The primary attitude of man to the numina seems clearly to be one of fear, which survives prominently in the "impish" character of certain of the spirits of the countryside, such as Faunus and Inuus, and is always seen in the underlying conception of religio, a sense of awe in the presence of a superhuman power.
Thus we hear of temples dedicated to Juventas=Hebe (191 B.C.), Diana=Artemis (179 B.C.), Mars=Ares (138 B.C.), and find even such unexpected identifications as that of the Bona Dea - a cult title of the ancient Fauna, the female counterpart of the countryside numen Faunus - with a Greek goddess of women, Damia.
In Hesiod (Theogony, 1013) he is the son of Odysseus and Circe, and ruler of the Tyrsenians; in Virgil, the son of Faunus and the nymph Marica, a national genealogy being substituted for the Hesiodic, which probably originated from a Greek source.
Faunus also revealed the secrets of the future by strange sounds from the woods, or by visions communicated to those who slept within his precincts in the skin of sacrificed lambs; he was then called Fatuus, and with him was associated his wife or daughter Fatua.
In poetical tradition Faunus is an old king of Latium, the son of Picus (Mars) and father of Latinus, the teacher of agriculture and cattle-breeding, and the introducer of the religious system of the country, honoured after death as a tutelary divinity.
Two festivals called Faunalia were celebrated in honour of Faunus, one on the 13th of February in his temple on the island in the Tiber, the other in the country on the 5th of December (Ovid, Fasti, ii.
It is thence that we have obtained the reposing Hermes, the drunken Silenus, the sleeping Faunus, the dancing girls, the bust called Plato's, that believed to be Seneca's, the two quoitthrowers or discoboli, and so many masterpieces more, figured by the academicians in their volume on the bronzes.
FAUNA, the name, in Roman mythology, of a country goddess of the fields and cattle, known sometimes as the sister, sometimes as the wife of the god Faunus; hence the term is used collectively for all the animals in any given geographical area or geological period, or for an enumeration of the same.