Fire has been an obsession of man since the first spark was made back in prehistoric times. The Ancient Romans and Greeks had gods and goddesses for many things and one of them was of course, fire. Vulcan was the Roman god of fire, and he was also the blacksmith of the gods.
Vulcan was the son of Jupiter and Juno, the king and queen of the gods and he was also the husband of Venus, the goddess of love. His name comes from the Latin word ‘Vulcanus’ meaning ‘fire, flames or volcano’. The Vulcanalia was his festival day and was celebrated on August 23 when the hot summer heat put the crops and granaries at risk of burning. The Greek god of fire and the equivalent of this ancient Roman deity was Hephaestus.
As well as making wonderful things, fire was still something to be fearful of for the Romans, particularly in its destructive aspects such as volcanoes or large fires. His worship was very ancient, and in Rome he had his own priest known as a flamen. His chief festival, the Volcanalia was marked by a practice of unknown significance when the heads of Roman families threw small fish into the fire. Vulcan was often invoked or called upon to avert and protect from fires but because he was a deity of destructive fire, his temples were properly located outside the city. For your own Fire risk assessment Gloucester, visit http://keloscape.co.uk/fire-risk-assessment/
Who was Vulcan?
Vulcan was the Roman god of fire & the blacksmith of the gods. When his mother Juno first saw him, she was so disgusted by his ugly appearance that she threw him into the sea from Mount Olympus, which caused him to become lame. Strange then that he married Venus, the most beautiful of all the goddesses, when he was the ugliest of the gods. Jupiter gave Venus to Vulcan, in gratitude for the service he had rendered in forging thunderbolts. Vulcan was the blacksmith of the gods and worked with the one-eyed Cyclopes to create weapons, armour and other incredible tools for the gods to use.
He had amazing metal working skills which enabled him to create stunning bronze palaces for the gods on Mount Olympus and he furnished them with magnificent golden thrones. Vulcan was considered as the manufacturer of art, weapons, iron, jewellery and armour for various gods and heroes including the divine armour of Achilles.
His supernatural and powerful skills as a metal worker led Vulcan to make many other beautiful items using precious metals such as gold, silver and bronze, including impressive metal robots that served the gods and their favourite mortals. Many of the mechanical robots were made for King Aietes and included:
- Mechanical dogs of gold and silver who guarded the palace of Alcinous
- Robotic statues of gold made in the image of young men who could think, speak and act as servants
- The bronze giant called Talus, given to King Minos to guard the island of Crete.