Pyramus And Thisbe

Pyramus And Thisbe, a youth and maiden of Babylon, celebrated in Ovid's Metamorphoses. Their parents opposed their union, but the lovers, living in adjoining houses, found means to converse with each other through a hole in the wall, and once made an agreement to meet at the tomb of Ninus. There Thisbe arrived first, but, terrified by a lioness which had just torn to pieces an ox, she hid herself in a cave, and in her flight lost her mantle, which was rent by the lioness and soiled with blood. When Pyramus came and found the garment torn and bloody, he imagined that Thisbe had been killed, and thereupon fell upon his sword. When Thisbe returned and found the body of her lover, she slew herself with the same sword. This tragedy was enacted under a mulberry tree, the fruit of which, before white, has ever since been of the color of blood.


Pyrenees-Orientales, a S. department of France, consisting chiefly of the old province of Roussillon, bounded N. W. by Ariége, N, by Aude, E. by the Mediterranean, and S. by Spain; area, 1,591 sq. m; pop. in 1872, 191,-856. It is traversed by lofty ridges of the Pyrenees, especially in the south, and there are vast plains in the east, and many rapid streams. It abounds in minerals, is celebrated for its fine wines and excellent merino sheep and mules, and has productive fisheries. Fruit, grain, hemp, and flax are raised; and coarse cloth, cutlery, and leather are manufactured.

The commerce is chiefly with Spain. It is divided into the arrondissements of Perpignan, Céret, and Prades. Capital, Perpignan.


Pyrmont, a watering place of Waldeck, Germany, on the Emmer, 34 m. S. W. of Hanover. It has chalybeate springs, is the capital of the county of Pyrinont (pop. in 1871, 7,588), and contains a fine palace, a large bathing establishment, and a gas grotto emitting deadly vapors.


See Explosives, vol. vii., p. 35.


See Deucalion.


See Apple, Ash, and Pear.

Pytheas, A Greek Navigator Of Massilia Or Marseilles

A Greek Navigator Of Massilia Or Marseilles Pytheas, who flourished about the age of Alexander the Great. He is said to have made two voyages, in one of which he visited Britain and Thule (perhaps Iceland), and in the second passed along the western and northern coast of Europe. He also wrote two books, one of which, describing the ocean, was probably an account of his first voyage, and the other, entitled Periplus, of his second. Polybius and Strabo treat the statements of Pytheas with contempt; but in modern times it has become evident that he was a bold navigator and sagacious observer. He was the first who determined the latitude of a place from the shadow cast by the sun, obtaining the position of Massilia by the gnomon. He was also aware of the influence of the moon upon the tides. The few fragments of Pytheas now extant were collected by Arvedson (Up-sal, 1824).


See Delphi.

Pythias #1

See Damon and Pythias.