Faun vs Satyr: The Differences Between the Mythological Creatures

Faun vs satyr all you need to knowFaun vs Satyr is a raging debate because many modernists consider them to be the same creature but that was not the case in ancient times. Fauns were depicted as having the horns and hairy legs of a goat and the torso of a man while satyrs were thought to be short stocky creatures with donkey ears and tails. 

The satyrs were found in Greek literature while the fauns were predominant in Roman mythology. Discover the differences between faun vs satyr and how they compare to each other.

Faun vs Satyr Comparison Table

Physical AttributesGoat hind legsHuman legs
Fertility godsNo erectionPermanent erection
Literature/DramaDid not appear in playsAppeared in plays as part of the chorus
Sexual DesireControlledInsatiable

What Are the Differences Between Faun and Satyr?

The main difference between faun and satyr stems from their origins – faun is a mythical creature found in Roman literature while satyr has its origins in Greek mythology. Though both creatures are male, the faun has the hind legs of a goat while the satyr resembles a woodwose.

What Is Faun Best Known For?

Faun is best known as a scaring lonely or night traveler who ply their route through the woods. Theirr upper body is human white the other half is goat. They love to play the flut in the forests and known to be peaceful with everyone.


Fauns are the children of the gods Faunus and Fauna but Satyrs were present before their lord, Dionysus, was born.These creature originate from Roman literature depicts them helping out lost travelers by guiding them through forests or woodlands.

A half-man half-goat is called a faun from the Greek god Faunus which was a deity that ruled over the woodlands, pastures, and shepherds. According to Roman mythology, Faunus and his wife Fauna were the parents of the fauns. Faun is a fertility creature and a symbol of peace and is related to the deity Faunus which was a god of forests and woodlands.

The fauns are also known for their love for music and dancing and are skilled instrumentalists who love the flute. The fauns are half-human and half-goat but the satyrs are human-like with ears and tails of horses.

Roman Myths

In some Roman myths, fauns are depicted as fun-loving jovial spirits rather than dangerous frightening monsters. The fauns also love women and are mostly depicted courting them though mostly unsuccessful. The creatures are also offspring and servants of the deities Faun and his female counterpart fauna. Fauns are all males and therefore, they took dryads and nymphs as their wives or concubines.


Fauns are also known to be compassionate and they love to entertain their lost travelers. They love to wear leaves and assorted flowers and berries as their clothing, especially for a grand party. Fauns tend to lure and hypnotize travelers with their musical talents and jokes.

They were generally thought to be handsome. Fauns were cute, stocky creatures who had the nimble feet of a goat. They enterained people with peaceful jokes, and with laughter, never aiming to hurt the one in front of them. Furthermore, they were the helpers when it came to making peace and even symbolized in fertillity. Lastly, these creatures were associated with nature and well-being.

What Is Satyr Best Known For?

Satyr is best known for the nature spirit of known for his music, dancing, joviality, love for women and wine. The satyr is a male spirit that inhabited woodlands, pastures, and hilly areas. They are associated with the Greek deity Dionysus, the god of wine, revelry, vegetation and fertility.

Characteristics of Satyrs

The character of a satyrs Initially, were depicted with the legs of horses but those got replaced with human legs as time passed. The creatures were thought to have insatiable sexual desire and sought to rape women and nymphs but most of their attempts were unsuccessful.

They were creatures who love women and nymphs but they were notorious for their insatiable sexual drive and penchant for rape. Satyrs were often depicted performing sexual acts on animals while the fauns were believed to have a more controlled libido.

Satyrs in Greek Art

In ancient Greek art, Satyrs were shown to have permanent erections and often engaged in acts of bestiality, as satyrs were shown with permanent rise of pleasure-related feelings.

On the other hand, these creatures also engaged in acts of pleasure and ribaldry and possessed great knowledge that they hardly revealed. One famous satyr known as Silenus was the teacher of young Dionysus and was significantly older than the other satyrs that served Dionysus. Another satyr named Silenus in the myth of Ionia gave great advice to its capturers.

They were also known for their pranks which were sexual and obscene jokes. The creatures were also depicted with hair on their backs like the mane of a horse and always stood by either a nude or a fully clothed woman.

Satyrs in Greek Plays

Satyrs were also used in Greek plays where they always attempted to elicit laughter from the audience through their playful acts and harsh jokes. Another famous satyr named Marsyas challenged Apollo, the god of prophecy, to a musical contest but lost and Apollo punished him severely for it.

The Greeks often portrayed the satyrs as wise creatures who could give useful information when captured. The people used satyrs in some of their plays and even had a whole genre of dramas named after them called satyr plays.

They were part of the ancient Greek art, they made people laugh with a ranging types of jokes, from the simplest and softest prank all the way to the most absurd, sexual, prank. These pranks might have even hurt the person being pranked, however the latter was still portrayed in a funny way that audience laughed.


What Is the Difference Between Faun vs Fawn?

Both words are nouns known as homophones (same sound but different meanings) with fawn meaning the offspring of a deer while faun is a mythological creature. Fauns are known to have the upper body of a man and the legs of a goat. Fawns, on the other hand, are animals that share a striking resemblance to a goat but have not developed horns yet. It seems the only similarity between a fawn and a faun is the sound of their names aside from that there are many more differences.

Are There Any Similarities Between Faun vs Pan?

Yes, there are some similarities. Though Pan was a god his physical appearance was similar to the faun as they both had the horns and legs of a goat. They both shared a love for music and played the flute skillfully. Pan was the god of shepherds and loved nymphs just like the fauns.

In addition, the god pan was strictly not a satyr but was more likely to be a satyr than a faun. He had the hind legs of a goat and two horns on his forehead. He was also a deity in Greek mythology which links him to a satyr; because fauns originated from Roman myths.

What Is the Difference Between Faun vs Centaur?

The major difference is that centaurs are quadrupedal (four legs) and fauns are bipedal (two legs). The faun has the legs of a goat while the centaur boasts four horse legs. Centaurs have no horns but the fauns have the horns of a goat and are great musicians. Centaurs can be wild and vicious but the fauns are jovial and entertaining and can hypnotize their guests with sweet music.

Centaurs appear in Greek mythologies while fauns are a mainstay of Roman myths. Fauns are symbols of fertility while centaurs are warriors who fought the Lapiths in the Centauromachy. Fauns are creatures of lust and are always depicted in the company of women. Centaurs are taller and muscular while fauns are shorter and stocky with hair on their backs like the mane of a horse.


Faun vs satyr what are the differences

So far, we’ve read the origins and differences between fauns and satyrs and the roles they played in both Greek and Roman literature. We discovered that fauns were of Roman origins while the satyrs were predominant in Greek literature and folklore. The Roman fauns were lovely stocky creatures who enchanted their guests with lovely music and dance. The Greek satyrs were scary beasts that frightened lonely travelers plying the route through the woods.

Though both mythical creatures were bipedal, the satyr had the feet, ears and tail of a horse while the faun had the horns and feet of a goat with a horse-like mane. Both creatures were symbols of fertility and loved women and nymphs but the satyr was depicted as pleasure-drivn creatures. The satyrs were always found in the company of the deity Dionysus while the fauns were believed to be the offspring of the gods Faunus and Fauna. The satyrs featured in some Greek plays were the objects of entertainment while the fauns had no place in the Roman theatre.

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