracles ruled over Tiryns in Argos at the same time that Eurystheus ruled over Mycenae, since at about this time Linus was Heracles' teacher, one can conclude, based on Jerome's date—in his universal history, his Chronicon—given to Linus' notoriety in teaching Heracles in 1264 BCE, that Heracles' death and deification occurred 38 years in 1226 BCE.
The ancient Greeks celebrated the festival of the Heracleia, which commemorated the death of Heracles, on the second day of the month of Metageitnion. What is believed to be an Egyptian Temple of Heracles in the Bahariya Oasis dates to 21 BCE. A reassessment of Ptolemy's descriptions of the island of Malta attempted to link the site at Ras ir-Raħeb with a temple to Heracles, but the arguments are not conclusive. Several ancient cities were named Heraclea in his honor. Although the Athenians were among the first to worship Heracles as a god, there were Greek cities that refused to recognize the hero's divine status. There are several polis that provided two separate sanctuaries for Heracles, one recognizing him as a god, the other only as a hero; this ambiguity helped create the Heracles cult when historians and artists encouraged worship such as the painters during the time of the Peisistratos, who presented Heracles entering Olympus in their works. Some sources explained that the cult of Heracles persisted because of the hero's ascent to heaven and his suffering, which became the basis for festivals, ritual and the organization of mysteries.
There is the observation, for example, that sufferings gave rise to the rituals of grief and mourning, which came before the joy in the mysteries in the sequence of cult rituals. Like the case of Apollo, the cult of Hercules has been sustained through the years by absorbing local cult figures such as those who share the same nature, he was constantly invoked as a patron for men the young ones. For example, he was considered the ideal in warfare so he presided over gymnasiums and the ephebes or those men undergoing military training. There were ancient towns and cities that adopted Hera
Castor and Pollux
Castor and Pollux were twin half-brothers in Greek and Roman mythology, known together as the Dioscuri. Their mother was Leda. Though accounts of their birth are varied, they are sometimes said to have been born from an egg, along with their twin sisters Helen of Troy and Clytemnestra. In Latin the twins are known as the Gemini or Castores, as well as the Tyndaridae or Tyndarids; when Castor was killed, Pollux asked Zeus to let him share his own immortality with his twin to keep them together, they were transformed into the constellation Gemini. The pair were regarded as the patrons of sailors, they were associated with horsemanship, due to the idea that they rode the'white horses' of foam that were formed by curling ocean waves. There is much contradictory information regarding the parentage of the Dioscuri. In the Homeric Odyssey, they are the sons of Tyndareus alone, but they were sons of Zeus in the Hesiodic Catalogue; the conventional account combined these paternities so that only Pollux was fathered by Zeus, while Leda and her husband Tyndareus conceived Castor.
This explains. The figure of Tyndareus may have entered their tradition to explain their archaic name Tindaridai in Spartan inscriptions, or Tyndaridai in literature, in turn occasioning incompatible accounts of their parentage, their other sisters were Timandra and Philonoe. Castor and Pollux are sometimes both mortal, sometimes both divine. One consistent point is. In Homer's Iliad, Helen looks down from the walls of Troy and wonders why she does not see her brothers among the Achaeans; the narrator remarks that they are both dead and buried back in their homeland of Lacedaemon, thus suggesting that at least in some early traditions, both were mortal. Their death and shared immortality offered by Zeus was material of the lost Cypria in the Epic cycle; the Dioscuri were regarded as helpers of humankind and held to be patrons of travellers and of sailors in particular, who invoked them to seek favourable winds. Their role as horsemen and boxers led to them being regarded as the patrons of athletes and athletic contests.
