Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Oxford Classical Dictionary. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 08 February 2023



  • James Rives


Roman god of the countryside. Apparently of ancient origin, he is rarely attested before the Augustan period, but during the empire was one of the most popular deities in the western and Danubian provinces, where he appears in over 1,100 inscriptions. He was associated primarily with forests (as reflected in his name) and agriculture, to a lesser extent with hunting and herding. Although in ancient literature he is sometimes linked or confused with *Faunus and *Pan, he lacks their prophetic abilities and wild personalities. Instead, he generally appears in inscriptions and monuments as a benign anthropomorphic deity, accompanied at times by female deities named Silvanae or Nymphae. In some areas (e.g. southern France) he was regularly identified with local gods, while in others (e. g. Romania) he apparently retained his purely Roman character. Silvanus never received any public cult either in Rome or in the provinces, although a number of collegia were organized in his name.


  • Roman Myth and Religion

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Access to the full content requires a subscription