Saturday, May 16, 2009

Silver Jewelry And The Male Deities Of The Ancients

The Titans led by the god Cronus, held dominion over the Earth and the planets of the Solar system until Cronus was murdered and dethroned by his son Zeus. Overtime Zeus disposed of most of the male Titan gods, but some survived one was Prometheus. Of all the Titan gods Prometheus was the wisest, his name meant Forethought due to his ability to envision the future.

Prometheus, recognizing humanitys potential, was mankinds benefactor, and wished to bestow upon us the knowledge of the gods. One day Prometheus, acting against the wishes of the Olympian gods, stole the flames of enlightenment and gave them to humankind. In reprisal Zeus, desiring that fires powers be reserved for the divine, punished Prometheus act of kindness towards humanity with perpetual damnation.

Hephaestus, the Olympian god of smiths, was ordered to produce manacles that would chain the disgraced Prometheus to the side of Mount Caucasus. Prometheus then became the daily buffet of a giant eagle, which each and everyday would swoop down from the mountaintop ripping his liver from his body. Prometheus, after suffering this torture for a thousand years, was eventually rescued by Hercules.

However, even Zeus son, Hephaestus, didnt escape the ruling Olympian Gods wrath. A kind and peace-loving god, Hephaestus was the only god who suffered from any physical deformity and for this he was cast out of Olympia. This is a passage from Homers tales of Troy, The Iliad, recounting Hephaestus expulsion from Olympus the incident that led to his becoming a smith and creator of rare beauty:

...That would have been a dangerous time, had not Thetis and Eurynome taken me in-- Eurynome, daughter of the tidal Ocean. Nine years I stayed, and fashioned works of art, brooches and spiral bracelets, necklaces, in their smooth cave, round which the stream of Ocean flows with a foaming roar: and no one else knew of it, gods or mortals...

The Greeks associated Hephaestus with electrum, the naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver, and appointed him god of the forge and the subterranean fire. The Greeks believed that Hephaestus discovered ways to work silver, gold, iron, and copper, in the depths of Volcanoes from where he derived his Roman name Vulcan, the Romans believed him to have his forge in the base of Mount Etna.

Hephaestus, creator of great beauty, was a highly skilled blacksmith and artisan, he was reputed for his devotion to his forge, where he crafted gold and silver jewelry, drinking vessels, weapons: including Zeus' thunderbolts, Artemis silver arrows, Apollos silver bow and Achilles armor.

Still standing today at the heart of the ancient site of the Agora in Athens, there stands a temple dedicated to Hephaestus called the Hephaisteion. The temples construction was started in 449 B.C. However, the Agora itself was in use as early as the 6th century B.C., at the time of the monetary reforms of Solon and the Silver production of the Lauriun mines, as the financial, judicial and cultural center of Athens. The Athenian Agora wasnt the only architectural marvel to be built around tales of deities and Silver. At the same time in Asia Minor a wonder was under construction in honor of another deity whose roots lay firmly intertwined with the Moon and Silver: Artemis.

Read: Silver Jewelry And The Seven Wonders - The Temple Of Artemis At Ephesus

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This article was written for the Silvershake website, an online retailer of sterling silver jewelry at wholesale prices. See 1000s of gemstone silver jewelry items at prices 80% below normal retail prices. Make one purchase per month and receive silver jewelry worth up to $60...Absolutely free, everytime!

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