They characteristically intervened at the moment of crisis, aiding those who honoured or trusted them. Ancient Greek authors tell a number of versions of the story of Pollux. Homer portrays them as ordinary mortals, treating them as dead in the Iliad, but in the Odyssey they are treated as alive though "the corn-bearing earth holds them"; the author describes them as "having honour equal to gods", living on alternate days because of the intervention of Zeus. In both the Odyssey and in Hesiod, they are described as the sons of Leda. In Pindar, Pollux is the son of Zeus; the theme of ambiguous parentage is not unique to Pollux. The Dioscuri are invoked in Alcaeus' Fragment 34a, though whether this poem antedates the Homeric Hymn to the twins is unknown, they appear together in two plays by Euripides and Elektra. Cicero tells the story of how Simonides of Ceos was rebuked by Scopas, his patron, for devoting too much space to praising Castor and Pollux in an ode celebrating Scopas' victory in a chariot race.
Shortly afterwards, Simonides was told. Both Dioscuri were excellent horsemen and hunters who participated in the hunting of the Calydonian Boar and joined the crew of Jason's ship, the Argo. During the expedition of the Argonauts, Pollux took part in a boxing contest and defeated King Amycus of the Bebryces, a savage mythical people in Bithynia. After returning from the voyage, the Dioscuri helped Jason and Peleus to destroy the city of Iolcus in revenge for the treachery of its king Pelias; when their sister Helen was abducted by Theseus, the half-brothers invaded his kingdom of Attica to rescue her. In revenge they abducted Theseus's mother Aethra and took her to Sparta while setting his rival, Menestheus, on the throne of Athens. Aethra was forced to become Helen's slave, she was returned to her home by her grandsons Demophon and Acamas after the fall of Troy. Castor and Pollux aspired to marry the Leucippides and Hilaeira, whose father was a brother of Leucippus. Both women were betrothed to cousins of the Dioscuri, the twin brothers Lynceus and Idas of Thebes, sons of Tyndareus's brother Aphareus.
Castor and Pollux carried the women off to Sparta. This began a family feud among the four sons of the brothers Aphareus; the cousins carried out a cattle-raid in Arcadia together but fell out over the division of the meat. After stealing the herd, but before dividing it, the cousins butchered and roasted a calf; as they prepared to eat, the gigantic Idas suggested that the herd be divided into two parts instead of four, based on which pair of cousins finished their meal first. Castor and Pollux agreed. Idas ate both his portion and Lynceus' portion. Castor and Pollux had been duped, they allo
The Byzantine Empire referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic and military force in Europe. Both the terms "Byzantine Empire" and "Eastern Roman Empire" are historiographical terms created after the end of the realm. Several signal events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the period of transition during which the Roman Empire's Greek East and Latin West diverged. Constantine I reorganised the empire, made Constantinople the new capital, legalised Christianity. Under Theodosius I, Christianity became the Empire's official state religion and other religious practices were proscribed.
Under the reign of Heraclius, the Empire's military and administration were restructured and adopted Greek for official use in place of Latin. Thus, although the Roman state continued and its traditions were maintained, modern historians distinguish Byzantium from ancient Rome insofar as it was centred on Constantinople, oriented towards Greek rather than Latin culture, characterised by Eastern Orthodox Christianity; the borders of the empire evolved over its existence, as it went through several cycles of decline and recovery. During the reign of Justinian I, the empire reached its greatest extent after reconquering much of the Roman western Mediterranean coast, including North Africa and Rome itself, which it held for two more centuries; the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628 exhausted the empire's resources and contributed to major territorial losses during the Early Muslim conquests of the 7th century, when it lost its richest provinces and Syria, to the Arab caliphate. During the Macedonian dynasty, the empire expanded again and experienced the two-century long Macedonian Renaissance, which came to an end with the loss of much of Asia Minor to the Seljuk Turks after the Battle of Manzikert in 1071.
