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CA´RYAE (Κάρυαι: Eth. Καρυάτης), a town of Laconia upon the frontiers of Arcadia. It was originally an Arcadian town belonging to Tegea, but was conquered by the Spartans and annexed to their territory. (Phot. Lex. s. v. Καρυάτεια;; Paus. 8.45.1.) Caryae revolted from Sparta after the battle of Leuctra (B.C. 371), and offered to guide a Theban army into Laconia; but shortly afterwards it was severely punished for its treachery, for Archidamus took the town and put to death all the inhabitants who were made prisoners. (Xen. Hell. 6.5. 24-27, 7.1.28.) Caryae was celebrated for its temple of Artemis Caryatis, and for the annual festival of this goddess, at which the Lacedaemonian virgins used to perform a peculiar kind of dance. (Paus. 3.10.9 ; Lucian. de Salt. 10.) This festival was of great antiquity, for in the second Messenian war, Aristomenes is said to have carried off the Lacedaemonian virgins, who were dancing at Caryae in honour of Artemis. (Paus. 4.16.9.) It was, perhaps, from this ancient dance of the Lacedaemonian maidens, that the Greek artists gave the name of Caryatides to the female figures which were employed in architecture instead of pillars. The tale of Vitruvius respecting the origin of these figures, is not entitled to any credit. He relates (1.1.5) that Caryae revolted to the Persians after the battle of Thermopylae; that it was in consequence destroyed by the allied Greeks, who killed the men and led the women into captivity; and that to commemorate the disgrace of the latter, representations of them were employed in ar. chitecture instead of columns.

The exact position of Caryae has given rise to dispute. It is evident from the account of Pausanias (3.10.7), and from the history of more than one campaign that it was situated on the road from Tegea to Sparta. (Thuc.5.55; Xen. Hell. 6.5. 25, 27 ; Liv. 34.26.) If it was on the direct road from Tegea to Sparta, it must be placed, with Leake, at the Khan of Krevatá: but we are more inclined to adopt the opinion of Boblaye and Ross, that it stood on one of the side roads from Tegea to Sparta. Ross places it NW. of the Khan of Krevatá, in a valley of a tributary of the Oenus, where there is an insulated hill with ancient ruins, about an hour to the right or west of the village of Arákhova. Although the road from Tegea to Sparta is longer by way of Arákhova, it was, probably, often adopted in war in preference to the direct road, in order to avoid the defiles of Klisura, and to obtain for an encampment a good supply of water. Boblaye remarks, that there are springs of excellent water in the neighbourhood of Arálkhova, to which Lycophron, probably, alludes (Καρικῶν or Καρυκῶν ποτῶν, Lycophr. 149). (Leake, Peloponnesiaca, p. 342, seq.; Boblaye, Recherches, p. 72; Ross, Reisen im Peloponnes, p. 175.)

hide References (8 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (8):
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 4.16.9
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 8.45.1
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 3.10.7
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 6.5.24
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 6.5.25
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 6.5.27
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 7.1.28
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 34, 26
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