Roman Colosseum

'The Roman Colosseum'

The Fauns
The Fauns, a species of demi-gods, inhabiting the forests were called also Sylvani. They were sons of Faunus and Fauna, or Fatua, king and queen of the Latins, and though accounted demi-gods, were supposed to die after a long life. Arnobius, indeed, has shown that their father, or chief, lived only one hundred and twenty years. The Fauns were Roman deities, unknown to the Greeks.

The Roman Faunus was the same with the Greek Pan; and as in the poets we find frequent mention of Fauns, and Pans, or Panes, in the plural number, most probable the Fauns were the same with the Pans, and all descended from one progenitor.

The Romans called them Fauni and Ficarii. The denomination Ficarii was not derived from the Latin ficus a fig, as some have imagined, but from ficus, fici, a sort of fleshy tumor or excrescence growing on the eyelids and other parts of the body, which the Fauns were represented as having. They were called Fauni, a fando, from speaking, because they were wont to speak and converse with men; an instance of which is given in the voice that was heard from the wood, in the battle between the Romans and Etrurians for the restoration of the Tarquins, and which encouraged the Romans to fight. We are told that the Fauni were husbandmen, the Fauns vine-dressers, and the Sylvani those who cut down wood in the forests.

They were represented with horns on their heads, pointed ears, and crowned with branches of the pine, which was a tree sacred to them, whilst their lower extremities resembled those of a goat.

Horace makes Faunus the guardian and protector of men of wit, and Virgil, a god of oracles and predictions. Faunus is described by Ovid with horns on his head, and crowned with the pine tree.

Roman Colosseum
Roman Gods

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