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to Vulcan workshops under various volcanic islands. From the crater of Mount Mxva. poured forth the fumes and flames of his smithy. He built the dwellings of the gods; he made the sceptre of Jove, the shields and spears of the Olympians, the arrows of Apollo and Diana, the breastplate of Hercules, the shield of Achilles.
He was lame of gait, — a figurative suggestion, perhaps, of the flickering, unsteady nature of fire. According to his own story,1 he was born halt; and his mother, chagrined by his deformity, cast him from Heaven out of the sight of the gods. Yet, again,2 he says that, attempting once to save his mother from Jupiter's wrath, he was caught by the foot and hurled by the son of Cronus from the heavenly threshold: "All day I flew; and at the set of sun I fell in Lemnos, and little life was left in me." Had he not been lame before, he had good reason to limp after either of these catastrophes. He took part in the making of the human race, and in the special creation of Pandora. He assisted also at the birth of Minerva, to facilitate which he split Jupiter's head open with an axe.
His wife, according to the Iliad and Hesiod's Theogony, is Aglaia, the youngest of the Graces; but in the Odyssey it is Venus. He is a glorious, good-natured god, loved and honored among men as the founder of wise customs and the patron of artificers; on occasion, as a god of healing and of prophecy. He seems to have been, when he chose, the cause of "inextinguishable laughter" to the gods, but he was by no means a fool. The famous god of the strong arms could be cunning, even vengeful, when the emergency demanded.
§ 38.VApollo, or Phoebus Apollo, the son of Jupiter and Latona, was preeminently the god of the sun. His name Phoebus signifies the radiant nature of the sunlight; his name Apollo, perhaps,
i Iliad. 18:395. 3 Iliad, 1:390.
the cruel and destructive heat of noonday. Soon after his birth, Jupiter would have sent him to Delphi to inculcate righteousness
and justice among the Greeks; but the golden god Apollo chose first to spend a year in the land of the Hyperboreans, where for six continuous months of the year there is sunshine and spring, soft climate, profusion of herbs and flowers, and the very ecstasy of life. During this delay the Delphians sang paaans, — hymns of praise, — and danced in chorus about the tripod (or three-legged stool), where the expectant priestess of Apollo had taken her seat. At last, when the year was warm, came the god in his chariot drawn by swans, — heralded by songs of springtide, of nightingales and swallows and crickets. Then the crystal fount of Castalia and the stream Cephissus overflowed their bounds, and mankind made grateful offerings to the god. But his advent was not altogether peaceful. An enormous serpent, Python, had crept forth from the slime with which, after the flood, the Earth was covered; and in the caves of Mount Parnassus this terror of the people lurked. Him Apollo encountered, and after fearful combat slew, with arrows, weapons which the god of the silver bow had not before used against any but feeble animals, — hares, wild goats, and such