Saturday, 21 July 2007

PAN : The God of Panic and Sexual Prowess.

Stories around Greek mythology fascinate me, especially the lesser-known characters.
Pan was an ugly bugger. Always pictured naked, he had the torso of a man and the hindquarters, horns and legs of a goat.
He had, as all the other Greek Gods, an abundant portfolio of magic things he was able to do. His primary function was watching over shepherds and their flocks. This extended to any groups of living things, like fish etc.
He was definitely a Casanova. He was in love with Echo, a nymph, but she rejected his advances, as she had no time for men. She was an excellent dancer and singer. Now, this pissed Pan off and he had her killed. She was then torn into tiny, tiny pieces and spread out all over the earth. She still repeats the last words of others, all over the world.
He also tried to charm another Nymph, Syrinx, but she had the sense to run away from him. But he caught up to her on the banks of a river, and she begged the water nymphs to save her. They did, and as Pan touched her, they turned her into river reeds. When the wind blew through the reeds it made a plaintive sound. Pan took some of these reeds, and made a flute. And that’s where one gets the term Pan Pipes.
He was known for his sexual abilities, and all drawings and statutes depict this quite graphically.
A haunter of caves and forests was also one of his specialties, especially at night. He would scare the shit out of humans. If you feel scared in the dark when you are alone outside, mythology has it that Pan is around.
The word Panic, is derived from his name.

1 comment:

Jonny said...

Very interesting!! I did not know that Panic is derived from Pan :-)

I'm thinking that maybe Zeus should have let Pan watch over Lo and Argus also... given his primary function and talents for watching shepherds and flocks! I'm a bit disappointed that Zeus didn't think about that with a guy like Pan around. The assassin (can't remember his name) would surly have been panic-stricken!