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Information about the place (5)
The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites
At modern Palaiochora under Castel Rosso hill, over a km inland from
the N shore of the great bay. Sparse Neolithic and Early Helladic finds occur
at half a dozen nearby spots. The Dryopian town probably dates from the Dark Ages.
It stood Persian siege in 490 B.C. (the alleged traces of city walls are uncertain),
but in 480 contributed to Xerxes' fleet, and so was ravaged by the Greeks. Karystos
entered the Delian League after war with Athens, and revolted with the other Euboians
in 411. The only Classical remains are the walls at Platanisto. In 411 or after
the Lamian War the town probably lost territory to Eretria and by ca. 290 joined
the Euboian League. Later 3d c. coins show a pro-Macedonian tyrant and in 196
B.C. Karystos shared Eretria's fall to Rome.
The vogue at Rome for greenish Karystian marble, begun possibly by
Mamurra, revivified the area, its prosperity rising to a peak under Hadrian. Dozens
of quarries are known, though mostly for local stone, especially NW of Marmari
(Strabo's Marmarion) and above Karystos where unfinished columns 13 m long may
still be seen near Myloi. Monumental buildings spread now if not before to the
coast. A four-stepped heptastyle peripteral Ionic temple of the 2d c. has been
excavated there. Many marble and poros blocks, including a battered Roman pedimental
relief, were built into the 14th c. Venetian coastal fort, the Bourtzi.
The port of Geraistos to the E, with its Sanctuary of Poseidon, was
on the main route from the Euripos SE and from Athens NE, and probably had an
Athenian clerouchy. It is referred to from Homer to Procopios, and finds continue
to be made.
The region's most dramatic monument is the megalithic place of worship
atop Mount Ocha, the Dragon House, where the excavators found sherds inscribed
in archaic Chalkidian script outside, and Classical and Hellenistic pottery inside.
The building is a rectangle ca. 10 x 5 m, interior dimensions, with a door and
two windows in the S side. The roughly isodomic walls are ca. one m thick. In
the interior the blocks are smoothed; on the exterior many show a curious rustication.
The roof consists of four superimposed layers of great blocks corbeled inward,
but not meeting, at least today, in the center. (Cf. Styra.)
Other, comparatively undatable, remains have been found at Philagra
and at Archampolis (perhaps associated with iron mining), and on promontories
in the Karystos and Geraistos bays. Late Roman columnar members are found in churches
near Marmari, Metochi, and Zacharia.
M. B. Wallace, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites,
Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from
Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
Perseus Project index
Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities
A town on the southern coast of Euboea, founded by Dryopes, celebrated for its marble quarries and for the mineral known as asbestos
- Perseus: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898)
The Catholic Encyclopedia
A titular see of Greece.
According to legend it was named after Carystus, a son of Chiron.
The ancient city is often mentioned by geographers, chiefly on account
of its beautiful marble and its amianth obtained from Mount
The see was at first a suffragan of Corinth,
but early in the ninth century was made a suffragan of Athens
and before 1579 of Euripos (Chalcis).
The bishopric was maintained in 1833, but under the district name of Carystia,
its titular residing at Kyme.
In 1900 it was united to Chalcis
(Euripos), the capital of the island.
Carystus is to-day a village on the southern coast of Euboea.
S. Petrides, ed.
Transcribed by: Gerald M. Knight
This extract is cited June 2003 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.
- The Catholic Encyclopedia (1908)
Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)
Karustos: Eth. Karustios. A town of Euboea, situated on the south
coast of the island, at the foot of Mt. Oche. It is mentioned by Homer (Il. ii.
539), and is said to have been founded by Dryopes. (Thuc. vii. 57; Diod. iv. 37;
Scymn. 576.) Its name was derived from Carystus, the son of Cheiron. (Steph. B.
s. v.; Eustath. ad Hom. l. c.) The Persian expedition under Datis and Artaphernes
(B.C. 490) landed at Carystus, the inhabitants of which, after a slight resistance,
were compelled to submit to the invaders. (Herod. vi. 99.) Carystus was one of
the towns, from which Themistocles levied money after the battle of Salamis. (Herod.
viii. 112.) A few years afterwards we find mention of a war between the Athenians
and Carystians; but a peace was in the end concluded between them. (Thuc. i. 98;
Herod. ix. 105.) The Carystians fought on the side of the Athenians in the Lamian
war. (Diod. xviii. 11.) They espoused the side of the Romans in the war against
Philip. (Liv. xxxii. 17; Pol. xviii. 30.)
Carystus was chiefly celebrated for its marble, which was in much
request at Rome. Strabo places the quarries at Marmarium, a place upon the coast
near Carystus, opposite Halae Araphenides in Attica ; but Mr. Hawkins found the
marks of the quarries upon Mt. Ocha. On his ascent to the summit of this mountain
he saw seven entire columns, apparently on the spot where they had been quarried,
and at the distance of three miles from the sea. This marble is the Cipolino of
the Romans,- a green marble, with white zones. (Strab. x. p. 446; Plin. iv. 12.
s. 21, xxxvi. 6. s. 7 ; Plin. Ep. v. 6; Tibull. iii. 3. 14; Senec. Troad. 835;
Stat. Theb. vii. 370; Capitol. Gordian. 32.) At Carystus the mineral asbestus
was also obtained, which was hence called the Carystian stone (lithos Karustios,
Plut. de Def. Orac. p. 707; Strab. l. c.; Apoll. Dysc. Hist. Mirab. 36.) There
are very few remains of the ancient Carystus.
Antigonus, the author of the Historiae Mirabiles, the comic poet Apollodorus,
and the physician Diocles were natives of Carystus.
This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited June 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD)