La dualité du dieu bouc : les épiphanies de Pan à la chasse et à la guerre dans la céramique apulienne (seconde moitié du IVe siècle av. J.-C.)


fr Anthropozoologica 33-34 - Pages 11-22

Published on 01 March 2002

This article is a part of the thematic issue Animal et animalité dans l’Antiquité. Actes du colloque de l’Université Lumière-Lyon II, 24-25 septembre 1998

The duality of the goat-looking god. Epiphanies of Pan at war and at hunting on red figured apulian vases (second half of the IVth century BC)

Studying a serie of vases manufactured in the Magna Grecia during the IVth century BC, we tried to understand the development and the evolution of Pan's iconography on red-figured apulian vases, especially in war and hunting scenes. Bestiality strongly characterizes the goat-looking god and makes him perfectly adapted to the wild spaces of hunting; he is even perceived as an embodiment of nature, his animality being the expression of irrational forces threatening the integrity of man, of the group and of the polis. Object of terror for the human beings, especially when he is identified with panic, he can also charm the gods and be accepted amongst them. His entering the Pantheon means that he is capable of the most beneficial action: terrifying the enemies. Taming Pan is, above all, a victory of man on himself, on his own fears. This is the meaning of the consecration to the goat-looking god performed by the hunting man. Gaining Pan's help allows victory on the Other, the enemy, the Barbarian. He is the god Athenians have thanked after the victory of Marathon.


Apulian vases, hunting, war, Pan, panic.

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