I thought.....

I was under the impression that the figure of the devil came from the pagan god of hunting?
Bonnie - Greenfield, MA

The physical image probably came from the classical pagan god of wildness (not hunting). The notion of the devil appears to have been floating around in late-BC Judaism, whence Christianity picked it up. Zoroastrianism probably had some influence, too.

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Why is Satan often shown as having goatlike features? (04-Jun-1999)

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bonitak, who is this pagan god of hunting of which you speak?

I don’t know if this is who she means, but here’s a link:


There is no pagan god of hunting. There are several pagan belief systems, many of which have a god who hunts, and who may be invoked before, after, or during the hunt, and none that I know of has goat-like features. Most hunting gods are described as thoroughly human, and preternaturally handsome to boot (Uller, Apollo, Artemis, etc.) Pan, the true source of the goat-devil image, is occasionally described as a hunter, but this is an anomaly, as Pan is an agrarian god, associated with goatherding, beekeeping, and wild nature.