MYTHIC THEMES CLUSTERED AROUND:
The Greek series, "Mythic Themes Clustered
Aphrodite, Artemis, Athena, Hestia,
Centaurs, Demeter, Persephone, Poseidon, Hephaestus,
Hecate & Other "Dark" Goddesses, Icarus, Medusa & Pegasus, Pan
[others are forthcoming -- see Home page for updates]
http://www.lugodoc.demon.co.uk/PAN.HTM: [updated 11/28/06]
Pan and Psyche
(Edward Burne-Jones: this link will take you to the large version)
This is a beautifully written and illustrated essay on Pan by "Lugodoc" in England. Here's a sample:...The other gods often referred to [Pan] as the youngest of them, but he was probably the oldest, having been first worshipped in Arcadia, where he was certainly being worshipped as early as the 6th century BC. This fertile plateau lies in the South of modern Greece, and there lived the pastoral ancestors of the heroes who later built the Greek empire. Pan was born there, on Mount Lycaeum, and in the hearts of a shepherding people who depended a lot on goats, and so naturally needed a goat-god....
...There is only one story about the death of a Greek god, and it is Pan. Plutarch wrote that in the reign of Tiberius a sailor passing by the Echinades islands heard a mysterious voice call out three times "when you reach Palodes proclaim that the great god Pan is dead".
Of course, he isn't.
(From Lugodoc site, where you'll find a fuller version of this image --
see directly above)
This is "Pan's Nature," a collection of well chosen quotes from Robert Graves: The Greek Myths, Chapter 26.http://www.thestargoddess.net/pangod.htm
From a site associated with the Aleister Crowley Foundation comes this interesting page on the more disreputable side of Pan. The page grounds itself in the scholarship of Robert Graves (see above link to a collection of Graves' quotes on Pan). The page opens with a striking illustration of Pan holding the 7 spheres of the universe as his 7 panpipes. I especially like the connection made between these pipes and the ancient "music of the spheres":http://www.holysmoke.org/hs00/angels.htm...The name Pan does not mean "all" although this meaning was so often applied to his name that it gained a certain degree of authority through repeated use. Rather, the name Pan is believe to be derived from the Greek paein, "to pasture." In the illustration at the top of this page [go to their site to see it -- K.J.] Pan is shown as a giant who encompasses everything in the universe. In his left hand, he holds the seven heavenly spheres of the planets, which are linked with the musical notes of the seven reeds of his instrument, the Panpipes or syrinx....
This is "Sympathy For The Devil," a feature excerpted from Time magazine (December 27, 1993, page 60). It looks at the mythic origins of the "devil," whether he's called Lucifer, Satan, Sammael, or Iblis. In medieval times, his depiction with horns and goat hooves relied heavily upon Pan's own mythos:...As late as the sixth century A.D., in a mosaic in Ravenna depicting the Last Judgement, the devil was still portrayed as a haloed, winged being, standing at the left hand of Christ. Satan is dressed in blue, not red, robes. (Red was the color of the upper ether, closest to God, from which Satan was expelled; blue, the color of the closest heaven humankind could see.) By the Middle Ages, however, Satan had become a beast. His horns and hooves came from his commingling with beliefs banished by a victorious Christianity. The devil's appurtenances derive from the great Greek god Pan- half-man, half-goat- and from association with the cult of the forest deity Cernunnos of northern Europe. Relegated to the shadows, the pagan gods were absorbed by the master of darkness, the demigod on the margins....
Capricorn, The Goat, associated with Pan
(From Guess which constellation am I)
From an astrological site, "Mythology of the Sun Sign Constellations," comes this intriguing page with mythic and astronomical data on sun signs. Scroll down about halfway to Capricorn, long associated with goat-horned and hooved Pan. Here is an excerpt:http://www.elore.com/Astrology/Study/capricorn.htm...Capricornus (or Capricorn) is usually translated as "The Sea Goat" or "The Goat-Fish", although the name literally means horned goat. The constellation is ancient, and was one of the earliest members of the zodiac, perhaps transferred to the heavens from far older earthly concerns.
Horned animals...were worshipped icons in the prehistoric Near East, as seen on pottery as far back as 5500 BC. Often these animals appeared with pictorial representations of the 'Tree of Life' and lunar or astral symbols. That is, for thousands of years— as attested by both pottery and cylinder seals— this horned animal played a central part in some mythology which involved the heavens....
The Sea-Goat, Capricorn
(Artist not named -- from Earthlore: see directly below)
[Added 11/13/00]: From astrologer Laura Laurance at Earthlore comes a beautifully illustrated page on Capricorn. In addition to the usual astrological data, she includes relevant mythology:http://www.lincoln.k12.or.us/newporths/staff/bmontgom/astronomy/students/jillw/Pan.htm...The association of the goat with Capricorn clearly dates back to ancient Babylon, at least. The Greeks related the sign to the horned god Pan. The image of the hybrid goat-fish creature crresponds to the tale of Pan's encounter with the beast Typhon. Attempting to escape the dreaded monster, Pan turned his lower half into a fish, in order to swiftly swim away. However, here again, the association of Capricorn with water, also dates to earlier cultures....
