Brought to you by OBS staff reviewer Heidi
Saytrs and fauns area a couple of similar mythical creatures that are half human and half goat like creatures; being human from head to waist and then transitioning into goat form the waist down. And they have goat horns atop their heads.
Fauns and Saytrs used to be considered quite different creatures. In Greek Mythology the saytr was described as a stockier hairy dwarf that was ugly to look at and the faun looked like a typical man from the waist up. The Saytr was also depicted as part human and part horse in some cultures or texts. Fauns were more foolish and Saytrs were more knowledgeable, but were womanizers. The two creatures have become more similar as the Romans described the Saytrs as being part goat and human and associates them with a God Faunus and Goddess Fauna , who were both goat people, making the satyr almost identical to the faun. Both are considered to be companions of the Greek God of the wild, Pan. Saytrs and Fauns are commonly associated with playing musical instruments like the flute.
Saytrs and fauns are known to help or harm humans at will. They reside primarily in the forest and invoke fear among travelers who can never know if they’ll find one in a helpful or destructive mood.
You can find satyrs and fauns depicted in several works of art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art houses a striking sculpture by Italian artist, Andrea Riccio, who was known for his masterful bronze work during the Renaissance. He has several works that depict satyrs and half humans that became very popular during that era. There is also a light-hearted oil painting by Arnold Böcklin, titled ‘Faun Whistling to a Blackbird’. These are just a couple of many works of art that showcase the faun and satyr.
I have not personally come across many books that feature satyrs or fauns. But there is a series that focuses on them by Elizabeth Amber called The Lords of Satyr, but based on the men on the covers I really don’t see the goat like quality, but they do seem to hone in on the steamy womanizing ways of the satyr. I also came across a couple satyrs in the book, Angel’s Ink by Jocelynn Drake, but they were background characters and also kept to the satyr horniness wanting to attract women and requesting penis tattoos on their arms. For a more kid friendly faun, you might want to check out the Chronicles of Narnia.
When thinking about satyrs in movies, the first thing that comes to my mind is Phil in Disney’s animated movie Hercules. He seems to go with the more dwarf-like and ugly satyr, but definitely retains his goat-like qualities! Disney must really like the creature because they also feature fauns in Fantasia. Other movies you can see them includes Pan’s Labyrinth and the Percy Jackson movies.