According to Virgil’s Aeneid, Faunus told Latinus to give his daughter, Lavinia, in marriage to a foreigner—i.e., Aeneas. He came to be equated in literature with the Greek god Pan. Phaunus was an ancient Greek god of forests. Faunus was originally worshipped throughout the countryside as a bestower of fruitfulness on fields and flocks. (Eds.) 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. 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]. 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. [9] It is believed that he was worshipped by traditional Roman farmers before becoming a nature deity.[10]. Nečas Hraste, D. and Vuković, K. 2011. Faunus was one of the oldest Roman deities, known as the di indigetes. [citation needed], Faunus was worshipped across the Roman Empire for many centuries. 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. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Corrections? and Scullard, H.H. 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. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. 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. [11] The female deity Bona Dea was often equated with Fauna. Faunus was the father of Latinus, who was king of the Latins when Aeneas arrived in Italy. Updates? Faunus was originally worshipped throughout the countryside as a bestower of fruitfulness on fields and flocks. Faunus was naturally equated with the god Pan, who was a pastoral god of shepherds who was said to reside in Arcadia. [11] Fauns are place-spirits (genii) of untamed woodland. 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]. Black Friday Sale! Faunus, ancient Italian rural deity whose attributes in Classical Roman times were identified with those of the Greek god Pan. 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. The Journal of Indo-European Studies 39.1&2: 100–15, This page was last edited on 23 October 2020, at 13:38. 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'). In Nonnos' Dionysiaca, Faunus/Phaunos accompanied Dionysus when the god campaigned in India. As Pan was accompanied by the Paniskoi, or little Pans, so the existence of many Fauni was assumed besides the chief Faunus. 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 euhemeristic account made Faunus a Latin king, son of Picus and Canens.