Difference Between Faun and Satyr (with Table)

The appearance of many mystical creatures and the stories of the evolution of these creatures into the modern-day animals are not unknown to us. These mythical or mystical creatures, many having said to made appearance to the human world like mermaids and sirens, mostly have Greek or Roman origin.

Sometimes, two creatures having similar physical appearance can be of two different origins and have natures contrasting one another. Faun and satyr, the mythical creature who was half human-half goat are also two such creatures.

Fauns are human from torso up and goats from below. They have human feet. Fauns have a Roman origin and they were said to be naturally inhibited in forests. They are very gentle and humble.

Satyrs are the Greek origin version of the fauns. They are also humans from torso up and goat below but they have hooves of goats instead of human feet. They are known to be followers of the God of Wine.

The difference between Faun and Satyr is that fauns appear to be handsome whereas satyrs are deemed unattractive according to Greek standards for physical appearance. They are often defined as clumsy and grotesque.

Comparison Table Between Faun and Satyr

Parameters of ComparisonFaunSatyr
OriginIts origin is in the olden times RomeIt has a Greek origin
HornsAre born with a natural hornNeed to earn the horn
Physical featuresTorso, hands and feet of a human. Two goat legs instead of human onesThe upper body was human whereas the lower body was that of a goat, with a tail.
Physical appearanceThey appear to be handsomeA clumsy and hideous appearance that is deemed unattractive.
KnowledgeFoolishAre very knowledgeable
NatureWas believed to have instilled fear of travelling through the forestsThey have a high sex drive and are usually are portrayed as such.
BehaviourInnocent, gentle and humbleMischievous, always with wine or women

What is Faun?

Fauns are bipedal creatures that are also known as goat man. This is because of their half-human half-goat appearance. They are often shown with a human torso and feet with the legs of a goat and pointed ears with horns.

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They inhabited the forest areas and were said to instil fear in the night travellers of the forest. But in reality, they were naïve, humble and gentle creatures who were also portrayed to be very attractive and handsome.

They symbolized fertility and peace. They were often compared with the Greek god Pan and Fauna who had a goat-like appearance.

Since they were peace-loving creatures they were often portrayed the same way in paintings too. Being in a group, playing and having fun or standing alone with their majestic physique.

faun

What is Satyr?

Satyrs are the Greek origin of fauns. But it is said that the fauns were inspired by the appearance of the satyrs and not the other way around. They are also bipedal creatures who are half-human and half-goat.

They are often described as hairy, bulky, hideous and clumsy with a stub nose and distorted facial features. This was deemed unattractive by the Greek standards for beauty.

They were followers of the Greek God of wine, Dionysus and were often portrayed with wine glasses and being mischievous.

Satyrs were known to have a stronger sex-drive than fauns. So in pictures and paintings, they were always shown during obscene scenes being surrounded by women. It was also said that they ran after nymphs and mortal women to rape and mate them.

satyr

Main Differences Between Faun and Satyr

  1. Faun has a Roman origin whereas satyr is said to be Greek origin of the Roman faun.
  2. By physical appearance, though both may have horns, fauns are naturally born with a horn whereas satyrs have to earn a horn.
  3. Satyrs had a human torso and hands, with goat legs and hooves. They were very furry as well like goats and even had their tail. Fauns, though had a human torso, lacked a tail and had human feet instead of goat hooves.
  4. Fauns are described to handsome and attractive in Roman mythology. Quiet opposite to fauns, the satyrs are deemed to be unattractive, having a grotesque and clumsy appearance. Their physical appearance is unattractive according to the Greek standards.
  5. Fauns are known to be naïve and foolish. On the other hand, satyrs are wise and have great knowledge as well.
  6. Since forests are said to be the natural habitat of fauns, it was believed that they instilled a sense of fear to the night travellers of the forest. In reality, they were naïve and small creatures. But satyrs were known to have a high sex drive and were portrayed in paintings through lewd scenes.
  7. As we can see, fauns were humble, gentle and innocent with handsome and attractive appearance. Satyrs were a contrast to this image. They were mischievous and were always found to be with wine or women.
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Conclusion

Every mythology comes along with a lot of mystical creatures. Some being completely different, while others being versions of one another. This is seen in the half-human half-goat creatures, the fauns and satyrs.

Fauns have the torso, feet and hands of a human with the legs being replaced by two goat legs. Unknown to many, they are said to be a replica of the Greek satyr and not the other way around. They often portrayed as naïve and humble creatures with pointed ears and horns.

Satyrs, like fauns, have the torse and hands of a goat but their lower body is replaced by that of a goat. They have a tail, unlike fauns. They have a Greek origin and are said to have borrowed their appearance from the Greek god Pan.

The main difference between satyrs and fauns was their behaviour and nature. Though they can have a similar physical appearance, fauns were portrayed as humble and gentle creatures while satyrs were said to be sex-driven animals who ran after nymphs and mortal women for mating.

References

  1. http://search.proquest.com/openview/114e3a46e3b6bc0d037e6b39a8300e06/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=1817276
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00397709.1969.10733067