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Image Index > Divine Abduction/Seduction Scenes > Pan Teaches Music To A Boy

Roman copy of a Hellenistic original by Heliodorus. About 20 other copies are extant; Pliny, NH 36.35 attests that one was in the Porticus of Octavia in Rome. The smiling goat-formed god Pan embraces a boy, variously identified as the legendary shepherd Daphnis or Olympus, and teaches him how to play the syrinx, on pan-pipes. The boy looks at the instrument with a mix of tentative fascination and shy uncertainty. Pan's prominent genitalia and the boy's nudity suggest a clear eroticization of the pedagogical relationship, complicated by the irony of the Beauty-and-the-Beast pairing.

Artist Heliodorus
Date c. 100 BCE (original
Museum and Inventory Number Museo Nazionale, Naples;Photo courtesy of Art Resource, Inc. #50105879 AN23160
References and Publications M. Bieber, The Sculpture of the Hellenistic Age (New York 1961) 147 and pl. 628
R. R. R. Smith, Hellenistic Sculpture (London 1991)131 and pl. 160
C. Zimmermann, The Pastoral Narcissus (Lanhom 1994) 94
T.K. Hubbard, The Pipes of Pan (Ann Arbor 1998) 63-64
LIMC 3: 350-51 and plates 8a-8b.
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This website makes available to the public the first two chapters of Homosexuality in Greece and Rome: A Sourcebook of Basic Documents, edited by Thomas K. Hubbard and published by University of California Press in April 2003. The index also lists the rest of the sourcebook's contents; the book may be ordered at, list price $34.95 paperback. In addition, a file of close to 200 pertinent artistic images is assembled, including those published in the sourcebook and many others. Acknowledgement is made to University of California Press for permission to reproduce this material, as well as to the various museums that have granted permission to use their photographic images. Comments may be directed to Prof. Hubbard at