Statue of Pan. Hever Castle, Kent, England.
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Image courtesy of Corel Corporation.
Pan is the Greek god protector of shepherds, sheep, and goats. According to an account of his birth, Hermes was his father. Romans confused him with the Roman god Faunus.
Pan's name is said to derive from the Greek word "paein", which
means "to pasture." He has horns and legs of a goat, and he is able to shout so loudly that he terrifies people and animals.
The word panic derives from his name. His personality has
also gentle aspects. In fact, he plays so well a reed pipe, called syrinx, that he challenged
the sun god Apollo in a musical contest. But unfortunately, Pan lost and
Apollo received the
prize for playing his lyre.
One of the moons of the planet Saturn was named after him.
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