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ATLANTES (ἄτλαντες) and TELAMO´NES (τελαμῶνες) are terms used in architecture, [p. 1.244]the former by the Greeks, the latter by the Romans, to designate those male figures which are sometimes fancifully used, like the female Caryatides, in place of columns (Vitr. 5.7.6, Schneid.). Both words are derived from τλῆναι, and the former evidently refers to the fable of Atlas, who supported the vault of heaven, the latter perhaps to the strength of the Telamonian Ajax.

The Greek architects used such figures sparingly, and generally with some adaptation to the character of the building. They were much more freely used in tripods, thrones, and so forth.

They were also applied as ornaments to the sides of a vessel, having the appearance of supporting the upper works; as in the ship of Hiero, described by Athenaeus (v. p. 208 b).

Atlantes. (From Temple at Agrigentum: Proessor Cockerell.)

A representation of such figures is given in the preceding woodcut, from the temple of Jupiter Olympius at Agrigentum. (Müller, Archäol. d. Kunst, § 279; Mauch, Die Griech. u. Rom. Bau-Ordnungen, p. 88.)


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