Pan of Sybaris
THE PAN SYBARIOS was one of the Panes, goat-footed rustic spirits of shepherds and flocks, who was worshipped in the Greek colony of Sybaris in southern Italy. The Sybarean Pan was born when a local shepherd-boy named Krathis (Crathis) copulated with a pretty she-goat amongst the herds.
KRATHIS & A SHE-GOAT (Aelian 6.42)
CLASSICAL LITERATURE QUOTES
Aelian, On Animals 6. 42 (trans. Scholfield) (Greek natural history C2nd A.D.) :
"An Italian story, which records an event that occurred when affairs were at their prime in the city of Sybaris, has reached me and is worth relating. A mere boy, a goatherd by occupation, whose name was Krathis (Crathis), under an erotic impulse lay with the prettiest of his goats, and took pleasure in the union, and whenever he wanted sexual pleasure he would go to her; and he kept her as his darling. Moreover the amorous goatherd would bring to his loved one aforesaid such gifts as he could procure, offering her sometimes the loveliest twigs of tree-medick, and often bindweed and mastic to eat, so making her mouth fragrant for him if he should want to kiss her. And he even prepared for her, as for a bride, a leafy bed ever so luxurious and soft to sleep in. But the he-goat, the leader of the flock, did not observe these proceedings with indifference, but was filled with jealousy. For a time however he dissembled his anger and watched for the boy to be seated and asleep; and there he was, his face dropped forward on his chest. So with all the force at his command the he-goat dashed his head against him and smashed the fore-part of his skull.
The event reached the ears of the inhabitants, and it was no mean tomb that they erected for the boy; and they called their river ‘the Krathis’ after him. From his union with the she-goat a baby was born with the legs of a goat and the face of a man. The story goes that he was deified and was worshipped as a god [a Pan] of the woods and vales."
- Aelian, On Animals - Greek Natural History C2nd - 3rd A.D.
A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.