The Official Collection of Fantastical Creature Information--Updated Randomly

For all your fantastical creature needs! This is the beginning of my encyclopedia, and I'm collecting as much information as I can on various fantasy creatures. Most of my stuff can be found on wikipedia. However, no source is perfect, so the stuff that is my input is often italicized. Help me by sending me more information at Questkid13@gmail.com

Side Note: There have been concerns about my using Wikipedia because it is not a reliable resource. I am well aware of wikipedia's unreliable nature--but that's exactly why I use it. Fantasy creatures are available to all, and everyone should have a chance to add their "discoveries." This website is supposed to be a fun collection of fantastical creature information with fun images to go with. I am not a reliable source--I'm just a collector. Though at this point, I am flattered that people are concerned with the validity of my site. :)

!!!!This is NOT a forum. Comments are to be informative and generally helpful. Clean humor is acceptable, but NOT if it detracts from the entry. This site is to help people find out more about fantastical creatures!!!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Satyr

Greek satyrs (in Greek, Σάτυροι — Sátyroi) are a troop of male companions of Pan and Dionysus that roamed the woods and mountains. They are not to be confused with the gentler woodland fauns, for they are an entirely separate race.

Description
Mature satyrs are built with flat noses, large pointed ears, long curly hair, and full beards, with wreaths of vine or ivy circling their heads. Satyrs acquired their goat-like aspect through later Roman conflation with Faunus, a carefree Italic nature spirit of similar temperament, making them distant cousins but not the same species, hence satyrs are most commonly described in Latin literature as having the upper half of a man and the lower half of a goat, with a goat's tail in place of the Greek tradition of horse-tailed satyrs. Mature satyrs are often depicted in Roman art with goat's horns, while juveniles are often shown with bony nubs on their foreheads. Satyrs often carry the thyrsus: the rod of Dionysus tipped with a pine cone.

Personality
Satyrs are described as roguish but faint-hearted folk — subversive and dangerous, yet shy and cowardly. As Dionysiac creatures they are lovers of wine, women and boys, and are ready for every physical pleasure. They roam to the music of pipes (auloi), cymbals, castanets, and bagpipes, and love to dance with the nymphs (with whom they are obsessed, and whom they often pursue), and have a special form of dance called sikinnis. Because of their love of wine, they are often represented holding winecups, and appear often in the decorations on winecups.
Some satyrs are depicted as old. Satyrs are represented in the three stages of a man's life: mature satyrs are bearded, and are shown as fat and balding, both a humiliating and unbecoming disfigurement in Greek culture.

In Greek mythology and art
In earlier Greek art, satyrs appear as old and ugly, but in later art, especially in works of the Attic school, this savage characteristic is softened into a more youthful and graceful aspect.
This transformation or humanization of the Satyr appears throughout late Greek art. The compassionate representation of the Satyr in a work of Praxiteles known as the "Resting Satyr" shows the level of Greek civilization and their desire to accept all types of people. Older satyrs were known as sileni, the younger as satyrisci. The hare was the symbol of the shy and timid satyr.

In Roman mythology and art
Roman satyrs were often associated with the spirits of woodland and with the rustic spirit Pan, called the Panes. Roman satyrs were described as goatlike from the haunches to the hooves, and were often pictured with larger horns, even ram's horns.

Other references
In the King James Version of the Bible, Isaiah 13:21 and 34:14, the English word "satyr" is used to represent the Hebrew sh'lrlm, "hairy ones". In Hebrew folklore, sh'lrlm are a type of demon or supernatural being which inhabits waste places. They correspond to the "shaggy demon of the mountain-pass" (azabb al-akaba) of old arab legend.

Baby satyr
Baby satyrs, or child satyrs, are often depicted as young satyrs being tended to by older, sober satyrs, while there are also some representations of child satyrs taking part in Bacchanalian/Dionysian rituals (including drinking alcohol, playing musical instruments, and dancing).

However, the role of a child in Greek art might imply a further meaning for baby satyrs: Eros, the son of Aphrodite, is consistently represented as a child or baby, and Bacchus, the divine sponsor of satyrs, is seen in numerous works as a baby, often in the company of the satyrs.



A special thanks to Wikipedia and to Walden.com for this slightly stolen concept art for Narnia.

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