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Half Man Half Goat – The Satyr vs The Faun


European lore depicts a legendary half-man half-goat beast identified for its mischievous nature and rambunctious persona. They’ve been identified by many names, mostly known as Satyrs and Fauns. 

Whereas these two legendary creatures are related in nature, they maintain many variations that had been based within the mythology they originated in. On this article, you’ll discover the similarities and variations between the Satyrs and Fauns, uncover their look, and study their roles in European mythology. 

“I concern that we’re such gods or demigods solely as fauns and satyrs, the divine allied to beasts, the creatures of urge for food, and that, to some extent, our very life is our shame.”

– Henry David Thoreau

Key factors 

  • Each fauns and satyrs each originated from the identical creature from historical mythology. 
  • Fauns are related to roman mythology and are good-looking, mild, benevolent creatures identified for his or her typically mischievous nature. 
  • Satyrs are related to Greek mythology and are identified for his or her lustful needs, rambunctious persona, and harmful behaviors. 
Faun with pipes
Faun with pipes, from PompeiiHome of the FaunRoman copy of a Greek unique courting again to the first / 2nd century. B.C. displayed within the Archeological Museum of Naples.

Origins of the Faun and the Satyr

Fauns had been initially present in Roman mythology. The Romans described these creatures as residents of Arcadia, an untamed space of Greece with many wild animals and beasts. 

The Greeks have a god named Pan, depicted equally to fauns, as a hybrid between man and goat. Fauns are believed to have stemmed from Pan, doubtlessly being a descendant of him. (Test additionally our posts in regards to the goat: The Goat In My Dream: Be taught About The Dream That means and The Symbolism Of The Goat)

Though they’re mischievous, they’re seen as lovable legendary creatures that aren’t thought-about both “good” or “evil.” 


Satyrs had been initially present in Greek mythology. They’re depicted as wild beasts, usually occurring in tales with themes of lust and chaos. 

They’re the extra “evil” of the 2, though they weren’t usually seen as exuding evilness on individuals. Satyrs had been lazy partiers and solely cared about assembly their natural tendencies. 

Historic Greeks noticed them as unuseful creatures that couldn’t work and couldn’t be absolutely trusted. It’s unclear whether or not Fauns or Satyrs originated first.  

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Initially, each Satyrs and Fauns had been depicted in numerous methods earlier than they took their notorious traits. There are situations in Greek artwork that portrayed them having horse tails, they usually had been additionally seen as ugly, foul creatures that appeared utterly animalistic in nature. 

After each the Greeks and Romans adopted these creatures into their mythology, they turned referred to as they’re at this time. 

half man half goat
Half man half goat


Satyrs have been categorised as half-man, half-goat. Their higher physique seems to be human, however their legs are animalistic, bushy, and have hooves. 

Additionally they have the horns and tail of a goat. All through historical past, they’ve been depicted in artwork as having heavy beards, pointed ears, and legs made from animal pores and skin. 

These creatures had been very giant, intimidating, and robust. Typically, they seem sporting a fabric cover-up and different equipment related to warriors or troopers. 

Satyrs might carry a bow, arrow, or flute to play their lovely songs. They’ve normally appeared as males, wanting very masculine, tough, and bushy. 

“From forty to fifty a person is at coronary heart both a stoic or a satyr.”

– Arthur Wing Pinero


Fauns have the same look to Satyrs, though they seem a lot much less putting and abrasive. They had been usually even thought-about good-looking and delicate in nature. 

Fauns are smaller and have been seen as small males or kids, in distinction to the massive stature of Satyrs. They don’t include a lot physique hair and solely have semi-hair legs in comparison with Satyrs. 

They’ve brief horns on the highest of their heads that appear to be tiny spikes. Just like Satyrs, they’re usually depicted as males, however these males aren’t seen as intimidating as their counterparts. 

Pan: In Greek faith and mythology, Pan is a god of the wild, shepherds and flocks, rustic music and impromptu, and a companion of nymphs. He resembles a faun or satyr in that he possesses a goat’s hindquarters, legs, and horns. See: Wikipedia



Satyrs are identified for being each hedonistic and mischievous. They take pleasure in wine and ladies and are sometimes seen chasing nymphs by the forest. 

Whereas they are often fun-loving and carefree, they will also be fairly irritable and fast to anger. They’re additionally identified for being glorious musicians, usually taking part in the flute or lyre. 

Resulting from their fiery nature, they’re identified for inflicting bother, being impulsive, and never caring in regards to the penalties of their actions.

The satyr has been used as a logo of lechery and debauchery, in addition to a illustration of nature and the wilderness. In historical Greece, the satyr was usually portrayed as a creature who was wild and unrestrained but in addition had a deep connection to nature.

