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Article
December 1965

WHY DID HEPHAESTUS LIMP?

Author Affiliations

Professor of Pathology State University of New York at Buffalo and Children's Hospital 219 Bryant St Buffalo, NY 14222

Am J Dis Child. 1965;110(6):704-705. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1965.02090030732028

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Abstract

To the Editor: Dr. Gorlin's letter (Amer J Dis Child110:226 [Aug] 1965), commenting on Dr. Silverman's remarks (Amer J Dis Child109:392 [May] 1965) concerning the nature of the limp of Hephaestus, prompts me to write this short note which I should have written some time ago. Dr Silverman suggested that Bes was an achondroplastic, Ptah a pseudoachondroplastic, and Hephaestus a diastrophic dwarf. While I was amused by Dr. Silverman's very ingenious differential diagnosis, I would like to question it because I should not like these very subtle and ingenious distinctions to be used as labels where categorization is difficult, if not impossible. Is it likely that the ancient Egyptians really did distinguish an achondroplastic (Bes) from a pseudoachondroplastic (Ptah) dwarf, or can there be given another explanation of Ptah's apparent deviation from the classical features of the achondroplastic dwarf? I prefer the following interpretation.

Ptah is

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