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The Story of Pan

(Chinaculture.org) Updated: 2015-01-30 13:33

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Pen was a cold, hairy country monster, with the upper part of a man and the body and legs of a goat. Wandering about in the mountains and woods with other wood gods and cheerful fairy maidens, Pan led a perfectly carefree life.He was admired as the god of woods and pastures, with prophetic powers. He represented nature and country life. In old times he was honored as a god who was good, just and holy.

Pan had a strong desire for women. At one time he loved a charming maiden, Syrinx, but to his disappointment his love was not returned. One day Syrinx fled in fear from Pan, which inflamed Pan's love all the more. He ran after her and was about to overtake her when she was turned, at her own request, into a clump of reeds by Mother Earth. Pan wept bitterly at the change. Sadly he picked some pieces of the reeds and made a flute. He played so sweetly on it that Apollo was helpless before him.

At the time of the battle of Marathon, Pan met the Athenian messenger to Sparta. He asked the man to say to the Athenians that although they did not like him, he still felt kindly towards them and would aid them in their difficulties. When fighting against enemies went on near Marathon, the Athenians were surprised to see that the Persian soldiers were suddenly seized with a mysterious fear and ran away from the field in disorder. The great Pan had struck into the hearts of the Persians a kind of fear. The fear has ever since been known as panic. After the war the Athenians gratefully dedicated a temple to Pan.





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