Faunus, ancient Italian rural deity whose attributes in Classical Roman times were identified with those of the Greek god Pan. With the increasing influence of Greek mythology on Roman mythology in the 3rd and 2nd–centuries BC, the Romans identified their own deities with Greek ones in what was called interpretatio romana. The name Faunus is generally thought to stem from Proto-Italic *fawe or *fawono (variant *fawōn(jo)), thus being cognate with Umbrian fons, foner ('merciful'). Like Pan, Faunus was associated with merriment, and his twice-yearly festivals were marked by revelry and abandon. With the increasing influence of Greek mythology on Roman mythology in the 3rd and 2nd–centuries BC, the Romans identified their own deities with Greek ones in what was called interpretatio romana. They had been engraved with the name "Faunus", and each had a different epithet after the god's name. According to the epic poet Virgil, he was a legendary king of the Latins. She was regarded as his daughter, wife, or sister. 1970. Black Friday Sale! After his death he is raised to the position of a tutelary deity of the land, for his many services to agriculture and cattle-breeding. Faunus was the father of Latinus, who was king of the Latins when Aeneas arrived in Italy. Faunus was originally worshipped throughout the countryside as a bestower of fruitfulness on fields and flocks. His numinous presence was recognized by wolf skins, with wreaths and goblets. A euhemeristic account made Faunus a Latin king, son of Picus and Canens. He eventually became primarily a woodland deity, the sounds of the forest being regarded as his voice. Updates? (Eds.) He was then revered as the god Fatuus after his death, worshipped in a sacred forest outside what is now Tivoli, but had been known since Etruscan times as Tibur, the seat of the Tiburtine Sibyl. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Faunus was naturally equated with the god Pan, who was a pastoral god of shepherds who was said to reside in Arcadia. "Rudra-Shiva and Silvanus-Faunus: Savage and Propitious". Corrections? Faunus, ancient Italian rural deity whose attributes in Classical Roman times were identified with those of the Greek god Pan. Phaunus was an ancient Greek god of forests. W. Warde Fowler suggested that Faunus is identical with Favonius,[4][better source needed] one of the Roman wind gods (compare the Anemoi). According to Virgil’s Aeneid, Faunus told Latinus to give his daughter, Lavinia, in marriage to a foreigner—i.e., Aeneas. Livy named Inuus as the god originally worshiped at the Lupercalia, 15 February, when his priests (Luperci) wore goat-skins and hit passers-by with goatskin whips. However, the two deities were also considered separate by many, for instance, the epic poet Virgil, in his Aeneid, made mention of both Faunus and Pan independently. An example of this was a set of thirty-two 4th-century spoons found near Thetford in England in 1979. At the Lupercalia, a celebration of fertility held partly in his honour each February in Rome well into the Common Era, youths clothed as goats ran through the streets wielding strips of goatskin. Marcus Terentius Varro asserted that the oracular responses were given in Saturnian verse. Faunus was the Roman god of the forest. Additionally, Faunus is patron of the Fauns. Faunus was originally worshipped throughout the countryside as a bestower of fruitfulness on fields and flocks. In Justin's epitome, Faunus is identified with Lupercus ("he who wards off the wolf"), otherwise a priest of Faunus. In Nonnos' Dionysiaca, Faunus/Phaunos accompanied Dionysus when the god campaigned in India. The 4th century was a time of large scale Christianisation, and the discovery provides evidence that even during the decline of traditional Roman religion, the god Faunus was still worshipped. Premium Membership is now 50% off. However, the two deities were also considered separate by many, for instance, the epi… Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. [3] Faunus revealed the future in dreams and voices that were communicated to those who came to sleep in his precincts, lying on the fleeces of sacrificed lambs. The spoons also bore Christian symbols, and it has been suggested that these were initially Christian but later taken and devoted to Faunus by pagans. [12][13], In Gaul, Faunus was identified with the Celtic Dusios. Pan had always been depicted with horns and as such many depictions of Faunus also began to display this trait. As Pan was accompanied by the Paniskoi, or little Pans, so the existence of many Fauni was assumed besides the chief Faunus. and Scullard, H.H. The Journal of Indo-European Studies 39.1&2: 100–15, This page was last edited on 23 October 2020, at 13:38. In fable Faunus appears as an old king of Latium, grandson of Saturnus, son of Picus, and father of Latinus by the nymph Marica (who was also sometimes Faunus' mother). A goddess of like attributes, called Fauna and Fatua, was associated in his worship. Faunus was one of the oldest Roman deities, known as the di indigetes. In ancient Roman religion and myth, Faunus [ˈfau̯nʊs] was the horned god of the forest, plains and fields; when he made cattle fertile he was called Inuus. [citation needed], Faunus was worshipped across the Roman Empire for many centuries. [11] The female deity Bona Dea was often equated with Fauna. This page does not include information on the Roman god Faunus, only his incarnation as Phaunus in Greek literature. [11] Fauns are place-spirits (genii) of untamed woodland. Two festivals, called Faunalia, were celebrated in his honour—one on 13 February, in the temple of Faunus on the island in the Tiber, the other on 5 December, when the peasants brought him rustic offerings and amused themselves with dancing.[2]. He came to be equated in literature with the Greek god Pan. A grandson of Saturn, Faunus was typically represented as half man, half goat, in imitation of the Greek Satyr, in the company of similar creatures, known as fauns. Hammond, N.G.L. Pan had always been depicted with hornsand as such many depictions of Faunus also began to display this trait. Omissions? [14], This article is about the Ancient Roman god. [9] It is believed that he was worshipped by traditional Roman farmers before becoming a nature deity.[10]. In Nonnus' Dionysiaca he was one of the rustic deities to accompany Dionysus in his war against the Indians. He eventually became primarily a woodland deity, the sounds Faunus was naturally equated with the god Pan, who was a pastoral god of shepherds who was said to reside in Arcadia. It may ultimately derive from Proto-Indo-European (PIE) *bʰh₂u-n ('favourable'), which also reflects Old Irish búan ('good, favourable, firm') and Middle Welsh bun ('maiden, sweetheart'). [5][6], Another theory contends that Faunus is the Latin outcome of PIE *dhau-no- ('the strangler', thus denoting the 'wolf'), a proposition suggested by the fact that the Luperci (from Latin lupus, 'wolf') are commonly associated with the god Faunus. [7][8], Faunus may be of Indo-European origin and related to the Vedic god Rudra. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. His shade was consulted as a goddess of prophecy under the name of Fatuus, with oracles[1] in the sacred grove of Tibur, around the well Albunea, and on the Aventine Hill in ancient Rome itself.[2]. Nečas Hraste, D. and Vuković, K. 2011. He was equated with the Greek god Pan. Educated, Hellenizing Romans connected their fauns with the Greek satyrs, who were wild and orgiastic drunken followers of Dionysus, with a distinct origin. For the community in the United States, see, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Faunus&oldid=985018446, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles lacking reliable references from April 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2018, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

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