Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Caryatides, the priestesses of Artemis at Caryas. The word is generally applied to draped female figures which were employed in Greek architecture as columns to support entablatures. The best known instance is in the Erechtheum at Athens (imitated in St. Pancras church, London). Tennyson speaks of them as used in the Woman's College described in The Princess. Male figures used for the same purpose were called Atlantes. There was a tradition which said that the people of Caryae joined the Persians in their war with the Greeks, and that the Greeks in punishment slew the men and enslaved the women, and as a memento of their disgrace made their images in national dress do duty as columns to their buildings. In the same way they employed the figures of Persian soldiers.