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Story of Pan

By Amita Vadlamudi

For more than 35 years, Amita Vadlamudi served as a computer systems engineer supporting numerous types of system architectures. Motivated by a keen interest in ancient civilizations, Amita Vadlamudi enjoys studying the various cultural mythologies, including Greek mythology.

According to Greek myth, the nurse who helped deliver Pan fled because she was afraid after seeing his face. This is where the legend that irrational fear, also called panic, comes from the god Pan.

Pan is normally depicted as having a mostly human form, but with two horns and goat’s feet, wearing a pelt made of lynx fur. He was commonly revered as the good of the woodland realms, as well as the high mountains. He had no formal temples devoted to him, but rather was worshipped in natural settings such as caves.

According to myth, Pan fell in love with a nymph named Syrinx. Spurning his love, Syrinx fled from Pan and hid among her fellow satyrs, transforming her into a wooden reed. As the wind blew, the reeds around Pan produced a melody, but he couldn’t determine which one was Syrinx. So he took several of them and formed them together into an instrument, which is commonly known as the pan flute.

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