Faunus was one of the oldest Roman deities, known as the di indigetes. [12][13], In Gaul, Faunus was identified with the Celtic Dusios. Phaunus was an ancient Greek god of forests. [11] The female deity Bona Dea was often equated with Fauna. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). [citation needed], Faunus was worshipped across the Roman Empire for many centuries. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Faunus, ancient Italian rural deity whose attributes in Classical Roman times were identified with those of the Greek god Pan. According to Virgil’s Aeneid, Faunus told Latinus to give his daughter, Lavinia, in marriage to a foreigner—i.e., Aeneas. W. Warde Fowler suggested that Faunus is identical with Favonius,[4][better source needed] one of the Roman wind gods (compare the Anemoi). 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'). Faunus was originally worshipped throughout the countryside as a bestower of fruitfulness on fields and flocks. 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. (Eds.) 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. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. 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. [11] Fauns are place-spirits (genii) of untamed woodland. Nečas Hraste, D. and Vuković, K. 2011. 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. A euhemeristic account made Faunus a Latin king, son of Picus and Canens. In Nonnus' Dionysiaca he was one of the rustic deities to accompany Dionysus in his war against the Indians. 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. 1970. Faunus was originally worshipped throughout the countryside as a bestower of fruitfulness on fields and flocks. [7][8], Faunus may be of Indo-European origin and related to the Vedic god Rudra. [14], This article is about the Ancient Roman god. Like Pan, Faunus was associated with merriment, and his twice-yearly festivals were marked by revelry and abandon. Faunus was the father of Latinus, who was king of the Latins when Aeneas arrived in Italy. However, the two deities were also considered separate by many, for instance, the epi… 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. Faunus was naturally equated with the god Pan, who was a pastoral god of shepherds who was said to reside in Arcadia. 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]. [9] It is believed that he was worshipped by traditional Roman farmers before becoming a nature deity.[10]. He eventually became primarily a woodland deity, the sounds of the forest being regarded as his voice. 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. 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. He came to be equated in literature with the Greek god Pan. Updates? 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. and Scullard, H.H. Marcus Terentius Varro asserted that the oracular responses were given in Saturnian verse. 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. He eventually became primarily a woodland deity, the sounds Omissions? [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. 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. "Rudra-Shiva and Silvanus-Faunus: Savage and Propitious". 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). Corrections? Black Friday Sale! Pan had always been depicted with horns and as such many depictions of Faunus also began to display this trait. Hammond, N.G.L. Pan had always been depicted with hornsand as such many depictions of Faunus also began to display this trait. She was regarded as his daughter, wife, or sister. Educated, Hellenizing Romans connected their fauns with the Greek satyrs, who were wild and orgiastic drunken followers of Dionysus, with a distinct origin. In Justin's epitome, Faunus is identified with Lupercus ("he who wards off the wolf"), otherwise a priest of Faunus. He was equated with the Greek god Pan. As Pan was accompanied by the Paniskoi, or little Pans, so the existence of many Fauni was assumed besides the chief Faunus. 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. A goddess of like attributes, called Fauna and Fatua, was associated in his worship. The Journal of Indo-European Studies 39.1&2: 100–15, This page was last edited on 23 October 2020, at 13:38. Faunus was naturally equated with the god Pan, who was a pastoral god of shepherds who was said to reside in Arcadia. This page does not include information on the Roman god Faunus, only his incarnation as Phaunus in Greek literature. An example of this was a set of thirty-two 4th-century spoons found near Thetford in England in 1979. Faunus was the Roman god of the forest. Premium Membership is now 50% off. In Nonnos' Dionysiaca, Faunus/Phaunos accompanied Dionysus when the god campaigned in India. His numinous presence was recognized by wolf skins, with wreaths and goblets. [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. 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. 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'). 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]. Additionally, Faunus is patron of the Fauns. 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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