atlantes

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atlantes

(ătlăn`tēz) [Latin plural of AtlasAtlas
, in Greek mythology, a Titan; son of Iapetus and Clymene and the brother of Prometheus. When the Titans were defeated, Atlas was condemned to hold the sky on his shoulders for all eternity—a mythical explanation of why the sky does not fall.
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], sculptured male figures serving as supports of entablatures, in place of a column or pier. The earliest (c.480–460 B.C.) and most important example from antiquity is in the Greek temple of Zeus at Agrigento, Sicily. The baroque architecture of the 17th cent. made considerable use of atlantes, as did the classical revival in the early 19th cent. Female supporting figures are called caryatids.
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atlas, pl. atlantes

atlas
A figure (or figures) of a man used in place of a column to support an entablature; also called a telamon.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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