Open Context

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"Cypriot Pan" refers to a large corpus of votive limestone statuettes that appear in sanctuaries throughout the Mesaoria from as early as the late CC period (ca. 350–310 BCE) through at least the end of the Hellenistic period (30 BCE). The statuettes share the iconography of the Greek god Pan but are rendered in an idiom that is distinctively Cypriot. The earliest and most common type of Cypriot Pan portrays the god as a beardless youth standing on a plinth with human legs, wig-like hair, pointed ears, and budding horns. Always nude in the front, he wears a goatskin cape as a chlamys, holds the lagobolon (a tool for hunting hares) along his leg, and with his other hand he holds a syrinx, pipes for making music. Other Cypriot Pan types are similar but emphasize different aspects of the god through the addition or absence of iconographic attributes: the ithyphallus for fertility, the lagobolon for hunting and shepherding (AAP-AM-1076), and the syrinx for musical harmony (AAP-AM-624+697; AAP-AM-1076). Notably, these other types appear during or after the turbulent period that followed the death of Alexander the Great (ca. 323 BCE), and have a more limited distribution, with many that are peculiar to specific sanctuary sites like Athienou-Malloura. These varieties of types are also contemporary with a growing series of finely carved heads of Cypriot Pan with individualized features that give the face of each its own distinct character (AAP-AM-2740). Such heads are of a larger scale than the other statuettes but are still under-half-life-size, while the remains of body fragments that would correspond to their scale have yet to be uncovered. Outside of Athienou-Malloura, these finer quality heads of Cypriot Pan have been found but lack a secure provenience. Their individualized faces may betray the influence of Hellenistic royal portraiture, particularly the Antigonid and Ptolemaic kings who sometimes styled themselves as Pan and who fought for control of Cyprus in the Hellenistic period.

Suggested Citation

Clay M. Cofer. "Divine Images: Cypriot Pan". (2020) In Visualizing Votive Practice: Exploring Limestone and Terracotta Sculpture from Athienou-Malloura through 3D Models. Derek B. Counts, Erin Walcek Averett, Kevin Garstki, Michael Toumazou (Eds.) . Released: 2020-07-28. Open Context. <http://opencontext.org/types/14afc14b-dc87-42a2-a3c2-c2b01c0114f3>

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