Greek Mythology >> Nymphs >> Oreads >> Pitys


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Pine-Tree (pitys)

Pan and Pitys | Greco-Roman mosaic A.D. | Naples National Archaeological Museum
Pan and Pitys, Greco-Roman mosaic A.D., Naples National Archaeological Museum

PITYS was an Oreiad-nymph loved by the god Pan. She fled his advances and was transformed into a mountain pine or fir tree.


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


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." [N.B. The mountain 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 (Gaea, the Earth)! Then she may perhaps lament the sorrows and the fate of the wailing Nymphe."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 2. 92 ff :
"[A Hamadryas nymphe 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 (Nicaea) laments her violation by Dionysos in a drunken sleep :] ‘Hamadryas Nymphai (Hamadryad Nymphs), 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 (Bacchus) to hear . . . "Maiden, beware, drink not the deceiving water!"?’"

Thumbnail Pan & Nymph Pitys

Z22.1 Pan & Nymph Pitys

Greco-Roman Antioch Floor Mosaic C3rd A.D.

Thumbnail Pan & Nymph Pitys

Z22.2 Pan & Nymph Pitys

Greco-Roman Naples Floor Mosaic A.D.





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


A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.