Mythology & Beliefs: Satyrs
In Greek and Roman Mythology, Satyrs were hoofed demigods of woods and fields; companions of Dionysus.
Satyrs in Wikipedia
In Greek mythology, satyrs (Ancient Greek: Σάτυροι, Satyroi)
are a troop of male companions of Pan and Dionysus —
"satyresses" were a late invention of poets — that roamed the
woods and mountains. In mythology they are often associated
with pipe playing.
The satyrs' chief was Silenus, a minor deity associated (like
Hermes and Priapus) with fertility. These characters can be
found in the only remaining satyr play Cyclops by Euripedes
and the fragments of Sophocles' The Tracking Satyrs
(Ichneutae). The satyr play was a lighthearted follow-up
attached to the end of each trilogy of tragedies in Athenian
festivals honoring Dionysus. These plays would take a
lighthearted approach to the heavier subject matter of the
tragedies in the series, featuring heroes speaking in tragic
iambic verse and taking their situation seriously as to the
flippant, irreverent and obscene remarks and antics of the
satyrs. The groundbreaking tragic playwright Aeschylus is said
to have been especially loved for his satyr plays, but none of
them have survived...
Satyrus in Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology
（*Sa/turos), the name of a class of beings in Greek
mythology, who are inseparably connected with the worship of
Dionysus, and represent the luxuriant vital powers of
nature. In their appearance they somewhat resembled goats or
rams, whence many ancients believed that the word σάτυρος
was identical with τίτυρος, a ram. (Schol. ad Theocrit. 3.2,
7.72; Aelian, Ael. VH 3.40; comp. Eustath. ad Hom. p. 1157;
Hesych. sub voce and Strab. x. p.466.) Homer does not
mention any Satyr, while Hesiod (Fragm. 94, ed. Göttling)
speaks of them in the plural and describes them as a race
good for nothing and unfit for work, and in a passage quoted
by Straho (x. p. 471) he states that the Satyrs, Nymphs and
Curetes were the children of the five daughters of Hecataeus
and the daughter of Phoroneus. The more common statement is
that the Satyrs were the sons of Hermes and Iphthima (Nonn.
Dionys. 14.113), or of the Naiads (Xenoph. Sympos. 5.7);
Silen also calls them his own sons. (Eur. Cycl. 13, 82,
The appearance of the Satyrs is described by later writers
as robust, and rough, though with various modifications, but
their general features are as follows: the hair is bristly,
the nose round and somewhat turned upwards, the ears pointed
at the top like those of animals (whence they are sometimes
called θῆρες, Eurip. Cycl. 624); they generally have little
horns, or at least two hornlike protuberances (φήρεα), and
at or near the end of the back there appears a little tail
like that of a horse or a goat. In works of art they were
represented at different stages of life; the older ones,
commonly called Seilens or Silens (Paus. 1.23.6), usually
have bald heads and beards, and the younger ones are termed
Satyrisci (Σατυρίσκοι, Theocrit. 4.62, 27.48). All kinds of
satyrs belong to the retinue of Dionysus (Apollod. 3.5.1;
Strab. x. p.468; Ov. Fast. 3.737, Ars Am. 1.542, 3.157), and
are always described as fond of wine, whence they often
appear either with a cup or a thyrsus in their hand (Athen.
11.484), and of every kind of sensual pleasure, whence they
are teen sleeping, playing musical instruments or engaged in
voluptuous dances with nymphs. (Apollod. 2.1.4; Hor. Carm.
2.19. 3, 1.1. 30; Ov. Met. 1.692, 14.637; Philostr. Vit.
Poll. 6.27 ; Nonn. Dionys. 12.82.) Like all the gods
dwelling in forests and fields, they were greatly dreaded by
mortals. (Verg. Ecl. 6.13; Theocrit. 13.44; Ov. Ep. 4.49.)
Later writers, especially the Roman poets, confound the
Satyrs with the Pans and the Italian Fauns, and accordingly
represent them with larger horns and goats' feet (Hor. Carm.
2.19. 4; Propert. 3.15. 34; Ov. Met. 1.193, 6.392, xiv 637),
although originally they were quite distinct kinds of
beings, and in works of art, too, they are kept quite
distinct. Satyrs usually appear with flutes, the thyrsus,
syrinx, the shepherd staff, cups or bags filled with wine;
they are dressed with the skins of animals, and wear wreaths
of vine, ivy or fir. Representations of them are still very
numerous, but the most celebrated in antiquity was the Satyr
of Praxiteles at Athens (Paus. 1.20.1; Plin. Nat. 34.8, s.
19; comp. Heyne, Antiquar. Aufsätze, ii. p. 53, &c.; Voss,
Mythol. Briefe, ii. p. 284, &c.; C. O. Müller, Ancient Art
and its Remains, § 385, Eng. Transl.; and the article
PRAXITELES, p. 521.) - A Dictionary of Greek and Roman
biography and mythology, William Smith, Ed.
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