They’re simply distracted by foods and drinks. Extreme love usually results in satyrs turning into obese and off form, making them straightforward targets for predators. In Christianity, they’re thought-about sinful.

They’re additionally notoriously lecherous and can usually pursue nymphs and different creatures relentlessly till they tire themselves out. This could make them careless and depart them weak to assault.

Additionally, their hooves should not superb for operating on exhausting floor, to allow them to be simply outpaced by those that want to hurt them.

satyr - half man half goat
A medieval illustration of a satyr with a wand that appears like a jester’s membership is seen within the Aberdeen Bestiary. Western European wild males and satyrs had been combined collectively in medieval bestiaries. See additionally, Wikipedia.


Though normally thought-about to be a benevolent creature, the faun will also be mischievous and even harmful. The faun is commonly portrayed as being carefree and having fun with life to the fullest. 

They’re identified for his or her love of music and dance and sometimes take pleasure in taking part in tips on people. In some tales, the faun can be mentioned to have the ability to grant needs or bestow magical powers on those that cross their path. 

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Regardless of their playful nature, fauns will also be fairly deceiving. In some tales, they’re mentioned to lure people into the forest, the place they are going to turn into misplaced endlessly.

One weak point of fauns is that they’re very simply distracted. This could lead them into bother, particularly if they’re in an unfamiliar place or state of affairs. 

They could even be extra inclined to take dangers than different creatures, which might backfire on them. One other potential weak point of fauns is that their hooves make it troublesome to run lengthy distances. 

This could restrict their escape choices in the event that they discover themselves in peril. Moreover, their horns can typically get in the way in which, making it exhausting for them to see clearly.

A faun, as painted by Hungarian painter Pál Szinyei Merse



The Roman poet Ovid wrote in regards to the satyr in his work Metamorphoses, portraying them as creatures who had been lustful and sometimes engaged in drunkenness and orgies. 

Satyrs have additionally been depicted in a few of your favourite motion pictures. The Disney film, Hercules, has a Satyr character who’s aggressive, crass, and masculine in nature

Satyrs are some of the common legendary creatures in motion pictures. They’re usually depicted as half-man, half-goat creatures with horns and hooves. 

They’re identified for his or her love of wine and ladies and their mischievous nature. Satyrs have appeared in lots of movies through the years, together with “The Lord of the Rings” franchise, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Hearth,” “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief,” and “Pan’s Labyrinth.” 

Normally, they’re portrayed as friendly creatures who take pleasure in a great get together. Nonetheless, they will also be harmful if angered. 

Whereas satyrs should not as well-known as another legendary creatures, they proceed to be common within the movie on account of their attention-grabbing look and fun-loving persona.

“Across the hero every thing turns right into a tragedy, across the demigod, a satyr-play, and round God–what? maybe a “world”?”

– Friedrich Nietzsche


In additional trendy instances, fauns have appeared in numerous works of literature and artwork. One of the vital well-known examples is the character Mr. Tumnus from C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia sequence. 

Within the ebook, Mr. Tumnus is a sort and delicate creature who befriends the principle character Lucy. He helps her to know the magical world she has entered and teaches her in regards to the completely different creatures that reside there. 

In Guillermo del Toro’s 2006 movie Pan’s Labyrinth, the character of the Faun is a key determine within the story. He serves as a information for Ofelia, the movie’s protagonist, and helps her navigate the damaging labyrinth she should journey by to avoid wasting her father.

The Faun is first launched to Ofelia in a dream, the place he tells her that she is destined for excellent issues. When she meets him once more in the true world, he duties her with finishing three challenges to avoid wasting her father’s life.

Although they aren’t at all times portrayed nearly as good guys, fauns are normally seen as benevolent creatures.

Pans labyrinth faun - half man half goat
Faun in Pan’s labyrinth

Had been there ladies fauns or satyrs?

Whereas no named fauns or satyrs are present in mythology, a number of different legendary creatures are half human and half goat. Probably the most well-known of those is the Minotaur, a creature with a bull’s head and a person’s physique. 

There are additionally lesser-known creatures just like the centaur, which has the higher physique of a person and the decrease physique and legs of a horse. It’s doable that there aren’t any feminine satyrs or fauns as a result of the Greeks and Romans related goats with sexuality and lustfulness. 

Of their tradition, females weren’t purported to be sexual beings, so they didn’t create feminine variations of mythological creatures that represented intercourse and debauchery. Nonetheless, that is simply hypothesis, and there’s no method to know for positive why there aren’t any feminine satyrs or fauns.

Take a look at this video for extra info on the variations between the satyr and the faun. 



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