KARYES (Ancient city) LAKEDEMONA
For Caryae is a region sacred to Artemis and the nymphs, and here stands in the open an image of Artemis Caryatis. Here every year the Lacedaemonian maidens hold chorus-dances, and they have a traditional native dance.
A draped female figure substituted for a column supporting an entablature. Caryatids occur only rarely in Greek architecture. Their earliest appearance is in a cluster of Ionic treasuries built at Delphi in the mid 6th c. B.C. and the Lyons kore of similar date from the Athenian Acropolis. They are not employed again until the Erechtheion (421-406 B.C.), after which their next use is in the Limyra heroon (370-350 B.C.) in Lycia.
The distinctive costume, pose and hairstyle of caryatids are presumably related to both their function and meaning. Their origin and significance, however, remain controversial. Suggested explanations for their origin include Oriental influence, borrowing of forms in the minor arts, and the adaption of figures found on perirrhanteria (ritual water basins). The meaning of their iconography has been sought in both historical-political events (Vitruvius) and religious beliefs (as nymph-intercessors).
Vitruvius 1.1.5: The female figures in architecture that supported burdens are said to have been called Caryatids in token of the abject slavery to which the women of Caryae (a town in Laconia near the borders of Arcadia, originally belonging to the territory of Tegea in Arcadia) were reduced by the Greeks, as a punishment for joining the Persians at the invasion of Greece.
This text is cited Apr 2003 from Perseus Project URL bellow, which contains interesting hyperlinks
A wide knowledge of history is requisite because, among the ornamental parts of an architect's design for a work, there are many the underlying idea of whose employment he should be able to explain to inquirers. For instance, suppose him to set up the marble statues of women in long robes, called Caryatides, to take the place of columns, with the mutules and coronas placed directly above their heads, he will give the following explanation to his questioners. Caryae, a state in Peloponnesus, sided with the Persian enemies against Greece; later the Greeks, having gloriously won their freedom by victory in the war, made common cause and declared war against the people of Caryae. They took the town, killed the men, abandoned the State to desolation, and carried off their wives into slavery, without permitting them, however, to lay aside the long robes and other marks of their rank as married women, so that they might be obliged not only to march in the triumph but to appear forever after as a type of slavery, burdened with the weight of their shame and so making atonement for their State. Hence, the architects of the time designed for public buildings statues of these women, placed so as to carry a load, in order that the sin and the punishment of the people of Caryae might be known and handed down even to posterity.
Likewise the Lacedaemonians under the leadership of Pausanias, son of Agesipolis, after conquering the Persian armies, infinite in number, with a small force at the battle of Plataea, celebrated a glorious triumph with the spoils and booty, and with the money obtained from the sale thereof built the Persian Porch, to be a monument to the renown and valour of the people and a trophy of victory for posterity. And there they set effigies of the prisoners arrayed in barbarian costume and holding up the roof, their pride punished by this deserved affront, that enemies might tremble for fear of the effects of their courage, and that their own people, looking upon this ensample of their valour and encouraged by the glory of it, might be ready to defend their independence. So from that time on, many have put up statues of Persians supporting entablatures and their ornaments, and thus from that motive have greatly enriched the diversity of their works. There are other stories of the same kind which architects ought to know.
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