Colossus of Rhodes One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World By Ben, Chris, and Edward
History • huge statue of Greek God Helios • built by Chares of Lindos, a Greek sculptor • constructed between 292 BC and 280 BC • over 100 feet tall, the tallest statue in the ancient world • constructed in celebration of the Rhodian victory in the Siege of Rhodes
How it may have looked Nobody knows for sure what the Colossus of Rhodes looked like. Artists have Different interpretations of what it looks like based on ancient accounts.
Construction • the statue was comprised mainly of bronze and iron reforged from weapons • an old siege tower was used as scaffolding for the lower part of the tower • large mounds of dirt spiraled around the statue and were used to reach the upper level of the tower during construction: visualize a volcano where the partially completed statue would be in the center hole. • The statue was completed after 12 years
Construction problems • The statue was made primarily of bronze, and engineering analysis showed that it would collapse under it’s own weight if it would be built with it’s legs apart • Had the Colossus been built straddling the harbor, during the construction project the harbor would have been closed for 12 years • It is likely the statue was only built on one side of the harbor with it’s legs together, unlike many artistic interpretations.
Destruction • The statue stood for only 54 years before being destroyed in an earthquake in 226 BC • Snapped at the knees and fell over • Egyptian ruler Ptolemy III offered to pay for reconstruction, but the Greeks declined, fearing they had angered Helios • The bronze and iron were too weak to withstand the earthquake • The Greeks likely did not have the technological capabilities to predict the effects of earthquakes on large structures. Many other large structures during this time were also destroyed by earthquakes.
References • James R. Ashley (2004). Macedonian Empire. McFarland & Company. • Herbert Maryon, "The Colossus of Rhodes" The Journal of Hellenic Studies76 (1956), pp. 68-86. • D. E. L. Haynes, "Philo of Byzantium and the Colossus of Rhodes" The Journal of Hellenic Studies77.2 (1957), pp. 311-312 • M. H. Gabriel, BCH16 (1932), pp 332-42.