First English edition of the Nuremberg chronicle: being the Liber chronicarum of Dr. Hartmann Schedel…

Pisa, a noteworthy city of Etruria, originated at this time, according to Strabo, through the Greeks, who came there from Pisa[Pisa, the capital of Pisatis, is in the middle portion of the province of Elis in the Peloponnesus. Elis was bounded by Achaia from the north, Arcadia on the east, Messina on the south, and the Ionian sea on the west. In very ancient times Pisatis was a union of eight states. Pisa itself was situated north of the Alpheus, at a very short distance east of Olympia. The history of the Pisatae consists of their struggle with the Eleans, with whom they contended for the presidency of the Olympic Games. Finally the struggle was brought to a close by the conquest and destruction of Pisa by the Eleans. So complete was the devastation of the city that not a trace of it was left in later times.] in Elis; and they built this city in Italy, naming it after the former town. Virgil says that this celebrated and accomplished old town originated with the Alphearians; while Pliny states that it originated with the Greek people between the rivers Auser (Auxeris) and the Arno. However, Justinus claims it was built and augmented by the Ligurians and others. Lucan also has something to say concerning the city of Pisa. Although Pisa is now considered unfortunate because it is greatly oppressed by the Florentines, it was formerly mighty and powerful. We find that in the period when Rome flourished Pisa was powerless. But after Lima (Limnae) and Populonia, maritime cities, were destroyed, and the affairs of Italy under Charlemagne and his sons were in a state of peace, Pisa became powerful and mighty. It then possessed many excellent men, learned and experienced in naval affairs. In consequence of its virtue, strength and distinction, Pisa grew and increased, and finally became a principality. It possessed many islands, and subjugated the city of Jerusalem. But seventy years later, having come under the Florentines, Pisa declined in population and wealth. Under Pope Eugene III it was greatly beautified, and it is now adorned with tall buildings and with bridges over the Arno. A church was dedicated there to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary; also a cloister, called the Holy Field, the most celebrated in the world, as well as a wonderful campanile. All these things are so wonderful that one can hardly believe them without having seen them. Among others who were born at Pisa were Raynerius and Bartholomew, teachers of the Holy Scriptures and of the canon law, of the Preaching Order; also Uguicionus, the grammarian, and many others.

Pisa (Pisae, Pisanus) is one of the most ancient and important cities of Etruria, and was situated at the confluence of the Arno and the Auser (Serchio), about six miles from the sea. But the latter river altered its course in the twelfth century, and now flows into the sea by a separate channel. According to some traditions Pisa was founded by the companions of Nestor, the inhabitants of Pisa in Elis, who were driven upon the coast of Italy on their return from Troy; for this reason the Roman poets give the Etruscan town the name of Alphea. This legend, however, like many others, probably arose from the accidental similarity of the names of the two cities. It would seem that Pisa was originally a Pelasgic town, that it afterward passed into the hands of the Ligyae, and from them to the Etruscans. It then became one of the twelve cities of Etruria, and was, down to the time of Augustus, the most northerly city in the country. It is frequently mentioned in the Ligurian wars as the headquarters of the Roman legions. In 180 BCE it was a Latin colony, and appears to have been colonized again in the time of Augustus, since we find it called Colonia Julia Pisana. There is scarcely a vestige of the ancient city in the modern Pisa.

Little is known of Pisa during the barbarian invasions. It was one of the first towns to assert its independence of Byzantine rule. During the first years of the Lombard rule the necessity of defending the Italian coast from the attacks of the Byzantines was favorable to the development of the Pisan navy. The military development and real importance of Pisa in the eleventh century must be attributed to the continuous and desperate struggle it maintained against the tide of Arab invasion from Sicily. Meanwhile the Pisans increasingly flourished. In 1062 their ships returned from Palermo laden with spoils. In 1099 the Pisans joined in the first crusade, where they helped capture Jerusalem, from which they derived many commercial advantages. Later, wars arose with Florence, and eventually Pisa surrendered to its more powerful neighbor to the north in 1509.


Same woodcut as was used for Troy (Folio XXXVI recto). We miss the Leaning Tower, which was begun in 1174 and completed in 1350.