Etna, the Forge of Hephaestus
Last Update: 28 Feb 2021
The Volcano of Aetna
The volcano of Etna (Aetna) is located in Sicily, Italy, close to Messina. Etna is nowadays the highest active volcano in Europe and one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Although its eruptions can sometimes be very destructive, it is not generally considered particularly dangerous.
Aetna and Hephaestus
In Greek mythology, Etna received its name from Aetna, an Oceanid and consort of Hephaestus, the smith of the Olympian gods. Hephaestus spent much time on the mountain making strong thunderbolts for the king of the Gods Zeus with the help of the Cyclopes.
According to the Greek poet Aeschylus, Aetna was the place where Hephaestus once came into conflict with the Giant Typhon and cursed him to hold his anvil with his head and paralyze him in this way. Hephaestus later buried Typhon in the depths of the mountain and some say that this was the reason for Etna's frequent eruptions.