Thursday, 6 April 2017

The Colossus of Rhodes

Colossus of Rhodes by Giovanino
The Colossus of Rhodes was a statue of the Greek god of the sun Helios, erected in the city of Rhodes in 280 BC. One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, it was constructed to celebrate Rhodes' victory over Cyprus, who unsuccessfully besieged Rhodes in 305 BC. It took 12 years to complete.
According to most descriptions, the Colossus stood about 33 metres (108 feet) high — about the same as the Statue of Liberty. It was the tallest statue of the ancient world. It was destroyed during an earthquake in 226 BC. Ptolemy III offered to pay for the reconstruction of the statue, but the oracle of Delphi made the Rhodians afraid that they had offended Helios, and they declined to rebuild it. The remains lay on the ground for over 800 years. Pliny the Elder remarked that few people could wrap their arms around the fallen thumb and that each of its fingers was larger than most statues.

In 653, an Arab force under Muslim caliph Muawiyah I captured Rhodes, and the statue was melted down and sold