The son of Jupiter and Juno, Vulcan is the Roman god of fire. He is commonly
portrayed as lame. In one version of the story his deformity causes him to
be cast out from Olympus, but in another version his lameness is a result of
being thrown down from the mountain. In one sense, he personifies the fire
which burns within the earth and which escapes in volcanic eruptions; in
another, he is associated with all arts dependent upon fire (smithing,
pottery, etc.). Working in the heart of burning mountains, he makes various
objects for the gods and heroes, including the aegis for Jupiter and armor
for Achilles and Aeneas. Vulcan had a temple in Rome from the reign of
Romulus, and a festival, the Vulcanalia, was held in his honor on August 23.
In poetry his name is often used by metonymy for fire itself.
Thetis and Vulcan (wall painting)