This battle opened the way for the Turks to settle in Anatolia. The empire recovered during the Komnenian restoration, by the 12th century Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest European city. However, it was delivered a mortal blow during the Fourth Crusade, when Constantinople was sacked in 1204 and the territories that the empire governed were divided into competing Byzantine Greek and Latin realms. Despite the eventual recovery of Constantinople in 1261, the Byzantine Empire remained only one of several small rival states in the area for the final two centuries of its existence, its remaining territories were progressively annexed by the Ottomans over the 15th century. The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 ended the Byzantine Empire; the last of the imperial Byzantine successor states, the Empire of Trebizond, would be conquered by the Ottomans eight years in the 1461 Siege of Trebizond. The first use of the term "Byzantine" to label the years of the Roman Empire was in 1557, when the German historian Hieronymus Wolf published his work Corpus Historiæ Byzantinæ, a collection of historical sources.
The term comes from "Byzantium", the name of the city of Constantinople before it became Constantine's capital. This older name of the city would be used from this point onward except in historical or poetic contexts; the publication in 1648 of the Byzantine du Louvre, in 1680 of Du Cange's Historia Byzantina further popularised the use of "Byzantine" among French authors, such as Montesquieu. However, it was not until the mid-19th century that the term came into general use in the Western world; the Byzantine Empire was known to its inhabitants as the "Roman Empire", the "Empire of the Romans", "Romania", the "Roman Republic", as "Rhōmais". The inhabitants called themselves Romaioi and as late as the 19th century Greeks referred to Modern Greek as Romaiika "Romaic." After 1204 when the Byzantine Empire was confined to its purely Greek provinces the term'Hellenes' was used instead. While the Byzantine Empire had a multi-ethnic character during most of its history and preserved Romano-Hellenistic traditions, it became identified by its western and northern contemporaries with its predominant Greek element.
The occasional use of the term "Empire of the Greeks" in the West to refer to the Eastern Roman Empire and of the Byzantine Emperor as Imperator Graecorum were used to separate it from the prestige of the Roman Empire within the new kingdoms of the West. No such distinction existed in the Islamic and Slavic worlds, where the Empire was more straightforwardly seen as the continuation of the Roman Empire. In the Islamic world, the Roman Empire was known as Rûm; the name millet-i Rûm, or "Roman nation," was used by the Ottomans through the 20th century to refer to the former subjects of the Byzantine Empire
Zeus is the sky and thunder god in ancient Greek religion, who rules as king of the gods of Mount Olympus. His name is cognate with the first element of his Roman equivalent Jupiter, his mythologies and powers are similar, though not identical, to those of Indo-European deities such as Jupiter, Perkūnas, Perun and Thor. Zeus is the child of Cronus and Rhea, the youngest of his siblings to be born, though sometimes reckoned the eldest as the others required disgorging from Cronus's stomach. In most traditions, he is married to Hera, by whom he is said to have fathered Ares and Hephaestus. At the oracle of Dodona, his consort was said to be Dione, by whom the Iliad states that he fathered Aphrodite. Zeus was infamous for his erotic escapades; these resulted in many divine and heroic offspring, including Athena, Artemis, Persephone, Perseus, Helen of Troy and the Muses. He was respected as an allfather, chief of the gods and assigned the others to their roles: "Even the gods who are not his natural children address him as Father, all the gods rise in his presence."
He was equated with many foreign weather gods, permitting Pausanias to observe "That Zeus is king in heaven is a saying common to all men". Zeus' symbols are the thunderbolt, eagle and oak. In addition to his Indo-European inheritance, the classical "cloud-gatherer" derives certain iconographic traits from the cultures of the ancient Near East, such as the scepter. Zeus is depicted by Greek artists in one of two poses: standing, striding forward with a thunderbolt leveled in his raised right hand, or seated in majesty; the god's name in the nominative is Ζεύς. It is inflected as follows: vocative: Ζεῦ. Diogenes Laërtius quotes Pherecydes of Syros as spelling the name, Ζάς. Zeus is the Greek continuation of *Di̯ēus, the name of the Proto-Indo-European god of the daytime sky called *Dyeus ph2tēr; the god is known under this name in the Rigveda, deriving from the root *dyeu-. Zeus is the only deity in the Olympic pantheon whose name has such a transparent Indo-European etymology; the earliest attested forms of the name are the Mycenaean Greek, di-we and, di-wo, written in the Linear B syllabic script.
