There was a temple on Mount
Etna erected in his honour, which none but the pure and virtuous were permitted
to enter. The entrance to this temple was guarded by dogs, which possessed the
extraordinary faculty of being able to discriminate between the righteous and
the unrighteous, fawning upon and caressing the good, whilst they rushed upon
all evil-doers and drove them away.
Hephaestus is usually represented
as a powerful, brawny, and very muscular man of middle height and mature age;
his strong uplifted arm is raised in the act of striking the anvil with a
hammer, which he holds in one hand, whilst with the other he is turning a
thunderbolt, which an eagle beside him is waiting to carry to Zeus. The
principal seat of his worship was the island of Lemnos, where he was regarded
with peculiar veneration.