About the close relations of Hephaestus with fire there can be no doubt.
Originally the Cabeiri were two in number, an older identified with Hephaestus (or Dionysus), and a younger identified with Hermes, who in the Samothracian mysteries was called Cadmilus or Casmilus.
Of that of Hephaestus only two columns remain, while of that of Asclepius, a mile to the south of the town, an anta and two pillars are preserved.
He accordingly commissioned Hephaestus to fashion a woman out of earth, upon whom the gods bestowed their choicest gifts.
Zeus or Hera throws Hephaestus or Ate out of heaven, as in the Iroquois myth of the tossing from heaven of Ataentsic. There is, as usual, no agreement as to the etymology of the name of Hephaestus.
The relation between Hephaestus and Prometheus is in some respects close, though the distinction between these gods is clearly marked.
Later legend transferred their abode to Mt Aetna, the Lipari islands or Lemnos, where they assisted Hephaestus at his forge.
The elemental character of Hephaestus is far more apparent than is the case with the majority of the Olympian gods; the word Hephaestus was used as a synonym for fire not only in poetry (Homer, Il.
The connexion, however, though it may be early, is probably not primitive, and it seems reasonable to conclude that Hephaestus was a general fire-god, though some of his characteristics were due to particular manifestations of the element.
The Olympian forge had been transferred to Etna or some other volcano, and Hephaestus had become a subterranean rather than a celestial power.