Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


A caryatid is a sculptured female figure serving as an architectural element such as a column or a pillar. Perhaps the most famous examples are those of the Caryatid Porch of the Erechtheum on the Acropolis at Athens.

The word is derived from Latin caryatides and Greek karutides, literally maidens of Karuai, referring to the priestesses of Artemis, a village of Laconia in southern Greece with a famous temple to Artemis. (Artemis is a Greek goddess of hunting and wild-animals and fertility, daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. )


The male counterpart is referred to as an Atlas.