Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming


  • Sukey FontelieuEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_487

The goat god Pan was a god of flocks and shepherds in ancient Greece. His cult began in Arcadia and was elevated from its rustic status after the Battle of Marathon when the Athenians, out of gratitude for Pan’s help in their victory, dedicated a cave, Long Cliffs, to Pan beneath the city of Athens (Herodotus 1992). His cult took root and rapidly spread through the Mediterranean basin.

Pan was above all a chthonic nature god. His body was half divine and half goat. He lived outside of the civilized world, sometimes near its borders in huts or hidden, shady glens, but also dwelled in the wilderness in dark caves and on mountain peaks. He was a solitary and rustic god. From his earliest origins he was expected to induce fertility. Pan is an archetypal image of nature’s cornucopia of sexual heat, which ensures life will endure. In character, locales, and functions, Pan is seen in service to nature.

Fear and Panic

Pan is associated with panic and all its legion of psychological burdens....

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pacifica Graduate InstituteCarpinteriaUSA