Vulcan, the Latin name of the Greek Hepluestus, the god of fire, and of the arts and industries dependent on fire. According to the Hesiodic theogony, he was one of the 12 great gods of Olj'mpus; but one account made him the son of Jupiter and Juno, the other of Juno alone. In Homer he is represented as deformed from his birth, and his appearance so. disgusted his mother that she dropped him from Olympus into the sea, where he was kindly treated by Thetis and Eurynome, with whom he remained nine years. Later writers relate that he was brought up in heaven with the other gods, and that once interfering in behalf of'his mother, who had been fastened' by Jupiter with a golden chain, he was hurled by the latter down from Olympus. He was a whole day in passing to the earth, and at evening fell in the island of Lemnos. His leg was broken by the fall. There he built himself a palace, and constructed workshops and forges.

Afterward he returned to Olympus and acted as mediator between Jupiter and Juno. As god of art and industry he worked in a shining palace in Olympus, or, according to later accounts, in the heart of a volcanic island, aided by the Cyclops, and forged the aegis and a sceptre for Jupiter, the armor of Achilles, the weapons of Hercules, and for himself two handmaidens of gold who supported him like living beings as he walked. Charis, Aglaia, and Venus are variously named as his wife. Besides Lemnos, the islands of Sicily, Lipara, Hiera, Imbros, and others are mentioned as the terrestrial seats of his workshop.