A "deadpan" glimpse at Nature's God . . .

Much as I'd rather concern myself with pressing issues of the day, the fact remains that this blog has what can only be called a "classical conscience" that nags me from time to time, and won't let me rest until I do something to ease it. Said "something," while it might be viewed as an offering to assuage whatever god or gods supervise this conscience, usually takes the form of what most people would call a blog post.

Anyway, I was very troubled to be awakened early this morning by a visit from one of the old gods -- who reminded me of the inescapable fact that he was both the Greek and the Roman God of Nature.

Behold Pan, Nature's God.


The playful Pan has come up before in this blog, but only during a very dry discussion prompted by Professor Volokh's remarks about linguistics and SPAM. While SPAM is annoying, it's also very unnatural, so in spite of his known mischievousness, I don't think Pan is implicated. Certainly not if we look to Original Intent:

Pan had many attributes as a god. He was the god of goats, and sheep, and their shepherds. He was the god of bee keeping. He was also a god of music, playing upon the reed pipes he made from the transformed body of the nymph Syrinx (the one that got away). It was said that this music could inspire panic (the root of the word) in any who heard it. Sometimes he was a minor god of the sea. He was a god of prophesy and was also famous for being randy (Greek women with a track record were known as Pan girls). Above all he was the god of nature: meadows, forests, beasts, and even human nature.
Over the centuries, revisionists who hated Pan have tried to get his goat. To a certain extent, they've been successful.

But unless I am mistaken, it seems Pan is not dead. He's merely been living in exile.

(I'll leave the legal and constitutional theorizing to others, as I wouldn't want to start a panic.)

UPDATE: Here I was earlier tonight, trying my hand at Pan.


(Camera panning by Dennis.)

posted by Eric on 01.04.05 at 09:18 AM



The Classical Deities supervising my excuse for a conscience are Venus, a.k.a. Aphrodite, and Diana, a.k.a. Artemis. I've always found Diana/Artemis to be even sexier than Venus/Aphrodite.

I've paid quite enough tribute to Bacchus/Dionysus in my younger days.

I keep trying to come up with a witty observation/play on words about that Pan/goat sculpture but am drawing a blank. Possibly for the best.

NIcholas Packwood   ·  January 5, 2005 8:23 PM

Thanks! Just the same, I'm glad I kept my hands off the "kid."

Eric Scheie   ·  January 5, 2005 9:46 PM

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