Wednesday, 27 April 2011

₪ Don´t Panic!

  Today was a really stressful day. Early awakening with the baby, driving the family to the other city so my wife could get to give driving license exams, coming back and had to make the printer to work so I would be able to send the papers for the rental car on time, print our tickets, pack our things, clean the house and fly late at night to Greece for our vacation. A lot of stress.
¨Don´t panic!¨ said my wife and tried to relax me a bit.
Panic is an interesting word. It has happened to us all, something that with a perfect universal synchronization happens always on the exact time. The bad one. But where does the word ¨Panic¨ comes from? The word panic comes from the hellenic Πανικός (panikos - pron. panêêkós) and it´s passive form is Πανικοβάλλομαι (pron. Panikovállome - mean. Getting into panic)
 For once more the beauty and magic of words are on the spotlight as this special word owes it´s birth to the ancient Greek god Pan, the ugly, short, goat shaped god of the shepherds and nature. A Faun and a Satyr, Pan was seducing the essential Nymphs in the rivers and mountain-fields of the beautiful bucolic land of Arcadia, playing his flute, eating Nature´s goods and drinking Dionysus´s wine, he was molesting and sodomizing anything that a goat shaped god could possibly sodomize.
  The reason that led the Greeks name the situation with the god´s name was his loud and wild cries towards the ship when he wanted to have some fun. Much latter the word took notorious dimensions after the Battle of Marathon on 490 B.C where the according to the myth, the ugly god would stand on a hill and scream to the Persian soldiers, forcing them to flee and run in madness to all directions. Because of the importance of this battle to the European world, the event took
immediately mythical dimensions and the word was introduced to the Romans which with their turn lent it through latin to all the other languages, including the english one.

  The Roman equilevant of god Pan was god Faunus whom´s name is also of hellenic origin, coming as Φαυνός ( Favnós ) a Euboeic form of the Doric Φαινός (Fænós, pron. Fenós) a name from the hellenic verb Φαίνω (Fàéno) for see, so his name was literally ¨the one that is being seen (suddenly) (by others)¨ meaning that he would suddenly appear to humans on the woods.
  From the Roman god Faun comes also the term Faen in the norwegian and it´s alternations at the other scandinavian and germanic languages, representing later the Devil as after the christianization of Europe, both Pan and Faun were given satanic meanings.