Pan (Faunus in Latin) is a person from the Greek mythology. He is the son of the god Hermes and the nymph Penelope. Pan is known as the god of the wood and the master of the herdsman and their herd. Furthermore he is also the god of stock of cattle and the animal instinct.
Pan has the lower torso of a goat but his upper body is that of a human. He also has the horns of a goat. He has a long small face, a big nose and yellow eyes.
The panpipe is named after him. He got this item when he had a eye on a nymph called Syrinx. She readily wanted to remain a virgin and was praying to god while she was feeling Pans breath in her neck . Her prayers were heard and she got changed into a can right on time. Pan made a flute out of the cane.
Inside the woods Pan was making a lot of mysterious sounds that fulfilled the herdsman and their horde with fear.The same counted for people on places that were out of the way. This is the interpretation of the word "pan-ic". A panic fright is a suddenly, common but groundless fear. This was a reason better not to upset Pan.
Pan was also seen as personification of the nature. Since the middle ages his appearance was used to portrait the devil.
On a lot of pictures Pan is brought in association with Eros and Aphrodite because of his sensuality. But as far as known, Pan never had anything to do with Eros or Aphrodite. He was the son of Hermes and was getting along with Dionysos. Apollon is known as his musical rival.
Especially the story of king Midas about the competition between pan and Apollon is very famous.
It all started with Marsyas, who found a flute that was made by Pallas Athena and thrown away. The reason that Pallas Athena had trown away the flute was because when she was blowing on the flute she didn't liked it that her cheeks were too bulged.
Marsyas kept practicing on the flute and on a sudden moment he provoked Apollon to compete against him. Apollon took part of the competition and he won. As a punishment Apollon would skin him alive.
Pan was not able to accept the news that one of his subjects would come to his end on this cruel way. That's why Pan provoked Apollon for another competition. If he would lose he would get the same punishment as Marsyas if Dionysos and king Midas didn't like his music more over that of Apollon . Apollon accepted and the competition started.
The result was that Pan lost the competition. He became so angry at king Midas because of not liking his music and gaved him donkey ears. After this Pan got killed
Pan also had a half-brother, whose name was Arcas.