The bacchanalians were the wild, drunken followers of Bacchus (Greek Dionysus), god of wine, grapes and merriment. Satyrs were the male companions of Bacchus, men with horse tails, long beards, pointed ears and little snub noses. In Roman art satyrs are sometimes conflated with fauns or with aspects of the god Pan, displaying goat’s legs and hoofs and sometimes ram’s horns. They represent the more animalistic aspects of human desire and behaviour.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt centres on a modern bacchanalian ritual.