Of all the Gods referenced in Greek mythology, the god Pan is one who is very interesting for him to be considered a minor god. Pan has been referred to as many things ranging from the god of the wild to the god of pastures or the god of shepherds and flocks. Of all the various names that Pan has received, the most notable or prevalent name in all writings is the God of the Wild.
Facts about Pan, Greek God of the Wild
Pan was an interesting god in Greek mythology on many levels. One interesting fact about pan was that he was half man and half goat with the top half of a man and the lower half being a goat, also called a satyr or a silenos. He was often written and drawn as having horns on his head and an unattractive face. Because of his body he was and remains one of the most depicted Greek gods throughout time.
Pan could display excessive speed without getting tired or injured, and he had the ability to go between Mount Olympus and earth any time he wanted. Another interesting fact about Pan was his ability to turn objects into something else or other forms. Pan is known for possessing a great sense of humor.
The modern word “panic” comes from Pan. This word comes from the myth of Pan, letting out a loud cry to help his friend during battle. The cry scared the enemy and caused them to retreat, resulting in a victory for his friend. The cry during battle would come to be known as panic.
What Did the God of the Wild Do?
While Pan spent most of his days in Arcadia with the other gods, Pan spent a good amount of time in nature in both wooded areas and in pastures. Pan was said to rule over hunters and shepherds. Pan was also frequently referred to as the god of rustic music, and he showed a love for music in his days. Pan even invented his own musical instrument called the panpipes. After creating the instrument he was very rarely seen without the instrument in his presence.
Pan spent the majority of his time chasing various Nymphs. His panpipes were actually made from reeds that were taken from a swamp full in which one of the nymphs he was chasing hid from him disguised as a reed.
Pan didn’t know which reed she was, so he cut a bunch of them down in various lengths and used them to create the first panpipe. Pan loved the instrument and played it often. He became very good at playing music with the instrument and even challenged Apollo, the god of music, in a musical duel. Pan lost the challenge, but the contest was hardly fair when stacking up against the ultimate creator of music.
What Other Powers Did Pan Have?
While playing music wasn’t a power but rather a talent of Pan’s, he did have a few powers that he was possessed with. The god of the wild could run for extended periods of time without getting tired. He could also transform objects into different objects or to take different forms. He could also teleport himself from Mount Olympus to earth.
In addition to being able to run long distances, transform objects, and teleport between Mount Olympus and earth, Pan also had enormous strength.
To be one of the lesser-known gods, Pan plays a part in many myths and even has a place in our vocabulary today.