Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Satyrs are mythical creatures from Greek mythology, often depicted as part-human, part-animal beings with the upper body of a human and the lower body of a goat.


Satyrs are commonly depicted with the torso, arms, and head of a human, including human-like facial features, but with goat-like ears, horns, and sometimes short goat-like tails. Their lower body resembles that of a goat, with hooved feet and sometimes fur covering their legs.


Satyrs are often portrayed as mischievous and lustful beings, known for their love of wine, music, and revelry. They are frequently depicted participating in wild parties, dancing, playing musical instruments such as the pan flute (named after the god Pan, a famous Satyr), and chasing nymphs or human women.

Association with Dionysus

Satyrs are closely associated with the Greek god Dionysus, the god of wine, fertility, and ecstasy. They are often depicted as companions and followers of Dionysus, participating in his revels and serving as guardians of his sacred rites.


Satyrs are sometimes interpreted as symbolic representations of the untamed forces of nature, particularly the wild, instinctual aspects of human behavior. They can also symbolize the merging of human and animal instincts or the boundary between civilization and wilderness.

Literary and Artistic Depictions

Satyrs appear in various works of Greek literature, drama, and art, including plays by ancient playwrights such as Euripides and Aristophanes. They are also depicted in numerous ancient Greek artworks, pottery, and sculptures, often in scenes of revelry or accompanying Dionysus.

Roman Equivalent

In Roman mythology, Satyrs are closely identified with fauns, similar creatures with the lower bodies of goats and the upper bodies of humans. The Roman god Faunus is equivalent to the Greek god Pan and is often depicted in a similar manner to Satyrs.