Fauns and also satyrs wereamong the many popularly shown mythological creatures in old Greece andRome. Native the Renaissance and Baroque duration onwards, they controlled torecaptivate the minds of numerous European artists and also they still are really popularin west fantasy culture today. However, during one millennium of loved one unpopularity,people had progressively forgotten the distinction between these two creatures andthe terms were supplied interchangeably to define a types of men with the hornsand hind legs of a goat. Artists favor Peter Paul Rubens, Filippo Lauriand later on William-Adolphe Bouguereau painted forest creatures the were most likely intended come portray satyrs,but most people who live in classical times would no doubt interpret them asdepictions of the God Faunus (Pan). This man has ongoing to this particular day assimple image searches on Google because that the terms "satyr" and"faun" will certainly show. A notable example of this confusion in contemporary timescan be seen in Disney’s Hercules (1997), where “Phil” explains himself as asatyr, also though he has all the physical attributes of Faunus/Pan. Evenmuseums the have ancient Greek and also Roman artefacts room not constantly aware ofthis problem and also sometimes use incorrect summary cards.

You are watching: Difference between a faun and a satyr


In this post, ns willattempt to display the difference between a satyr and Faunus as seen in roman art, so Greco-Romanart enthusiasts, modern artists and also cosplayers alike have the right to henceforth be aware ofthe distinction. The comparison listed below uses ancient Roman art as a startingpoint, however I will certainly briefly cite pre-Roman instances where relevant.
Faunus to be thegrandchild the Saturn and also the son of Picus according to Roman tradition ❶. Sources in the Greek tradition explained hisequivalent Pan together the kid of Hermes among others ❷.The explicate of Faunus in Rome was heavily influenced by that of the GreekPan.
The satyrs ~ above theother hand to be the children of Silenus ❸ (although other sourcesdescribe them as the kids of Hermes ❹ or of theNaiads ❺) and have an excellent physical same to himin art. The illustration of Silenus can be described as an old, obese satyr (Fig1).
*
Fig.1: Silenus, the father of the satyrs, Apulia, 4th century BCE, Allard Pierson Museum, Amsterdam (the Netherlands)

Both Faunus and satyrsare usually illustrated with the ears of a donkey or a horse, not unlike the “elfears” as illustrated in the lord of the rings movie series or the AmericanChristmas elves.
*
Fig.2: Pan/Faunus mask, Sicily, third – 2nd century BCE, Allard Pierson Museum, Amsterdam (the Netherlands)
*
Fig.3: roman inn jug v decoration shaped favor a mask that Faunus, Valkhof, Nijmegen (the Netherlands)

The God Faunus hasalways been depicted with the horns the a goat, like his Greek tantamount Pan (Fig.2 and also 3).
Satyrs never had hornson Greek number vases (Fig.4). In later on depictions they space sometimesshown through very tiny hornlike protrusions on their head (Fig.5),but many of Roman imaginative renderings present them there is no horns (Fig.6 and 8).
*
Fig.4: early Greek relenten of a satyr, Oudheidkundig museum, Leiden (the Netherlands)
*
Fig.5: roman bust that a satyr v very little horns, head: 1st century, rest: rebuilded in 18th century, Chicago nationwide Museum of art (USA)

*
Fig.6: roman bustof a satyr without horns, Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Trier (Germany)
Modern depictions oftenshow both of castle with large ram’s horns, yet this is most likely amisinterpretation that depictions the Zeus Ammon / Iuppiter Ammon
(Fig.7). A famous instance of this confusion have the right to be seen inPan’s Labyrinth (2006).
*
Fig.7: roman inn oil lamp v Iuppiter Ammon (ram"s horns), not Faunus or a satyr, Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Trier (Germany)

*
Fig.8: side of a Gallo-Roman Bacchic funerary stele showing a satyr eat grapes and also carrying a grape harvest sickle, Musée Archéologique, Arlon (Belgium)
Satyrs are described ❻ anddepicted as having a tail resembling that of a horse. On Greek number vases,they have tendency to it is in rather long (Fig.4), however they seem to have lessened somewhatin length over time. Nevertheless, roman inn artists still portrayed them withhorsetails, fairly than quick goat tails.Some roman inn depictions seem come omit the tail totally (Fig.8).Faunus / Pan had a goat tail matching the remainder of his reduced body.
Faunus / Pan isusually depicted with goat legs (Fig.9), however depictions of the with human legs exist.
*
Fig.9: Faunus ~ above a roman inn funerary relief, Römisch-Germanisches Museum Cologne (Germany

