Purpose The Colossus of Rhodes was built to show that the city of Rhodes won the war against the army of Cyprus. When Alexander the Great died, his land was divided into sections. Ptolemy was the ruler of Rhodes. Antigonusdid not agree that Ptomelyshould rule Rhodes, and he sent his own son Demetrius into war for the land. Rhodes was ready and well prepared for the attack. Demetrius retreated one year later, and his army left behind all of their supplies. The Rhodianstook their supplies and used the money/goods to create the Colossus of Rhodes in honor of their patron god Helios.
Location The Colossus of Rhodes was built in Rhodes, Greece. It is located in the Mandrakiharbor along the Mediterranean Sea.
Sculptor Chares of Lindos was a Rhodian sculptor and architect. Chares most likely made several small figures (about 3 feet tall) to find the correct dimensions for the statue. Legends says that Chares died before the structure was completed. Some say that a critic told him of flaws, and Chares was so embarrassed that he committed suicide.
Architecture There were a few different ways that the Colossus of Rhodes could have been built. Stone blocks were on the inside of the structure. An iron cage was built around the blocks in the shape of the statue, and then brass plates were put on the outside of the cage. The brass was melted from the weapons of Demetrius’s army. They packed dirt on the sides of the structure to form ramps to work on. They continued to pack the dirt as they worked their way up. When it was completed, they removed ramps.
Destruction In 226 BC, an earthquake hit the Mandraki harbor destroying the Colossus of Rhodes. The statue snapped at the knees, and the ruins covered the town. Ptolemy III (ruler at the time) offered to pay for the reconstruction, but the oracle of Delphi “warned” the workers not to create another because “they had offended Helios.” The workers did not rebuild it. In 654, an Arab force took over Rhodes and sold the ruins to a Jewish merchant.
Timeline • 292 BC – The construction of theColossusof Rhodes began • 280 BC – The Colossus of Rhodes was completed • 226 BC – An earthquake hit and destroyed the Colossus of Rhodes • 1970 – There was talk of rebuilding the statue, but there was not enough money to do so • 1989 – Possible remains were found in the sea, but it was never confirmed
Sources • http://warrensburg.k12.mo.us/7wonders/colossus/ • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colossus_of_rhodes • http://www.faliraki-info.com/rodosmap.htm • http://www.unmuseum.org/colrhode.htm