Plato, in his Cratylus, gives a folk etymology of Zeus meaning "cause of life always to all things," because of puns between alternate titles of Zeus with the Greek words for life and "because of." This etymology, along with Plato's entire method of deriving etymologies, is not supported by modern scholarship. Cronus sired several children by Rhea: Hestia, Hera and Poseidon, but swallowed them all as soon as they were born, since he had learned from Gaia and Uranus that he was destined to be overthrown by his son as he had overthrown Uranus, his own father, an oracle that Rhea heard and wished to avert; when Zeus was about to be born, Rhea sought Gaia to devise a plan to save him, so that Cronus would get his retribution for his acts against Uranus and his own children. Rhea gave birth to Zeus in Crete, handing Cronus a rock wrapped in swaddling clothes, which he promptly swallowed. Varying versions of the story exist: According to Hyginus ) Zeus was raised by a nymph named Amalthea. Since Saturn ruled over the Earth, the heavens and the sea, she hid him by dangling him on a rope from a tree so he was suspended between earth and sky and thus, invisible to his father.
According to Pseudo-Apollodorus ) Zeus was raised by a goat named Amalthea in a cave called Dictaeon Antron. A a company of soldiers called Kouretes danced and clashed their spears against their shields so that Cronus would not hear the baby's cry. After reaching manhood, Zeus forced Cronus to disgorge first the stone his siblings in reverse order of swallowing. In some versions, Metis gave Cronus an emetic to force him to disgorge the babies, or Zeus cut Cronus's stomach open. Zeus released the brothers of Cronus, the Hecatonchires and the Cyclopes, from their dungeon in Tartarus, killing their guard, Campe; as a token of their appreciation, the Cyclopes gave him thunder and the thunderbolt, or lightning, hidden by Gaia. Together, his brothers and sisters and Cyclopes overthrew Cronus and the other Titans, in the combat called the Titanomachy; the defeated Titans were cast into a shadowy underworld region known as Tartarus. Atlas, one of the titans who fought against Zeus, was punished by having to hold up the sky.
After the battle with the Titans, Zeus shared the world with his elder brothers and Hades, by drawing lots: Zeus got the sky and air, Poseidon the waters, Hades the world of the dead. The ancient Earth, could not be claimed. Gaia resented. Soon after taking the throne as king of the gods, Zeus had to fight some of Gaia's other children, the monsters Typhon and Echidna, he left Echidna and her children alive. When Zeus was atop Mount Olympus he was appalled by human sac
Helios is god and personification of the Sun in Hellenistic religion. He is depicted in art with a radiant crown and driving a horse-drawn chariot through the sky. Though Helios was a minor deity in Classical Greece, his worship grew more prominent in late antiquity thanks to his identification with several major solar divinities of the Roman period Apollo and Sol; the Roman Emperor Julian made Helios the central divinity of his short-lived revival of traditional Roman religious practices in the 4th century AD. Helios figures prominently in several works of Greek mythology and literature, in which he is described as the son of the Titan Hyperion and the Titaness Theia, brother of the goddesses Selene and Eos; the Greek ἥλιος is the inherited word for the Sun, from Proto-Indo-European *seh₂u-el, cognate with Latin sol, Sanskrit surya, Old English swegl, Old Norse sól, Welsh haul, Avestan hvar, etc. The name Helen is thought to share this etymology, may express an early alternate personification of the sun among Hellenic peoples.