Satyrs space neverdepicted through goat legs, and this is possibly the many important distinction betweenfauns and also satyrs. At an early stage Greek depictions sometimes show satyr-like creatureswith the legs of a horse,but this may actually it is in Silenus. One of two people way, the author has never seen a satyrwith goat legs in roman art.
The literature sourcesleave somewhat an ext room because that discussion. Both Lucretius ❼and Horace ❽
speakof “goat-footed satyrs”. ~ above the other hand, Propertius ❾, Nonnus❿ and also Ausonius⓫ make the very same claim about panes.
Faunus is usually shownas really hairy. That usually has actually a beard and fur everywhere his reduced body (Fig.9).
*
Fig.10: roman statue of team of satyrs, 1st century CE, Chicago national Museum of art (USA)

Satyrs may have beenhairier in early on Greek depictions, yet as Bacchus/Dionysus traded his mature,bearded look for a an ext youthful appearance, therefore did the satyrs. Satyrs in Romanart therefore rarely have beards, exept if a specific, named satyr in involved.Their body generally appear quite smooth and also youthful and they regularly wear animalskins over their shoulders to store their hairless bodies warm (Fig.10).The just thing remaining from their initial beast-like figure is your distinctshaggy hairstyle (Fig.5, 6, 8 and also 10).
It seems likely thatthe confusion in between satyrs and fauns developed as a an outcome of your associationwith the wine God Bacchus. Even though Silenus, satyrs and maenads typicallybelonged come the retinue the Bacchus, other Gods also temporarily joined the WineGod’s thiasus. Hercules is one of them ⓬ and Faunus another,as described in numerous myths, which defines why both creatures can show up inBacchic art. What certainly made the situation more complicated is the factthat there is mention of a 3rd kind the creature: the fauns
(faunior panes)⓭. Literary works namesthese creatures, that are more or less to Faunus what satyrs are to Silenus, butin Bacchic art, lock are rather rare. One remarkable sarcophagus that does mirrors several fauni in a Bacchic context, nevertheless proves the they are stillquite unique beings in the second century CE: top top this sarcophagus, twosatyrs support their intoxicated dad Silenus while several others organize torchesaloft. Meanwhile, a mrs faun to the left of the scene tries to copulate witha herm of Faunus (who self is viewed leaving a building in the background) anda couple of fauns to the ideal is about to girlfriend in prior of a herm portraying ayoung faun. Do the efforts to define this step by identify what ns argue to be thefauns (the goat-footed ones) together satyrs and also vice versa would be problematic. The is far much more plausible the satyrs would help their Fatherrather than fauns.
Certain statue groups unmistakeablydepict myths that attribute Pan/Faunus, favor this statue that Faunus teachingDaphnis just how to pat the syrinx.An effort to describe the goat-like creature in the statue group as a satyr,would likewise be problematic.

See more: What Is The Most Reactive Group On Periodic Table ? Groups Of Elements


If the dancers in thethiasus the Bacchus are dubbed maenads or nymphs when they room female and satyrswhen they space male, it have to be no surprised that depictions the maenadsdancing v what ns have suggested to be satyrs (the ones with person legs) are far much more abundant than depictionsof Faunus with a maenad. It appears that the last pair only ended up being popular in moderntimes.
ConclusionThere are enough examplesof vague or misinformed explanation in so late Roman literature to define theconfusion in modern-day times, yet the explicate of satyrs and Faunus/fauns in ancientGreek and Roman art does not enable for any kind of confusion. The renowned myths provideenough information and also description to determine them with great certainty.
*
Fig.11: roman statue the Bacchus, surrounded by two satyrs and Faunus, 2nd-3rd century CE, Chicago national Museum of art (USA)
Sources:
❸ Euripides. Cyclops. 13, 82, 269.)❹ Nonnus. Dionysiaca. XIV. 113.❺ Xenophon. Symposium. V. 7.❻ Philostratus the Elder. Imagines 1. 22. ; Pausanias, summary of Greece. 1.23. 6. ; Nonnus, Dionysiaca 14. 105 ff.)❼ Lucretius. De RerumNatura. 4.572.: “capripedes Satyros” ❽ Horace. Odes. II, 19.:“capripedum Satyrorum”❾ Propertius III. 15. 34 “capripedes agitat cum laeta protervia Panas”❿ Nonnus. Dionysiaca. 21. 178 ff⓫ Ausonius. Mosella. Praef 170. “capripedesagitat cum laeta protervia Panas”⓬ Reineking, Brian (2016) The EsotericCodex: Demigods of classical Mythology. Lulu.com: p127.⓭ Nonnus. Dionysiaca 14. 67 ff