By Dirck de QUADE VAN RAVESTEYN
The Fauns come from Roman mythology and are similar to the satyr. They are the children of the god Faunus and were minor divinities to the Italians.
They have the legs, hooves, horns of goat and the torso and head of a man.
Fauns are said to be the guardians of the woods and fields.
In Roman mythology, fauns are place-spirits (genii) of untamed woodland. Romans connected their fauns with the Greek satyr, wild and orgiastic drunken followers of Dionysus.
However, Fauns and satyrs were originally quite different creatures.
Both have horns and both resemble goats below the waist, humans above; but originally satyrs had human feet, fauns goatlike hooves. The Romans also had a god named Faunus and a goddess Fauna, who, like the fauns, were goat-people.
Faunus reproduced himself in Fauns, half man half goat satyrs.
They were rural spirits who rejoiced in nature and the company of Nymphs. Thus Faunus personality was spread and increased.
Fauns representation in Art
- The Barberini Faun Glyptothek is a Hellenistic marble, c. 200 BC that was found in the Mausoleum of the Emperor Hadrian, Castel Sant'Angelo, and installed at Palazzo Barberini by Cardinal Barberini, later Pope Urban VIII, patron of Bernini who heavily restored and refinished it, so that its present 'Hellenistic baroque' aspect may be enhanced.
Fauns in Fiction
- Lewis, C.S. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, a faun named Mr. Tumnus is the first creature Lucy meets in Narnia 
- Hawthorne, Nathaniel - The Marble Faun, 1860, a novel set in Rome 
- Also noted as Phil from the Disney Movie Hercules
- Comte, Fernand - The Wordsworth Dictionary of Mythology, Wordsworth Editions
- Ely, Talfourd – The Gods of Greece and Rome, Dover.