The female offspring of Helios were called Heliades. The Greek sun god had various bynames or epithets, which over time in some cases came to be considered separate deities associated with the Sun. Among these is Hyperion, Phaëton "the radiant", Hekatos. Helios is depicted as a handsome young man crowned with the shining aureole of the Sun, who drove the chariot of the sun across the sky each day to earth-circling Oceanus and through the world-ocean returned to the East at night. In the Homeric Hymn to Helios, Helios is said to drive a golden chariot drawn by steeds. Still the horses were given fire related names: Pyrois, Aeos and Phlegon; the imagery surrounding a chariot-driving solar deity is Indo-European in origin, is common to both early Greek and Near Eastern religions. The earliest artistic representations of the "chariot god" come from the Parthian period in Persia, where there is evidence of rituals being performed for the sun god by Magi, indicating an assimilation of the worship of Helios and Mithras.
Helios is seen as both a personification of the Sun and the fundamental creative power behind it, as a result is worshiped as a god of life and creation. Homer described Helios as a god "who gives joy to mortals", other ancient texts give him the epithet "gracious", given that he is the source of life and regeneration, associated with the creation of the world. One passage recorded in the Greek Magical Papyri says of Helios, "the earth flourished when you shone forth and made the plants fruitful when you laughed, brought to life the living creatures when you permitted." L. R. Farnell assumed "that sun-worship had once been prevalent and powerful among the people of the pre-Hellenic culture, but that few of the communities of the historic period retained it as a potent factor of the state religion"; the Attic literary sources used by scholars present ancient Greek religion with an Athenian bias, according to J. Burnet, "no Athenian could be expected to worship Helios or Selene, but he might think them to be gods, since Helios was the great god of Rhodes and Selene was worshiped at Elis and elsewhere".
James A. Notopoulos considered Burnet's distinction to be artificial: "To believe in the existence of the gods involves acknowledgment through worship, as Laws 87 D, E shows". Aristophanes' Peace contrasts the worship of Helios and Selene with that of the more Greek Twelve Olympians, as the representative gods of the Achaemenid Persians; the island of Rhodes was an important cult center for Helios, one of the only places where he was worshipped as a major deity in ancient Greece. The worship of Helios at Rhodes included a ritual in which a quadriga, or chariot drawn by four horses, was driven over a precipice into the sea, in reenactment to the myth of Phaethon. Annual gymnastic tournaments were held in Helios' honor; the Colossus of Rhodes was dedicated to him. Helios had a significant cult on the acropolis of Corinth on the Greek mainland; the Dorians seem to have revered Helios, to have hosted His primary cult on the mainland. The scattering of cults of the sun god in Sicyon, Ermioni and Laconia, his holy livestock flocks at Taenarum, seem to suggest that the deity was important in Dorian religion, compared to other parts of ancient Greece.
Additionally, it may have been the Dorians. The tension between the mainstream traditional religious veneration of Helios, which had become enriched with ethical values and poetical symbolism in Pindar and Sophocles, the Ionian proto-scientific examination of the sun, a phenomenon of the study Greeks termed meteora, clashed in the trial of Anaxagoras c. 450 BC, in which Anaxagoras asserted that the sun was in fact a gigantic red-hot ball of metal. His trial was a forerunner of the culturally traumatic trial of Socrates for irreligion, in 399 BC. In Plato's Republic, the Sun, is the symbolic offspring of the idea of the Good. While the predominance of Helios in Sparta is unclear, it seems Helen was the local solar deity. Helios is sometimes identified w
Hephaestus is the Greek god of blacksmiths, carpenters, artisans, metallurgy and volcanoes. Hephaestus' Roman equivalent is Vulcan. In Greek mythology, Hephaestus was either the son of Zeus and Hera or he was Hera's parthenogenous child, he was cast off Mount Olympus, by his mother because of his deformity or, in another account, by Zeus for protecting Hera from his advances. As a smithing god, Hephaestus made all the weapons of the gods in Olympus, he served as the blacksmith of the gods, was worshipped in the manufacturing and industrial centers of Greece Athens. The cult of Hephaestus was based in Lemnos. Hephaestus' symbols are a smith's hammer, a pair of tongs. Hephaestus is associated with the Linear B inscription, A-pa-i-ti-jo, found at Knossos; the name of the god in Greek has a root which can be observed in names of places of Pre-Greek origin, like Phaistos. Hephaestus is given many epithets; the meaning of each epithet is: Amphigúeis "the lame one" Kullopodíōn "the halting" Khalkeús "coppersmith" Klutotékhnēs "renowned artificer" Polúmētis "shrewd, crafty" or "of many devices" Aitnaîos "Aetnaean", owing to his workshop being located below Mount Aetna.
