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Always ithyphallic, bestial in appearance and behavior, Satyrs personified unlicensed sexual desire. Creatures with the body of a man and the ears and tail of a donkey, they were regarded as misshapen and monstrous, the very opposite of what was considered beautiful in a man, and the absurdity of their outrageous antics a source of humor.

They often are depicted as the importunate suitors of the Maenads. In the vase painting above, a Maenad wards off such unwelcome (and invariably unsuccessful) advances with her thyrsus.

This red-figure tondo is in the Staatliche Antikensammlungen (Munich).