Pan and Aigipan

Pan and Aigipan

PAN was the god of shepherds and flocks, of mountain wilds, hunting and rustic music. He wandered the hills and mountains of Arkadia playing his pan-pipes and chasing Nymphs. His unseen presence aroused feelings of panic in men passing through the remote, lonely places of the wilds.

The god was a lover of nymphs, who commonly fled from his advances. Syrinx ran and was transformed into a clump of reeds, out of which the god crafted his famous pan-pipes. Pitys escaped and was turned into a mountain fir, the god’s sacred tree. Ekho spurned his advances and fading away left behind only her voice to repeat forever the mountain cries of the god.

Pan was depicted as a man with the horns, legs and tail of a goat, and with thick beard, snub nose and pointed ears. He was often appears in the retinue of Dionysos alongside the other rustic gods. Greeks in the classical age associated his name with the word pan meaning “all”.

AIGIPAN (or Aegipan)

was one of the goat-footed gods known as Panes. When the gods fled from the monstrous giant Typhon and hid themselves in animal form, Aigipan assumed the form of a fish-tailed goat. Later he came to the aid of Zeus in his battle with creature, by stealing back his stolen sinews. As a reward the king of the gods placed him amongst the stars as the Constellation Capricorn. The mother of Aigipan, Aix (the goat), was perhaps associated with the constellation Capra. Others again make Aegipan the father of Pan, and state that he as well as his son was represented as half goat and half fish.  When Zeus in his contest with the Titans was deprived of the sinews of his hands and feet: [Typhon]  hid away the sinews [of Zeus] there in the skin of a bear, and posted as guard over them the drakaina Delphyne (a girl who was half animal). But Hermes and Aigipan (Aegipan) stole back the sinews and succeeded in replanting them in Zeus without being seen.”.

“And thou [Hermes] didst deliver the art of the deep for keeping to Pan of Korykos, thy son, who, they say, was the savior of Zeus–the savior of Zeus but the slayer of Typhon. For he tricked terrible Typhon with promise of a banquet of fish and beguiled him to issue forth from his spacious pit and come to the shore of the sea, where the swift lightning and the rushing fiery thunderbolts [of Zeus] laid him low.”

“When the gods in Egypt feared the monster Typhon, Pan bade them transform themselves into wild beasts the more easily to deceive him. Jove later killed him with a thunderbolt. By the will of the gods, since by his warning they had avoided Typhon’s violence, Pan was put among the number of the stars, Since at that time he had changed himself into a goat, he was called Aeocerus. We call him Capricorn: “Capricorn or Sea Goat. This sign resembles Aegipan, whom Jupiter [Zeus] wished to be put among the constellations because he was nourished with him, just as he put the goat nurse we have mentioned before. He, first, as Eratosthenes [Greek poet C3rd B.C.] says, when Jupiter attacked the Titanes, is said to have cast into the enemy the fear that is called panikos. The lower part of his body has a fish formation.