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HOME : Classical Antiquities : Classical Masterpieces : Terracotta head of the god Pan
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Terracotta head of the god Pan - CB.08
Dimensions: 7.5" (19.1cm) high
Medium: Terracotta


Location: Great Britain
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Description
Small triangular face with a furrowed protruding front, almond shaped large and slightly bulging eyes, imperceptibly placed towards the edges of the face, short pointed nose, small mouth, triangular beard and very long moustaches, long hair, neat and straight at the back of the head with a few curls on the front with short animal-like ears, which are marginally extending to the front; pair of stout horns on top of the head. The artifact is completely hollow at the backside and given the size and shape of the cavity could have possibly belonged to an antefix. In ancient Greek religion and mythology Pan is an Arcadian shepherd god with horns, the upper body of a man and the lower part goat-like, in the same manner of a faun or a satyr; Pan is considered guardian of the woods, groves and fields, protector of shepherds and flocks, companion of the nymphs. His name originates within the Ancient Greek language, from the word paein (p?e??), meaning "to pasture." In consequence to this etymology, Pan is also connected to notion of fertility and the season of spring. In ancient Roman religion and myth, Pan was identified with Faunus, the god of nature and also closely associated with Sylvanus, god of woodlands and fields. An area of the Golan Heights (a rocky plateau in South Western Syria) is known as the Panion or Panium, whereas the ancient city of Caesarea Philippi, with the Banias natural springs and grotto are related to Pan. Carving quality makes it a unique piece The figure is unique in the mixture of human and animalistic features: the round head, thick neck, expressive forehead are all very human elements ,whereas the fleece, flat muzzle, beard, thin lips, pointed ears and horns reflect the animl side of the god. It was originally called “Panea” or the City of Pan, and is now in Arabic called Banias. It was a center of worship of the Greek god Pan, half man half goat. Pan was a nature and fertility deity, usually represented in a state of sexual excitement and playing reed pipes. The rituals associated with the cult involved drunken orgiastic rites on occasion using, well, ... goats. The Temple of Pan was located at the mouth of a large cave from which then flowed a spring that was the headwaters of the River Jordan. The cave’s mouth is in a large face of exposed bedrock, upon which the Temple of Pan was built. The cave opening looks like a spooky gate in a city wall, leading to the underworld. That’s probably exactly the reason that people placed Pan’s Temple there. there. Banias is the Arabic and modern Hebrew name of an ancient site that developed around a spring once associated with the Greek god Pan, in the vicinity of the town of Caesarea Philippi. The site contains a spring which is located at the foot of Mount Hermon, north of the Golan Heights, and constitutes one of the main sources of the Jordan River. Archaeologists uncovered a shrine dedicated to Pan and related deities, and the remains of an ancient city founded sometime after the conquest by Alexander the Great and inhabited until 1967; the ancient city was mentioned in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark by the name of Caesarea Philippi. The first mention of the ancient city during the Hellenistic period was in the context of the Battle of Panium, fought around 200-198 BCE, when the name of the place was given as "Panion". Later the region was called "Paneas" (Greek: ?a?e???). Both names were derived from that of Pan, the god of the wild and companion of the nymphs. The spring at Banias initially originated in a large cave carved out of a sheer cliff face which was gradually lined with a series of shrines. The temenos (sacred precinct) included in its final phase a temple placed at the mouth of the cave, courtyards for rituals, and niches for statues. It was constructed on an elevated, 80m long natural terrace along the cliff which towered over the north of the city. A four-line inscription at the base of one of the niches relates to Pan and Echo, the mountain nymph, and was dated to 87 BCE. The once very large spring gushed from the limestone cave, but an The pre-Hellenistic deity associated with the spring of Banias was variously called Ba'al-gad or Ba'al- hermon. Banias was certainly an ancient place of great sanctity, and when Hellenised religious influences began to overlay the region, the cult of its local numen gave place to the worship of Pan, to whom the cave was therefore dedicated.[4] Paneas was first settled in the Hellenistic period following Alexander the Great's conquest of the east. The Ptolemaic kings built a cult centre there in the 3rd century BC. In the Hellenistic Period the spring was named Panias, for the Arcadian goat-footed god Pan. Pan was revered by the ancient Greeks as the god of isolated rural areas, music, goat herds, hunting, herding, of sexual and spiritual possession, and of victory in battle, since he was said to instill panic among the enemy. The Latin equivalent for Paneas is Fanium. The spring lies close to the fabled 'way of the sea' mentioned by Isaiah, [6] along which many armies of Antiquity marched. Banias (Paneas), or Caesarea- Philippi, was an impressive Greco- Roman city located near a flowing spring - one of the sources of the Jordan river, on the foothills of the Hermon mountain. A Roman sanctuary, which included temples and ritual courtyards, was built near the sacred grotto of the Greco-Roman God Pan. The ancient city, named after Pan, was located to the south of the springs. Being a woodland creature like the satyr, Pan is always portrayed with the horns, ears, and shaggy legs of a goat. Here he wears a fawn's skin with two small hooves tied in a knot around his neck. His long curls are in disarray, his forehead is slightly furrowed, and his eyebrows are raised in an expression that verges on pathos. - (CB.08)

 

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