Satyrs





He also mentions and delineates a curious Ape which closely resembles

the classical Satyr: "Under the Equinoctiall, toward the East and

South, there is a kind of Ape called AEgopithecus, an Ape like a Goate.

For there are Apes like Beares, called Arctopitheci, and some like

Lyons, called Leontopitheci, and some like Dogs, called Cynocephali,

as is before expressed; and many other which have a mixt resemblance of

other creatures in their members.






"Amongst the rest there is a beast called PAN; who in his head, face,

horns, legs, and from the loynes downward resembleth a Goat, but in his

belly, breast, and armes, an Ape: such a one was sent by the King of

Indians to Constantine, which, being shut up in a cave or close place,

by reason of the wildnesse thereof, lived there but a season, and when

it was dead and bowelled, they pouldred it with spices, and carried it

to be seene at Constantinople: the which beast having beene seene of the

ancient Graecians, were so amazed at the strangenesse thereof, that they

received it for a God, as they did a Satyre, and other strange beasts."



I have said that Topsell has mixed the Ape and the Satyr,

inextricably--but as his version has the charm of description and

anecdote, I give it with little curtailment.



"As the Cynocephali, or Baboun Apes have given occasion to some to

imagine (though falsly) there were such men, so the Satyre, a most

rare and seldom seene beast, hath occasioned other to thinke it was a

Devil; and the Poets with their Apes, the Painters, Limners, and

Carvers, to encrease that superstition, have therefore described him

with hornes on his head, and feet like Goates, whereas Satires have

neither of both. And it may be that Devils have at some time appeared to

men in this likenes, as they have done in the likeness of the

Onocentaure and wild Asse, and other shapes; it being also probable

that Devils take not any daenomination or shape from Satyres, but rather

the Apes themselves, from Devils whom they resemble, for there are many

things common to the Satyre Apes, and devilish Satyres, as their human

shape, their abode in solitary places, their rough hayre, and lust to

women, wherewith all other Apes are naturally infected; but especially

Satyres....



"Peradventure the name of Satyre is more fitly derived from the Hebrew,

Sair, Esa. 34, whereof the plural is Seirim, Esa. 13, which is

interpreted monsters of the Desart, or rough hairy Fawnes; and when

Iisim is put to Seir, it signifieth Goats.



"The Chaldaeans, for Seirim, render Schedin; that is, evill

devills; and the Arabians, lesejathin, that is Satanas: the

Persyans, Devan, the Illyrians, Devadai, and Dewas: the

Germans, Teufel. They which passed through the world, and exercised

dauncing and other sports for Dionisius, were called Satyres, and

sometimes Tytiri, because of their wanton songes; sometimes Sileni

(although the difference is, that the smaller and younger beasts are

called Satiri, the elder, and greater, Sileni;) Also Bacchae and

Nymphae, wherefore Bacchus is pictured riding in a chariot of vine

branches, Silenus ridinge beside him on an Asse, and the Bacchae or

Satyres shaking togetheer their staulkie Javelines and Paulmers.[27]

By reason of their leaping they are called Scirti, and the anticke or

satyrical dauncing, Sicinnis, and they also sometimes Sicinnistae;

sometimes AEgipanae; wherefore Pliny reporteth, that among the

westerne Ethiopians, there are certain little hilles full of the

Satirique AEgipanae, and that, in the night-time they use great fires,

piping and dansing, with a wonderful noise of Tymbrels and Cymbals; and

so also in Atlas amongest the Moores, whereof there was no footing,

remnant, or appearance, to be found in the daytime.



"... There are also Satires in the Eastern mountaines of India, in

the country of the Cartaduli, and in the province of the Comari and

Corudae, but the Cebi spoken of before, bred in Ethiopia, are not

Satyres (though faced like them:) nor the Prasyan Apes, which

resemble Satyres in short beards. There are many kindes of these

Satyres better distinguished by names than any properties naturall

known unto us. Such are the AEgipanae, before declared, Nymphes of the

Poets, Fawnes, Pan and Sileni, which, in time of the Gentiles were

worshipped for Gods; and it was one part of their religion to set up the

picture of a Satyre at their dores and gates, for a remedy against the

bewitching of envious persons.



"... Satyres have no humaine conditions in them, nor any other

resemblance of men besides their outward shape; though Solinus speakes

of them like as of men. They carry their meate under their chin as in a

store house, and from thence being hungry, they take it forth to eat,

making it ordinary with them every day, which is but annuall in the

Formicae lions; being of very unquiet motions above other Apes. They

are hardly taken, except sicke, great with yong, old or asleepe; for

Sylla had a Satyre brought him, which was taken asleepe neare

Apollonia, in the holy place Nymphaeum, of whom he (by divers

interpreters) demanded many questions, but received no answer, save only

a voice very much like the neighing of a horse, wherof he being afraid,

sent him away alive.



