Caryatis (of the walnut tree) In Greek mythology, Carya, a girl loved by Artemis who died and was transformed into a walnut tree. Artemis repented Carya’s death and was given the epithet Caryatis. Caryatids, female-form statues used for support, are said to be based on Caryatis. In a variant myth Caria, a Greek state, supported the Persians in their war against the Greeks. When the Persians were defeated, the Greeks killed off all the Carian men and enslaved the women. Greek builders’ use of statues of the women as building supports was symbolic punishment. Examples of caryatids are found in the ruins of Cnidos and Siphnos at Delphi. The salle des Caryatides, a 16th-century room in the Louvre, Paris, also uses the motif.
Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow
Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante
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