┬╗ S A T Y R S
i n G r e e k M y t h o l o g y

Satyrs are portrayed as half-man and half-goat. These mythical creatures usually live in the woods and mountains. Their leader is Pan, the nature god. They are servants to Dionysus, the God of Wine. The Romans call satyrs "fauns". Some famous satyrs are Marsyas, Onthyrius, and Silenus. Satyrs are usually illustrated with furry hindquarters, horns, hooves and other goat-like features. These type of Satyrs appear more in Roman Mythology. Early Satyrs were called Sileni. Sileni had a horse's tail and ears.

Satyr's family Background: The poet Nonnos said that Satyrs were the offspring of Iphthimê (Daughter of Doros) and Hermes.

Symbols: Some symbols of Satyrs are hares and reed pipes.
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A hare, symbol of the satyr
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Reed Pipes


Myth: The Satyr Marsyas challenged Apollo, the god of music, to a contest to see who could play the sound on their instrument better. Apollo played the four-string lyre. Marsyas' flute used to be Athena's, but she threw it away because her cheeks puffed up when she played it, and the other Gods called her ugly. King Midas declared that Marsyas' flute playing was better, so Apollo gave King Midas the ears of a donkey. Apollo was then proclaimed the winner, and Marsyas was flayed alive by Apollo for losing. Satyrs are not immortal; Marsyas was killed by Apollo.

Abilities and Responsibilities of Satyrs: Satyrs are known for being very talented musicians, playing either the lyre, reed pipes, or flute. Satyrs are the personal servants of Dionysus. Dionysus is the wine God; wine and drinking are one the the satyrs' main interests, so they are usually drawn to wine. In many illustrations, they are shown partying with Dionysus , centaurs , and other mythical creatures.

Other Information: Satyrs are often known for being mischievous and drinking wine most of the time. During festivals where the people of Athens worshiped Dionysus, they performed plays often associated with satyrs. In the city Attica, there were a genre of plays called Satyric, where most of the characters were satyrs. One of these plays was called Cyclops, by Euripedes (A Greek writer). In the movie, The Chronicles of Narnia, a satyr appears as one of the characters, named Mr. Tumnus.

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A Satyr from the Chronicles of Narnia.
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A Satyr
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A Satyr playing reed pipes



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