Web Theoi
PITYS
 
Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Πιτυς Pitys Pitys Pine-Tree (pitys)
Pan & the nymph Pitys | Roman mosaic | Archaeological Museum of Naples

Pan & the metamorphosis of Pitys, Roman
mosaic, Archaeological Museum of Naples

PITYS was an Oreiad or Dryad nymph loved by the god Pan. She fled to escape his advances and was transformed into a fir tree.

PARENTS
Nowhere stated, but perhaps a daughter of the Arkadian River-God LADON

ENCYCLOPEDIA

PITYS (Pitus), a nymph beloved by Pan, was changed into a fir tree. (Lucian, Dial. Deor. 22. 4; Virg. Eclog. vii. 24.)

Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.


Ovid, Metamorphoses 1. 689 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Pan returning from Mount Lycaeus, crowned with his wreath of pine [an allusion to Pitys?], saw Syrinx once [another Nymph loved by Pan]."

Virgil, Eclogues 7. 24 (trans. Fairclough) (Roman bucolic C1st B.C.) :
"Here on the sacred pine shall I hang my tuneful pipe." [I.e. the pine or fir was sacred to Pan.]

Propertius, Elegies 1. 18 (trans. Goold) (Roman elegy C1st B.C.) :
"If trees known any love, Beech and Pine [i.e. Pitys] beloved of the god of Arcady [Pan]."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 42. 257 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"Sing also of Pitys who hated marriage, who fled fast as the wind over the mountains to escape the unlawful wooing of Pan, and her fate--how she disappeared into the soil herself; put the blame of Ge (Earth)! Then she may perhaps lament the sorrows and the fate of the wailing Nymphe."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 2. 92 ff :
"[A Hamadryas laments the loss of her pine tree:] ‘May die before I wed, and go to Haides a virgin, still a stranger to Eros (Love), like Pitys and like Daphne! . . . I tremble at your lustful Pan, who will persecute me like Pitys, like Syrinx.’"

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 16. 356 ff :
"[The nymphe Nikaia laments how Dionysos violated her as she lay in a drunken sleep:] ‘Hamadryas nymphai, whom shall I blame for Hypnos (Sleep), Eros (Love), trickery and wine, are the robbers of my maiden state! . . . Why did not Pitys (the Pine) whisper in my ear [i.e. to warn her of the danger], too low for Bakkhos to hear . . . "Maiden, beware, drink not the deceiving water!"?’"


Pan & Pitys | Roman mosaic
Z22.2 PAN,
NYMPH PITYS
Pan & Pitys | Roman mosaic
Z22.2 PAN,
NYMPH PITYS
   

Sources:

  • Ovid, Metamorphoses - Latin Epic C1st B.C. - C1st A.D.
  • Virgil, Eclogues - Latin Bucolic C1st B.C.
  • Propertius, Elegies - Latin Elegy C1st B.C.
  • Nonnos, Dionysiaca - Greek Epic C5th A.D.

Other references not currently quoted here : Lucian Dialogues of the Gods 2