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caryatid

A carved female figure, usually clad in long robes, serving as a column. They were first used in Greek architecture and the most famous caryatids are on the Erechtheum at Athens (c.421–406 ...

buildings and the body

buildings and the body   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to the Body

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences
Length:
2,131 words

...at least (the difference, which Vitruvius sometimes acknowledged, was, he claimed, not important because myths are made for a reason) had been the human body. A case study: suppose, Vitruvius asked, the architect were to ‘set up the marble statues of women in long robes, called caryatids, to take the place of columns … he will give the following explanation to his questioners.’ The explanation follows — the women, thus monumentalized, are eternally atoning for the ignobility of Caryae, a Greek state which allied with the Persians, and shared their defeat....

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