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NYSA or NYSSA (Νύσα or Νύσσα), is said to have been the name of the place in which the god Dionysus was born, whence it was transferred to a great many towns in all parts of the world which were distinguished for the cultivation of the vine. In Asia.


A town in Caria, on the southern slope of mount Messogis, on the north of the Maeander, and about midway between Tralles and Antioch. The mountain torrent Eudon, a tributary of the Maeander, flowed through the middle of the town by a deep ravine spanned by a bridge, connecting the two parts of the town. (Strab. xiv. p.650; Hom. hymn. 4.17; Plin. Nat. 5.29; Ptol. 5.2.18; Hierocl. p. 659; Steph. Byz. s. v.) Tradition assigned the foundation of the place to three brothers, Athymbrus, Athymbradus, and Hydrelus, who emigrated from Sparta, and founded three towns on the north of the Maeander; but in the course of time Nysa absorbed them all; the Nysaeans, however, recognise more especially Athymbrus as their founder. (Steph. B. sub voce Ἄθυμβρα; Strab. l.c.) The town derived its name of Nysa from Nysa, one of the wives of Antiochus, the son of Seleucus (Steph. B. sub voce Ἀντιόχεια), having previously been called Athymbra (Steph. B. sub voce Ἄθυμβρα) and Pythopolis (Steph. B. sub voce Πυθόπολις).

Nysa appears to have been distinguished for its cultivation of literature, for Strabo mentions several eminent philosophers and rhetoricians; and the geographer himself, when a youth, attended the lectures of Aristodemus, a disciple of Panaetius; another Aristodemus of Nysa, a cousin of the former, had been the instructor of Pompey. (Strab. l.c.; Cic. Fam. 13.6. 4) Hierocles classes Nysa among the sees of Asia, and its bishops are mentioned in the Councils of Ephesus and Constantinople. The coins of Nysa are very numerous, and exhibit a series of Roman emperors from Augustus to Galllienus. The site of Nysa has been recognised by Chandler and other travellers at Sultan-hissar, above the plain of the Maeander, on a spot much resembling that described by Strabo; who also mentions a theatre, a forum, a gymnasium for youths, and another for men. Remains of a theatre, with many rows of seats almost entire, as well as of an amphitheatre, gymnasium, &c., were seen by Chandler. (Leake, Asia Minor, p. 248; Fellows, Discover. pp. 22, foil.; Hamilton, Researches, i. p. 534.) The country round Nysa is described as bearing evidence of the existence of subterraneous fires, either by exhalations and vapours, or by its hot mineral springs.



A place in the district of Milyas in Pisidia, situated on the river Xanthus, on the south of Podalaea. (Ptol. 5.3.7; Hierocl. p. 684, where the name is misspelt Μίσαι.


A town in Cappadocia, in the district called Muriane, not far from the river Halys, on the road from Ancyra to Caesareia. (Ptol. 5.7.8; It. Ant. pp. 505, 506; Hierocl. p. 699; Nicephor. 11.44.) Its site is now occupied by a village bearing the name of Nirse or Nissa (Hamilton, Researches, ii. p. 265.) [L.S]

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