Satyrs

A satyr is a male nature spirit of Ancient Greek polytheism, depicted naked, with the ears and tail of a horse, ugly bestial faces, vulgar beard and a permanent and exaggerated erection. As companions to Dionysus their behaviour is constantly ribald and vulgar including drunkenness, dancing and lustfully chasing nymphs and mortal women, they are sometimes shown masturbating or engaging in bestiality. Satyrs made up the chorus in satyr play; though few examples of this genre survive, scenes from these plays are often seen on painted vases. A typical example on a red figure psykter shows a satyr balancing a windup on his erect penis, whilst another common image is that of a satyr chasing after a fleeing woman. Similar mythological figures from other cultures are cause for suggestions of a possible commonality of origin with the Near East or Indo-Europe, although these theories have not been well established.

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