Aphrodite, Pan, and Eros make us smile

Walking thru the long hallways of the Athens archeological museum I came across this statue which stopped me in my tracks. Humor from 2100 years ago served up to me right then and there!

About 2500 years ago the ancient Greeks learned how to carve a stone into the form of a human body. Others had done this before, but none had captured man with such authentic detail, muscles, arteries, and veins, nor captured woman with such....womanliness. This artistic skill arrived first with the Greeks, was passed to the Romans, and then disappeared for a thousand years in the dark ages to be revived in the middle ages by Italians such as Michelangelo. The Asian cultures never got it (as far as I know).

I thought I was looking at the gods Venus, Pan, and Cupid, but that would be a mixture of Greek and Roman names. If you'd like to learn more about this statue, web search for the Greek names: Aphrodite, Pan, and Eros.

Why does this statue make us laugh? First is Pan. What a dirty old man! He has goats' horns, legs, hair, and nose. If we urbanites knew goats the way the ancients knew goats we'd probably laugh even more. I know goats as friendly, frisky, quick, and persistant. Pan is about a foot shorter than Aphrodite. That makes him more the lecher; and it makes us wonder how this contest will come out. I didn't notice till I got home that Pan has (what the Brits would call) a "stiffy".

It's sometimes remarked that Eros (Cupid) is protecting Aphrodite (Venus), but after doing a little web research, I wasn't sure that Eros was not a mischief maker, nor that Aphrodite was so pure as she seems.

This from Wikipedia commons
This from my point-and-shoot camera, no tripod, flash not allowed in the museum.