Hephaestus had his own palace on Olympus, containing his workshop with anvil and twenty bellows that worked at his bidding. Hephaestus crafted much of the magnificent equipment of the gods, any finely wrought metalwork imbued with powers that appears in Greek myth is said to have been forged by Hephaestus, he designed Hermes' winged helmet and sandals, the Aegis breastplate, Aphrodite's famed girdle, Agamemnon's staff of office, Achilles' armor, Heracles' bronze clappers, Helios's chariot, the shoulder of Pelops, Eros's bow and arrows. In accounts, Hephaestus worked with the help of the chthonic Cyclopes—among them his assistants in the forge, Brontes and Pyracmon. Hephaestus built automatons of metal to work for him; this included tripods. He gave to the blinded Orion his apprentice Cedalion as a guide. In some versions of the myth, Prometheus stole the fire. Hephaestus created the gift that the gods gave to man, the woman Pandora and her pithos. Being a skilled blacksmith, Hephaestus created all the thrones in the Palace of Olympus.
The Greek myths and the Homeric poems sanctified in stories that Hephaestus had a special power to produce motion. He made the golden and silver lions and dogs at the entrance of the palace of Alkinoos in such a way that they could bite the invaders; the Greeks maintained in their civilization an animistic idea. This kind of art and the animistic belief goes back to the Minoan period, when Daedalus, the builder of the labyrinth, made images which moved of their own accord. A statue of the god was somehow the god himself, the image on a man's tomb indicated somehow his presence. According to Hesiod Hera gave birth to Hephaestus on her own as revenge for Zeus giving birth to Athena without her. According to Homer Hera is mentioned as the mother of Hephaestus but there is not sufficient evidence to say that Zeus was his father. According to Homer there is not sufficient evidence to say. Hera is not mentioned as the mother. According to Pseudo-Apollodorus Hera gave birth to Hephaestus alone. Pseudo-Apollodorus relates that, according to Homer, Hephaestus is one of the children of Zeus and Hera.
Several texts follow Hesiod's account, including Hyginus and the preface to Fabulae. In the account of Attic vase painters, Hephaestus was present at the birth of Athena and wields the axe with which he split Zeus' head to free her. In the latter account, Hephaestus is there represented as older than Athena, so the mythology of Hephaestus is inconsistent in this respect. In one branch of Greek mythology, Hera ejected Hephaestus from the heavens because he was "shrivelled of foot", he was raised by Thetis and the Oceanid Eurynome. In another account, attempting to rescue his mother from Zeus' advances, was flung down from the heavens by Zeus, he fell for an entire day and landed on the island of Lemnos, where he was cared for and taught to be a master craftsman by the Sintians – an ancient tribe native to that island. Writers describe his lameness as the consequence of his second fall, while Homer makes him lame and weak from his birth. Hephaestus was one of the Olympians to have returned to Olympus after being exiled.
In an archaic story, Hephaestus gained revenge against Hera for rejecting him by making her a magical golden throne, when she sat on it, did not allow her to stand up. The other gods begged Hephaestus to return to Olympus to let her go, but he refused, saying "I have no mother". At last, Dionysus fetched him, intoxicated him with wine, took the subdued smith back to Olympus on the back of a mule accompanied by revelers – a scene that sometimes appears on painted pottery of Attica and of Corinth. In the painted scenes, the padded dancers and phallic figures of the Dionysan throng leading the mule show that the procession was a part of the dithyrambic celebrations that were