"Philostratus telleth another history, how that Apollonius and his

colleagues, supping in a village of Ethiopia, beyond the fall of

Nilus, they heard a sudden outcry of women calling to one another;

some saying, Take him, others, Follow him; likewise provoking their

husbands to helpe them: the men presently tooke clubs, stones, or what

came first to hand, complaining of an injury done unto their wives. Now

some ten moneths before, there had appeared a fearfull shew of a Satyre,

raging upon their women, and had slain two of them, with whom he was in

love: the companions of Apollonius quaked at the hearing hereof, and

Nilus, one of them, swore (by Jove) that they being naked and

unarmed, could not be able to resist him in his outragious lust, but

that he would accomplish his wantonnes as before: yet, said

Apollonius, there is a remedy to quaile these wanton-leaping beasts,

which men say Midas used (for Midas was of kindred to Satyres, as

appeared by his eares). This Midas heard his mother say, that

Satyres loved to be drunke with wine, and then sleep soundly, and

after that, be so moderate, mild and gentle, that a man might thinke

they had lost their first nature.



"Whereupon he put wine into a fountain neere the highway, whereof, when

the Satyre had tasted, he waxed meeke suddenly, and was overcome. Now

that we thinke not this a fable (saith Apollonius) let us go to the

Governor of the Towne, and inquire of him whether there be any wine to

be had that we may offer it to the Satyre, wherunto all consented, and

they filled foure great Egyptian earthen vessels with wine, and put it

in the fountain where their cattel were watred: this done, Apollonius

called the Satyre, secretly thretning him, and the Satire, inraged

with the savour of the wine came; after he had drunke thereof, Now, said

Apollonius, let us sacrifice to the Satyre, for he sleepeth, and so

led the inhabitants to the dens of the Nymphs, distant a furlong from

the towne, and shewed them the Satyre saying; Neither beat, cursse, or

provoke him henceforth, and he shall never harme you.



"It is certaine, that the devills do many waies delude men in the

likeness of Satyres; for, when the drunken feasts of Bacchus were

yearely celebrated in Parnassus, there were many sightes of Satyres,

and voyces, and sounding of cymbals heard: yet it is likely that there

are men also like Satyres, inhabiting in some desart places; for S.

Ierom, in the life of Paul the Eremite, reporteth that there appeared

to S. Anthony, an Hippocentaure such as the Poets describe, and

presently he saw, in a rocky valley adjoining, a little man having

croked nostrils, hornes growing out of his forhed, and the neather part

of his body had Goat's feet; the holy man, not dismayed, taking the

shield of faith, and the breastplate of righteousnesse, like a good

souldior of Christ, pressed toward him, which brought him some fruites

of palmes as pledges of his peace, upon which he fed in the journey;

which Saint Anthony perceiving, he asked him who he was, and received



this answere; I am a mortall creature, one of the inhabitants of this

Desart, whom the Gentiles (deceived with error) doe worship, and call

Fauni, Satyres, and Incubi: I am come in ambassage from our

flocke, intreating that thou would'st pray for us unto the common GOD,

who came to save the world; the which words were no sooner ended, but he

ran away as fast as any foule could fly. And least this should seeme

false, under Constantine at Alexandria there was such a man to be

seene alive, and was a publick spectacle to all the World; the carcasse

thereof, after his death, was kept from corruption by heat, through

salt, and was carried to Antiocha that the Emperor himself might see

it.






"Satyres are very sildom seene, and taken with great difficulty, as is

before saide: for there were two of these founde in the woods of

Saxony towards Dacia, in a desart, the female was killed by the

darts of the hunters, and the biting of Dogs, but the male was taken

alive, being in the upper parts like a man, and in the neather partes

like a Goat, but all hairy throughout: he was brought to be tame, and

learned to go upright, and also to speake some wordes, but with a voice

like a Goat, and without all reason.






"The famous learned man George Fabricius, shewed me this shape of a

monstrous beast that is fit to be joyned to the story of Satyres.

There was, (saide he,) in the territory of the Bishop of Salceburgh,

in a forrest called Fannesbergh, a certaine foure-footed beast, of a

yellowish carnation colour, but so wilde that he would never be drawne

to looke upon any man, hiding himselfe in the darkest places, and beeing

watched diligently, would not be provoked to come forth so much as to

eate his meate--so that in a very short time it was famished. The hinder

legs were much unlike the former, and also much longer. It was taken

about the year of the Lord, one thousand five hundred, thirty, whose

image being here so lively described, may save us further labour in

discoursing of his maine and different parts and proportion."





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