, Eth. Πισαιεύς
a town in Peloponnesus, was in the most ancient times the capital of an independent district, called Pisatis (ἡ Πισᾶτις
), which subsequently formed part of the territory of Elis.
It was celebrated in mythology as the residence of Oenomaus and Pelops, and was the head of a confederacy of eight states, of which, besides Pisa, the following names are recorded:--Salmone, Heracleia, Harpinna, Cycesium, and Dyspontium. (Strab. viii. p.356
, seq.) Pisa had originally the presidency of the Olympic festival, but was deprived of this privilege by the Eleians. The Pisatans, however, made many attempts to recover it; and the history of their wars with the Eleians, which were at last terminated by the destruction of Pisa in B.C. 572, is narrated elsewhere. [ELIS
Vol. I. p. 818b.] Although Pisa ceased to exist as a city from this time, the Pisatans, in conjunction with the Arcadians, celebrated the 104th Olympic festival, B.C. . 364. [See Vol. I. p. 819b.] Pisa was said to have been founded by an eponymous hero, Pisus, the son of Perieres, and grandson of Aeolus (Paus. 6.22.2
); but others derived its name from a fountain Pisa. (Strab. viii. p.356
; Eustath. ad Dionys. Per. 409
.) Modern writers connect its name with Πῖσος,
a low marshy ground, or with Πίσσα,
the name of the black fir or pinetree. So completely was Pisa destroyed by the Eleians, that the fact of its having existed was a disputed point in the time of Strabo (l.c.
); and Pausanias found its site converted into a vineyard (6.22.1). Its situation, however, was perfectly well known to Pindar and Herodotus. Pindar frequently identifies it with Olympia (e. g. Ol.
2.3); and Herodotus refers to Pisa and Olympia as the same point in computing the distance from the altar of the twelve gods at Athens (2.7). Pisa appears from Pausanias to have occupied a position between Harpinna and Olympia, which were only 20 stadia asunder (Lucian, de Mort. Peregr.
35); and the Scholiast on Pindar (Pind. O. 11.51
) says that Pisa was only 6 stadia from Olympia.
It must therefore be [p. 2.632]
placed a little east of Olympia, and its acropolis probably occupied a height on the western side of the rivulet of Miráka,
near its junction with the Alpheius. Strabo (l.c.
) says that it lay between the mountains Olympus and Ossa, which can only have been heights on different sides of the river.
See its position marked in the map in Vol. II. p. 477. (Leake, Morea,
vol. ii. p. 211, Peloponnesiaca,
p. 6, Mure, Tour in Greece,
vol. ii. p. 283; Curtius, Peloponnesos,
vol. ii. p. 51.)