Roman Name: Faunus
Ancient Greek Gods for Kids
Pan was the son of the messenger of the gods, Hermes. His mother was a wood nymph. His grandfather was the mighty Zeus, king of all the gods. Pan was a bit of a shock when he was born. He had two horns coming out of his forehead. He had the legs of a goat. He had a crooked nose and pointed ears.
His mother screamed when she saw him, and ran away. But Hermes wrapped the little guy warmly in a blanket and carried him off to Mount Olympus. It was not long before Pan was the delight of many of the gods and goddesses. Pan was a merry little fellow. Even Ares liked him a bit.
With Zeus' permission, Hermes gave his son the job of watching over shepherds and huntsmen. It was a perfect job for Pan. He loved to play in the woods and the meadows. He loved music and dancing and singing. In spite of his appearance, he made friends with many of the meadow and wood nymphs.
Huntsmen, leery of depending upon the goddess of the hunt, Artemis (who seemed to hate men), made sure to honor Pan. Shepherds worshiped and admired him. Pan had quite a following.
One day, Pan made a pipe of reeds. Personally, he thought his pipe produced a sound as beautiful as Apollo's lyre. This led to a contest between Pan and his Uncle Apollo. You can read what happened here: King Midas and the Donkey Ears.