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Pan


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Pan, the fabled son of Mercury and Penelope and one of the companions of bacchus.  The infancy of this god of shepards and husbandmen, was entrusted to the nymphs of Arcadia; and in reference to the worship paid to him as the guardian of flocks and herds, Virgil thus sings of him:-

Pan primus calamos cera conjungere plures , Instituit: Pan curat oves ovumque magistros. Ecl, ii l. 31.

And not of shepards only but of all nature he was the reputed divinity, his name being according to some writers, derived from the similar word in Greek, by which omne or totum (everything or all) is signified.

Pan is usually represented in the form of a satyr, with goat's horns and a cloak of goat's skin, playing the Syrinx, or flute of seven pipes, and holding the pedum or pastoral staff.  It was in his honour as presiding over an important branch of rural affairs, that the festials called Lupercalia (from Lupercus, the wolf hunter, as Pan was also called) were instituted, at first by Evander and afterwards introduced into Rome by Romulus.  They were celebrated on the 15th February, with ceremonies so absurd and disgusting, that, after they had for a time fallen into disnetude, it seems strange that so decorus a prince as Augustus affected to be, on his accession to imperial power, should have revived and patronised them.


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