consecrated groves, and appointed solemn festivals, in honor
of Sylvanus. The hog and milk were the offerings tendered
him. A monument consecrated to this deity, by one Laches,
gives him the epithet of Littoralis, whence it would seem
that he was worshipped upon the sea-coasts.
The priests of Sylvanus constituted one of the principal
colleges of Rome, and were in great reputation, a sufficient
evidence of the fame of his worship. Many writers confound
the Sylvani, Fauni, Satyri, and Sileni, with Pan.
Some monuments represent him as little of stature, with
the face of a man, and the legs and feet of a goat, holding
a branch of cypress in his hand, in token of his regard for Cyparissus, who was transformed into that tree. The
pineapple, a pruning-knife in his hand, a crown coarsely
made, and a dog, are the ordinary attributes of the
representations of this rural deity. He appears sometimes
naked, sometimes covered with a rustic garb which reaches
down to his knee.
Sylvanus, as his name imports, presided over woods, and the
fruits that grew in them; agreeable to which, (in some
figures) he has a lap full of fruit, his pruning-hook in one
hand, and a young cypress tree in the other. Virgil mentions
the latter as a distinguishing attribute of this god: the
same poet, on another occasion, describes him as crowned
with wild flowers, and mentions his presiding over the
cornfields as well as the woods.