(Pisa) Tuscany, Italy.
A settlement of
debated origin (Greek, Ligurian, Etruscan) situated between an E-W bend in the Serchio (ancient Auser) and
the Arno. A flourishing Etruscan town with port by the
5th c. B.C., its prosperity continued down to its occupation by Rome as an outpost against the Ligurians in 225
B.C. (Polyb. 2.16f; Livy 21.39
). By this time Pisan territory reached Castiglioncello to the S and Luna to the N
). After the Ligurians were subdued (ca. 177
B.C.), Luna was made a citizen colony while Pisae's importance diminished, and though later an Augustan colony, it is seldom mentioned in the sources.
The ancient city was roughly rectangular. The Piazza
dei Cavalieri is probably the site of its forum, with an
Augusteum. There are remains of a theater (on Via S.
Zeno), the so-called Baths of Nero, an octagonal apsidal
room of the 2d c. B.C., near the Lucca gate, an amphitheater N of the Serchio, and a Temple of Vesta. Of the
Portus Pisanus, connected to the town by a road, some
Augustan and Imperial traces remain. Archaic necropoleis existed near Porta a Mare (to the W) and the Lucca Gate.
Both the Camposanto and the adjacent Museo dell'Opera della Cattedrale contain fine Classical collections.
N. Toscanelli, Pisa nell'Antichità
vols. (1933-34); EAA
6 (1965) with bibliography.
D. C. SCAVONE