Greek Mythology >> Greek Gods >> Sea Gods >> Aegipan (Aigipan)


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All-Goat, All-Stormy

Eros riding Aegipan | Greco-Roman mosaic | National Roman Museum, Rome
Eros riding Aegipan, Greco-Roman mosaic, National Roman Museum

AIGIPAN (Aegipan) was one of the goat-legged Panes. When the gods fled from the monster Typhoeus and hid themselves in animal forms, Aigipan assumed the form of a fish-tailed goat. He later came to the aid of Zeus, stealing back the god's severed sinews from the giant. As a reward for his service Aigipan was placed amongst the stars as the constellation Capricorn.

His name means "all-goat" or "all-stormy" from the Greek words pan and aigis.

Aigipan was often identified with Pan but in at least one Athenian vase painting the two appear side by side as distinct divinities in the retinue of Dionysos.



[1.1] ZEUS & BOETIS (Hyginus Fabulae 155)
[1.2] ZEUS & AIX (Hyginus Astronomica 2.13)
[2.1] HERMES (Oppian Halieutica 3.15)


AE′GIPAN (Aigipan), that is, Goat-Pan, was according to some statements a being distinct from Pan, while others regard him as identical with Pan. His story appears to be altogether of late origin. According to Hyginus (Fab. 155) he was the son of Zeus and a goat, or of Zeus and Aega, the wife of Pan, and was transferred to the stars. (Hygin. Poct. Astr. ii. 13. § 28.) Others again make Aegipan the father of Pan, and state that he as well as his son was represented as half goat and half fish. (Eratosth. Catast. 27.) When Zeus in his contest with the Titans was deprived of the sinews of his hands and feet, Hermes and Aegipan secretly restored them to him and fitted them in their proper places. (Apollod. i. 6. § 3 ; Hygin. Poet. Astr. l. c.) According to a Roman tradition mentioned by Plutarch (Parallel. 22), Aegipan had sprung from the incestuous intercourse of Valeria of Tusculum and her father Valerius, and was considered only a different name for Silvanus.

AEGO′CERUS (Aigokerôs), a surname of Pan, descriptive of his figure with the horns of a goat, but is more commonly the name given to one of the signs of the Zodiac. (Lucan, ix. 536; Lucret. v. 614; C. Caes. Germ. in Arat. 213.)

Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.


Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 42 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"He [Typhon, Typhoeus] also hid away the sinews [of Zeus] there in the skin of a bear, and posted as guard over them the drakaina (she-dragon) Delphyne--a girl who was half animal. But Hermes and Aigipan (Aegipan) stole back the sinews and succeeded in replanting them in Zeus without being seen."

Pseudo-Plutarch, Greek & Roman Parallel Stories 22 (trans. Babbitt) (Greek historian C1st to C2nd A.D.) :
"[The god] Aegipan, called in the Roman tongue Silvanus."

Oppian, Halieutica 3. 15 (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd A.D.) :
"And thou [Hermes] didst deliver the art of the deep for keeping to Pan of Korykos (Corycus) [Aigipan (Aegipan) of the Korykian (Corycian) cave in Kilikia (Cilicia)], thy son, who, they say, was the saviour of Zeus--the saviour of Zeus but the slayer of Typhon [Typhoeus]. For he tricked terrible Typhon with promise of a banquet of fish and beguiled him to issue forth from his spacious pit and come to the shore of the sea, where the swift lightning and the rushing fiery thunderbolts [of Zeus] laid him low."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 155 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Sons of Jove [Zeus] . . . Aegipan by the she-goat Boetis."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 196 :
"When the gods in Egypt feared the monster Typhon [Typhoeus], Pan bade them transform themselves into wild beasts the more easily to deceive him. Jove later killed him with a thunderbolt. By the will of the gods, since by his warning they had avoided Typhon’s violence, Pan was put among the number of the stars, Since at that time he had changed himself into a goat, he was called Aegocerus. We call him Capricorn."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2. 13 :
"Euhemerus [C4th B.C. mythographer] says that a certain Aex was the wife of Pan. When she was embraced by Jove [Zeus] she bore a son whom she called son of Pan. So the child was called Aegipan, and Jove, Aegiochus. Since he was very fond of him, he placed in memory the form of a goat among the stars."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2. 28 :
"Capricorn or Sea Goat. This sign resembles Aegipan, whom Jupiter [Zeus] wished to be put among the constellations because he was nourished with him, just as he put the goat nurse we have mentioned before. He, first, as Eratosthenes [Greek poet C3rd B.C.] says, when Jupiter attacked the Titanes (Titans), is said to have cast into the enemy the fear that is called panikos. The lower part of his body has fish formation, because he hurled shellfish against the enemy, too, instead of stones.
Egyptian priests and some poets say that once when many gods had assembled in Egypt, suddenly Typhon [Typhoeus], an exceedingly fierce monster and deadly enemy of the gods, came to that place. Terrified by him, they changed their shapes into other forms: Mercurius [Hermes] became an ibis [the Egyptian god Thoth], Apollo, the bird that is called Thracian [the Egyptian god Horus], Diana [Artemis], a cat [Egyptian Bastet]. For this reason they say the Egyptians do not permit these creatures to be injured, because they are called representations of gods. At this same time, they say, Pan cast himself into the river, making the lower part of his body a fish, and the rest a goat, and thus escaped from Typhon. Jove [Zeus], admiring his shrewdness, put his likeness among the constellations."

Suidas s.v. Haliplanktos (trans. Suda On Line) (Byzantine Greek lexicon C10th A.D.) :
"Haliplanktos (Sea-roaming) : Thus Pan is called . . . because he hunted Typhon with nets."






A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.