In 1990 Mark R. Showalter discovered a small moon in Saturn's "A-Ring" -- it was named Pan, an appropriate choice since both Saturn and Pan are associated with Capricorn. This brief page gives relevant astronomical data.http://hsa.brown.edu/~maicar/Pan.html
A young Pan playing his syrinx-pipes
(Artist: A. Böcklin, 1827-1901)
From the always reliable Carlos Parada comes this illustrated and richly sourced (with all classical references noted) page on Pan's life, loves, mates, offspring, and music. The data is presented in a series of charts instead of straight text, which I found somewhat distracting. Nevertheless, the lay-out has its own advantages and I definitely recommend this one.http://thanasis.com/pan.htm
From Nick Pontikis ("The Myth Man") comes this cleanly laid out and illustrated overview of Pan. The site is designed for students seeking homework help, thus Pontikis offers good sources at the end. [Note: he uses a good deal of material from Parada's site, but it's transmitted in prose-style instead of Parada's charts. Pontikis also includes the full version of Lugodoc's text -- see above -- in case you can't get through to that English site.]http://www.lnf.infn.it/esperimenti/aiace/exp/pan/panleg.html
This short page focuses briefly on material connected with Pan's pipes after the water nymph, Syrinx, changes herself into a reed in order to escape him:http://www.dajoeri.com/xmythologye.html...Syrinx comes from a Greek word, meaning "tube". The English word syringe, shares the same origin....Mention is made of several literary sources that refer to this myth (e.g., Robert Frost and Robert Louis Stevenson).
Richard Franklin: "Pan's Song"
(See The Myth Man's site [annotated above] to see a larger version)
This page comes from the Dajoeri Panpipe Craft and Schools in Switzerland -- and if your equipment supports it, you can click on an audio featuring panpipes. The page also offers an excellent re-telling of the myth of Pan and the reed-nymph, Syrinx.http://pages.ancientsites.com/~Epistate_Philemon/newspaper/Pan.html
This is an engagingly chatty essay on Pan by "Diopan Nestor." It's a longer entry-level overview than most, has good hypertext, and also offers two fine illustrations, including the "Slipper Slapper" (Venus discouraging Pan's lusty attentions with her upraised sandal).http://www.androphile.org/library/Mythology/pan.htm
From The Library of Male Love comes a page on "Pan and Daphnis," a beautiful young boy from Sicily who was courted by Pan.http://hermetic.com/sabazius/pan.htm
This is an overview on Pan written by T. Apiryon. Although much of the data will be familiar if you've explored the other overviews, Apiryon gives a fuller version than the others of the "Pan is dead" story. He also offers a good list of the resources he used.http://www.swishweb.com/Religion_and_Mythology/Greek_and_Roman_Myth/P/relmyth01grmp.htm
If you want a 30-second overview of Pan and how his fame grew when he created "panic" among the invading Persians and frightened them away from Greece in 480 BCE, try this one.
Debussy's "AFTERNOON OF A FAUN"
[Added 21 January 2007]
Claude Debussy's famous "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun," based on Stéphane Mallarmé's 1876 poem L'Après-midi d'un faune about an erotic Greek faun's attraction to nymphs, debuted in late 1894. Eight years later in 1912 Nijinsky danced the leading role in a primitive, sexually explicit version that shocked the critics. Gaston Calmette, editor of Le Figaro, wrote, "We have had a faun, incontinent, with vile movements of erotic bestiality and gestures of heavy shamelessness."
Nymph-chorus in a March 2006 reconstruction of Nijinsky's choreography at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. Nijinsky's daughter and granddaughter attended this production and gave lectures on Nijinsky.
After such a "negative" review, the show naturally became a great hit and was sold out for the rest of its run. It continues to be produced a century later by major dance companies as well as university and college dance departments.
Nijinsky's version was transformed in 1953 by Jerome Robbins' mesmerizing, lyrical choreography, which still remains in the New York City Ballet's repertoire. Gone is the lusty faun with his seven nymphs. Now two dancers, one female in a steel-blue tunic, one male, portray the luminous innocence of young self-absorbed fauns (or dancers), playing with each other but also playing with their reflections in an imaginary mirror. This is the version with which most audiences are now familiar and it continues to stir hearts wherever it is danced.
SEVERAL OTHER RELEVANT
MYTHING LINKS PAGES:
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Common Themes: Green Man
Common Themes: Nature Spirits
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© 2000-2009 by Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.
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Page created 28 August 2000;
more links added 29-31 August 2000.
Latest Updates: 13 November 2000.
28 November 2006: updated opening link. No time to check others.
21 January 2007: added "Afternoon of a Faun" section at the end.
19 September 2009: updated my top-of-page Greek series links because I've added Hestia,
Persephone, Poseidon, and Hephaestus since I created this page; updated Nedstat/Motigo.