|Libyan satyr, Der Naturen Bloeme
c. 1350, National Library of the Netherlands
THE SATYROI NESIOI were a tribe of Satyr-like beasts native to the remote string of islands off the African coast known as the Satyrides. When some sailors landed there, one of their women-folk fell into the hands of these creatures and was horribly violated.
They were similar to the Libyan Satyrs of the Atlas mountains, both of which were probably derived from traveller's accounts of monkeys and apes.
Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 23. 6 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"Wishing to know better than most people who the Satyroi (Satyrs) are I have inquired from many about this very point. Euphemos the Karian (Carian) said that on a voyage to Italia (Italy) he was driven out of his course by winds and was carried into the outer sea, beyond the course of seamen. He affirmed that there were many uninhabited islands, while in others lived wild men. The sailors did not wish to put in at the latter, because, having put in before, they had some experience of the inhabitants, but on this occasion they had no choice in the matter. The islands were called Satyrides by the sailors, and the inhabitants were red haired, and had upon their flanks tails not much smaller than those of horses. As soon as they caught sight of their visitors, they ran down to the ship without uttering a cry and assaulted the women in the ship. At last the sailors in fear cast a foreign woman on to the island. Her the Satyroi outraged not only in the usual way, but also in a most shocking manner."
- Pausanias, Guide to Greece - Greek Geography C2nd A.D.