Pan


Pan
/pan/, n.
the ancient Greek god of forests, pastures, flocks, and shepherds, represented with the head, chest, and arms of a man and the legs and sometimes the horns and ears of a goat.
/pan/, n.
an international distress signal used by shore stations to inform a ship, aircraft, etc., of something vital to its safety or that of one of its passengers.
Also, pan.

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I
Greek fertility deity with a half-human, half-animal form.

The Romans associated him with Faunus. Pan was usually said to be the son of Hermes. He was often represented as a vigorous and lustful figure with the horns, legs, and ears of a goat; in later art his human parts were more emphasized. Some Christian depictions of the Devil bear a striking resemblance to Pan. Pan haunted the high hills, where he was chiefly concerned with flocks and herds. Like a shepherd, Pan was a piper, and he rested at noon. He could inspire irrational terror in humans, and the word panic comes from his name.
II
(as used in expressions)
Pan p'o
Pan American World Airways Inc.
Pan African movement
Pan American Highway
Pan Arabism
Pan Germanism
Pan Slavism
Pan Turkism

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      in Greek mythology, a fertility deity, more or less bestial in form. He was associated by the Romans with Faunus. Originally an Arcadian deity, his name is a Doric contraction of paon (“pasturer”) but was commonly supposed in antiquity to be connected with pan (“all”). His father was usually said to be Hermes, but a comic invention held that he was the product of an orgy of Odysseus's wife Penelope with her many suitors. Plutarch wrote that during the reign of Tiberius the crew of a ship sailing near Greece heard a voice calling out “The great Pan is dead.” Christians took this episode to be simultaneous with the death of Christ.

      Pan was generally represented as a vigorous and lustful figure having the horns, legs, and ears of a goat; in later art the human parts of his form were much more emphasized. He haunted the high hills, and his chief concern was with flocks and herds, not with agriculture; hence he can make humans, like cattle, stampede in “panic” terror. Like a shepherd, he was a piper and he rested at noon. Pan was insignificant in literature, aside from Hellenistic bucolic, but he was a very common subject in ancient art. His rough figure was antithetical to, for example, that of Apollo, who represented culture and sophistication.

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Universalium. 2010.

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