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It is a very old belief, although buttressed by numerous tales of apparitions,
that the Devil always appears with a cloven foot as a distinguishing mark.
A suggested reason for such appearances is that the Evil One, having fallen
to a level lower than any man is not be permitted to take the perfect human
form, but must have some deformity such as the cloven foot.
Others think there is a more likely explanation, the early Christians superimposed
on the concept of the Devil the image of the pagan goat-footed god Pan. A.G.H.