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Pan (Πάν) is the Greek God of Nature, forests, woodlands, fields, groves, the wild, the mountain wilds, animals, rustic music, fertility, sexual plunge, shepherds and flocks.[1]

Family

Pan is the son of Hermes and Dryope the nymph.[2]

In Mythology

He is described as being goat-legged and goat-horned. At his birth he terrified the midwife, a muse, who dropped him and ran away screaming from the appearance. However, When Hermes showed Pan to the other Greek Gods they found him delightful and gave him his name.

Pan is a patron of the Satyrs along with Dionysus, who seemed to be especially fond of the merry Pan.

Pan is also credited with inventing "panic" and the shepherd pipes.

Origin of Panic

One day while Pan was sleeping in a cave, he heard a group of people walking by loudly. This annoyed him so much, that Pan let out a bloodcurdling scream that extremely frightened the travelers. Pan called this Panic.

Syrinx and the Shepherd's Pipes

Pan had fallen in love with a tree nymph named Syrinx (a daughter of a river god as well). Syrinx unfortunately did not love Pan back. In fact, Syrinx despised him. Pan would often chase her everywhere. Finally, Syrinx couldn't stand it any longer. She was standing besides her father's river one day when Pan came after her. Syrinx cried out to her father, who then turned her into a patch of reeds. Pan was saddened by this loss, so he cut some of the reeds and made a pipe out of them. That is why that pipe is also known as a Syrinx.

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Roman Counterpart - Faunus

When Rome conquered Greece, they adapted much of their lore as well. The Greek God Pan became known among the Romans as Faunus. Additionally, Faunus is patron of the Fauns.


References

  • (Hamilton 1998, p. 44)
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