Nature God


Diana with Faunus by Albert Freytag

Diana with Faunus by Albert Freytag (ca. 1900)

Wikimedia CommonsPublic Domain


Faunus (“Kindly One”) was a Roman god associated with forests and woodlands, where he acted as a protector of flocks. He was typically represented as part-human and part-goat. By the beginning of the second century BCE, Faunus was increasingly conflated with the similar-looking Greek god Pan.

Faunus, like Pan, was a wild, playful, and lustful figure who roamed the countryside seducing beautiful women. In later traditions, he was represented as an early king of Latium who became an oracular god after his death.

Faunus’ first temple was dedicated on Tiber Island in 193 BCE, where he was honored with multiple annual festivals. He may have been connected with the Lupercalia as well.[1]