The God Pan and his flute
22.nov 2020

Pan is one of the oldest gods in Greek mythology. Considered a rustic god of the countryside, pastures and wild forests, he is portrayed as a half-man, half-goat, with horns and a long beard, known as a satyr. An avid courtier of women, among mortals, goddesses and nymphs, he had a love story that culminated in the creation of his flute, inseparable from his figure.

Work: The Great God Pan. Lord Frederic Leighton (1830-1896). Lithography on wood. Collection from the Royal Academy of Arts, London, England.

Pan is one of the oldest gods in Greek mythology. Considered a rustic god of the countryside, pastures and wild forests, he is portrayed as a half-man, half-goat, with horns and a long beard, known as a satyr. An avid courtier of women, among mortals, goddesses and nymphs, he had a love story that culminated in the creation of his flute, inseparable from his figure.

On one of his walks, Pan found the nymph Syrinx, daughter of the River God Ladon, and fell in love with her. Possessing great beauty, Syrinx was used to being chased by men and gods and had little trouble eluding her pursuers in the past. But with Pan it was different. He had the ability to run through forests and mountains for long periods without getting tired, and chased Syrinx for days through valleys, hills and forests. Exhausted and unable to escape Pan’s grasp any longer, the nymph ran to the river’s edge asking for help from her father and sisters, the Ladonides nymphs. Moments before Pan’s arms wrapped around her body, she vanished and turned into wild marsh reeds.

Enraged, Pan broke the reeds into pieces. A strong wind blew through them and the sound emitted resembled the sweet melody of Syrinx’s voice. Full of woe and melancholy, the satyr collected some of the pieces of reeds, joined them with wax and thread and built a flute, known from that day forward as Syrinx flute or Pan flute.

According to mythology, he never separated from the instrument, which represented his lost love.

 

Click on the images and learn more about the samples of Pan flutes that we have in MVIM:

                  Pan flute mvim_dc_ae_0059

                  Pan flute mvim_dc_ae_0060

 

 

¹Image source:

Dalziel Brothers; Leighton, Lord; The Great God Pan: https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/art-artists/work-of-art/O40205

Credit line: (c) (c) Royal Academy of Arts /

 

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