Pan (mythology)

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Pan (Greek Πάν, genitive Πανός), in Greek religion and mythology, is the god of shepherds and flocks, of mountain wilds, hunting and rustic music, as well as the companion of the nymphs.[1] His name originates within the Greek language, from the word paein (Πάειν), meaning "to pasture."[2] He has the hindquarters, legs, and horns of a goat, in the same manner as a faun or satyr. With his homeland in rustic Arcadia, he is recognized as the god of fields, groves, and wooded glens; because of this, Pan is connected to fertility and the season of spring. The ancient Greeks also considered Pan to be the god of theatrical criticism.[3]

In Roman religion and myth, Pan's counterpart was Faunus, a nature god who was the father of Bona Dea, sometimes identified as Fauna. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Pan became a significant figure in the Romantic movement of western Europe, and also in the 20th-century Neopagan movement.[4]

Contents

Origins

In his earliest appearance in literature, Pindar's Pythian Ode iii. 78, Pan is associated with a mother goddess, perhaps Rhea or Cybele; Pindar refers to virgins worshipping Cybele and Pan near the poet's house in Boeotia.[5]

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