previous next

KAISARIANI Attica, Greece.

To the E of Athens on the W slopes of Mt. Hymettos, at an altitude of 350 m, is the famous Kaisariani monastery set within a sequestered glen. In the outer face of the surrounding E wall is a spring, with water flowing through a marble ram's head. This sculpture, insofar as comparison is possible, is similar to the fragments of a water spout found on the Athenian Acropolis belonging to the Old Temple of Athena, ca. 525 B.C. Architectural pieces of Roman date can be found in the principal church, courtyard and refectory, and in the walls of two ruined churches half a km to the W.

It is extremely tempting to identify Kaisariani as Κύλλου Πήρα, “a place on Hymettos,” according to Suidas, “with a sanctuary of Aphrodite and a spring, drinking from which women have easy delivery and the childless become fertile.” But the spring called Kallopoula, half a km to the E, is another possible candidate. However, it is only at the monastery that one can visualize Ovid's setting for the tragic death of Prokris in the arms of her faithful Kephalos (Ars Am. 3.687-746).


BIBLIOGRAPHY

A. Milchhöfer, Karten von Attika. Erläuternder Text 2 (1883) 23-25; T. Wiegand, Die Archaische Poros-Architektur der Akropolis zu Athen (1904) 125; A. A. Papagiannopoulos-Palaios, Καισαριανή (1965)I.

C.W.J. ELIOT

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: