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

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