Greece: Outdoing Hephaestus

They roll'd from place to place, around the bless'd abodes

Self-moved, obedient to the beck of gods.


Homer thus described the 20 threewheeled chariots built in a single day by the Greek god of fire, Hephaestus, the master craftsman who dwelt on Mount Olympus. Though ordinary Greek chariots lacked the gift of self-propulsion, the Greeks once led the ancient world in the production of wheeled vehicles. For the past several millennia, however, the Greek vehicle industry has been in quite a slump. In modern times, while such smaller nations as Portugal and Israel have managed to produce autos of their own,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!