Mythical WlLDMAN of Southern Europe. The Greek god of shepherds, flocks, fertility, and male sexuality, with composite human and goat features. See also SATYR.
Etymology: Greek, "all." In one of the Homeric hymns, it was said to mean that the sight of Pan amused all the Immortals. Alternative derivations include a contraction of the Doric pan-on ("pasturer"); also, the Old Slavonic pan ("lord").
Variant names: Aegipan (Pan of the goats), Aigipanos, Faun, Great God Pan, SATYR, Sil-VANUS.
Physical description: Hairy. Wrinkled face. Two goat's horns on the forehead. Pug nose. Prominent chin. Beard like a goat's. Goat's hooves instead of feet. Tail.
Behavior: Swift runner. Excellent rock climber. Piercing cry. Lives in a cave. Plays music on reed pipes (syrinx). Carries a stick for hunting rabbits. Feared by travelers, hence the word panic (from the Greek panikon). Habitat: Thickets, forests, mountains. Distribution: Mount Likeo, in Arcadia, Greece, was the focal point for the Pan cult. Also known in Egypt, West Africa, and Asia.
Significant sightings: Ancient workers in a marble quarry on Khíos, Greece, discovered an impression resembling the "head of Pan" within a slab of stone. News of the find circulated back to Rome, according to Cicero.
Pomponius Mela places a population of Pans on a desolate mountain of Africa, where their campfires lit the night and their cymbals, tambours, and flutes produced unearthly music. Bernard Heuvelmans identifies the area as the Anti-Atlas Mountains in Morocco. However, Mela is quoting the Carthaginian seafarer Hanno's account of his visit in the early fifth century B.C. to an apparent volcano described as "Chariot of the Gods" (Theôn ochèma), which others have suggested is either Mount Kakulima in Guinea or the volcanic Cameroon Mountain in Cameroon.
(1) A mythical representation of precivilized, Neolithic Greece.
(2) A folk memory of Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) or archaic Homo sapiens.
(3) An imaginative explanation for the discovery of fossil animal bones in Greece. Sources: Homeric Hymn 19, "To Pan," II.
1— 19; Herodotus, The Histories, ed. John Marincola (New York: Penguin, 1996), pp. 139-140 (II. 145-146); Cicero, De divinatione, XIII; Pliny the Elder, Natural History: A Selection, ed. John F. Healy (New York: Penguin Classics, 1991), p. 55 (V. 7); Plutarch, De defectu oraculorum, 419b-e; Pomponius Mela, De chorographia, III. 9; New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology (New York: Putnam, 1968), pp. 159-161; Patricia Merivale, Pan, the Goat-God: His Myth in Modern Times (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1969); Bernard Heuvelmans, Les bêtes humaines d'Afrique (Paris: Plon, 1980), pp. 191-192; Vladimir Markotic,
"The Great Greek God Pan: An Early Hominid?" in Vladimir Markotic and Grover Krantz, eds., The Sasquatch and Other Unknown Hominoids (Calgary, Alta., Canada: Western Publishers, 1984), pp. 251-264; Philippe Borgeaud, The Cult of Pan in Ancient Greece (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988); John Boardman, The Great God Pan: Survival of an Image (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1998); Philip J. Brown, Great God Pan, http:// www.belinus.co.uk/mythology/ GreatGodPan. htm.
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