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Colossus of Rhodes



The statue was a depiction of the Greek Titan Helios and was meant to celebrate the victory over the Dimitrios the Besieger (ruler of Cyprus) in 305 BC. Proud of their great victory the Rhodians decided with the funds they raised from the sale of Dimitrios' siege equipment to erect a triumphal statue to their great god, Helios. The work was assigned to Chares of Lindos who worked on it for twelve years (304 to 292 B.C.) Despite the fact the Colossus was considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, both a technical and artistic masterpiece, there is a lack of vital information concerning the site it occupied and its actual shape. It is calculated to have been about 31 meters high. But this "wonder" stood for no more than 56 years. During a severe earthquake in 226 BC It cracked at the knees and felt down.

It is said that the Egyptian king, Ptolemy III, offered to pay for its reconstruction, but the people of Rhodes refused his help. They had consulted the oracle of Delphi and feared that somehow the statue had offended the god Helios, who used the earthquake to throw it down.

In the seventh century A.D., the Arabs conquered Rhodes and broke the remains of the Colossus up into smaller pieces and sold it as scrap metal. Legend says it took 900 camels to carry away the pieces. A sad end for what must have been a majestic work of art.


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