Vulcan (also Vulcanus or Mulciber) was the god of fire and volcanoes in ancient Rome.
Vulcan is a very old Roman god, and was worshipped early in Roman religion. He was worshipped in part to keep the destructive forces of fire away from villages and crops, but also to yield the power of fire in battle and industry.
Vulcan was often a symbol of male fertility.
Later, when Vulcan became identified with the Greek smith god Hephaistos, Vulcan also became the god of smithing. The myth where Hephaistos forged the thunderbolts of Zeus also made it to Roman religion, with Vulcan providing the bolts to Jupiter.
Vulcan’s lineage before his merging with Hephaistos was unclear, but the later myths put him as the son of Jupiter and Juno. Several other myths associated with Hephaistos also made their way into Roman mythology.
Vulcan’s festival, Volcanalia, was held on August 23.