Manual The Colossus

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The statue was constructed of bronze plates over an iron framework very similar to the Statue of Liberty which is copper over a steel frame. According to the book of Pilon of Byzantium, 15 tons of bronze were used and 9 tons of iron, though these numbers seem low to modern architects. The Statue of Liberty, roughly of the same size, weighs tons. The Colossus, which relied on weaker materials, must have weighed at least as much and probably more.

Ancient accounts tell us that inside the statue were several stone columns which acted as the main support. Iron beams were driven into the stone and connected with the bronze outer skin. Each bronze plate had to be carefully cast then hammered into the right shape for its location in the figure, then hoisted into position and riveted to the surrounding plates and the iron frame.

Some stories say that a massive earthen ramp was used to access the statue during construction. Modern engineers, however, calculate that such a ramp running all the way to the top of the statue would have been too massive to be practical. This lends credence to stories that the wood from the Helepolis seige engine was reused to build a scaffolding around the statue while it was being assembled.

It is believed Chares did not live to see his project finished. There are several legends that he committed suicide. In one tale he has almost finished the statue when someone points out a small flaw in the construction.

The Colossus of Rhodes: Ancient Greek Mega Statue

The sculptor is so ashamed of it he kills himself. Comparing the Statue of Liberty with the Colossus: Though the bodies are the same size, Liberty stands higher because of the taller pedestal. In another version the city fathers decide to double the height of the statue. Chares only doubles his fee, forgetting that doubling the height will mean an eightfold increase in the amount of materials needed. This drives him into bankruptcy and suicide. Collapse of the Colossus.

Skyrim SE Builds - The Colossus - Remastered Build

The Colossus stood proudly at the harbor entrance for some fifty-six years. Each morning the sun must have caught its polished bronze surface and made the god's figure shine. Then an earthquake hit Rhodes in BC and the statue collapsed. Huge pieces of the figure lay along the harbor for centuries. A computer simulation suggests that the shaking of the earthquake made the rivets holding the bronze plates together break. At first only a few weak ones gave way, but when they failed the remaining stress was transferred to the surviving rivets, which then also failed in with a cascading effect.

Though some accounts related that the statue fell over and broke apart when it hit the ground, it is more likely pieces, starting with the arms, dropped away. The legs and ankles might have even remained in position following the quake. Few men can clasp the thumb in their arms, and its fingers are larger than most statues. Where the limbs are broken asunder, vast caverns are seen yawning in the interior.

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Within it, too, are to be seen large masses of rock, by the weight of which the artist steadied it while erecting it. 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. Legend says it took camels to carry away the pieces. Our editors will review what you've submitted, and if it meets our criteria, we'll add it to the article. Please note that our editors may make some formatting changes or correct spelling or grammatical errors, and may also contact you if any clarifications are needed.

Colossus of Rhodes statue by Chares.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. Aug 1, See Article History. Learn More in these related Britannica articles: It was not reerected because of…. Colossus of Rhodes , a huge bronze statue built at the harbour of Rhodes in commemoration of the raising of the siege of Rhodes — bce. A pupil of the sculptor Lysippus, Chares fashioned for the Rhodians a colossal bronze statue of the sun god Helios, the cost of which was defrayed by selling engines of war left by….

This document was adopted by…. He drove a chariot daily from east to west across the sky and sailed around the northerly stream of Ocean each night in a huge cup. Ancient Greek Mega Statue. For to the descendants of Herakles belongs dominion over seas and land. The Colossus of Rhodes was a statue of superhuman proportions. It stood over feet 30 meters high, making it one of the largest statues in the ancient world; the thigh alone was supposedly 11 feet 3 meters in width, the ankle 5 feet 1.

Colossal statues, then and now.

The only thing for certain is that it did not stand with its legs stretched across the harbor entrance as depicted in many medieval drawings. If the completed statue had straddled the harbor, the entire mouth of the harbor would have been effectively closed during the entirety of the construction. Silver coins from Rhodes circa — AD with Helios represented on one side, a rose on the other.

Was this the face of the Colossus of Rhodes? An idea of what this statue may have looked like comes down through images depicted on a few coins that survived the era. Accounts from eye-witnesses and story-tellers tell of an enormous and amazing statue. Depictions of the time speak of a naked man with a cloak over his left arm or shoulder proudly facing east to the rising sun, torch in one hand, and spear in the other. Some think the statue was wearing a spiked crown, shading its eyes from the rising sun with its right hand, or possibly using that hand to hold the torch aloft in a pose similar to one later given to the Statue of Liberty.

Although we do not know the true shape and appearance of the Colossus, modern reconstructions with the statue standing upright are more accurate than older drawings. The statue stood for 56 years until the island of Rhodes was hit by an earthquake in BC, destroying much of the city and causing the statue to break off at the knees and topple over into pieces. It is said that the Rhodians received an offer from Ptolemy III Eurgetes of Egypt to cover all restoration costs for the monument but declined. The Rhodians consulted the oracle of Delphi and feared that the statue had somehow offended the god Helios, who used the earthquake to throw it down.


Though it lay in ruins on the ground, thousands came and were astounded at the sight of it. Pliny the Elder wrote:. Even as it lies, it excites our wonder and admiration.

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Few men can clasp the thumb in their arms, and its fingers are larger than most statues. Where the limbs are broken asunder, vast caverns are seen yawning in the interior. Within it, too, are to be seen large masses of rock, by the weight of which the artist steadied it while erecting it. The statue would go untouched for years or until the Arab invasion of Rhodes in The remains are said to have been melted down to be used as coins, tools, artifacts and weapons.

Legend says that a Syrian junk dealer hauled the bits away on nearly camels.

The Colossus of Rhodes: 6 Facts about one of the Wonders of the Ancient World

Many believed it impossible to build such a structure with the technology of the time and doubt grew that it ever existed at all. However, in recent years, new evidence has come to light in and around the harbor at Rhodes. Recent archaeological finds have shown that the Colossus stood on the hill overlooking the bay where a medieval castle now stands.

Experts found carved stones dating back to the time of the Colossus. These were later used to build a fort that now stands at the entrance to the harbor. It is believed that these were the very stones used to form the base of the giant statue. The amazing Colossus of Rhodes towers over all others in the annals of the wonders of the ancient world. To revive the tallest statue of the Hellenistic period while boosting tourism and employment opportunities. They have planned to make a meter tall colossus which could house a cutting edge museum containing thousands of ancient artifacts.

The Colossus Of Rhodes: What Happened To This Ancient Wonder?

Not everyone has been convinced, however, that a new Colossus of Rhodes would be a good idea. Some people have suggested that the wonder of the ancient world better belongs as a thing of the past. Artist's misconception of the Colossus of Rhodes from the Book of Knowledge. Engraving of the Colossus of Rhodes. The Colossus of Rhodes.