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.

Giuseppe Pappa, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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, the god of blacksmiths spent much time on the mountain making strong thunderbolts for Zeus, The Supreme God with the help of the Cyclopes, One-Eyed Giant Monsters.

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, a monstrous serpentine giant in the depths of the mountain and some say that this was the reason for Etna’s frequent eruptions.

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Evangelia Hatzitsinidou is the creator and author of which has been merged with She has been writing about Greek Mythology for almost twenty years. A native to Greece, she teaches and lives just outside Athens.