Statue of Zeus at Olympia
The Statue of Zeus at Olympia is one of the classical Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was carved by the famed Classical sculptor Phidias (5th century BC) circa 435 BC in Olympia, Greece.
The seated statue occupied the whole width of the aisle of the temple that was built to house it, and was 40 feet (12 meters) tall. "It seems that if Zeus were to stand up," the geographer Strabo noted early in the 1st century BC, "he would unroof the temple." Zeus was a chryselephantine sculpture, made of ivory and accented with gold plating. In the sculpture, he was seated on a magnificent throne of cedarwood, inlaid with ivory, gold, ebony, and precious stones. In Zeus' right hand there was a small statue of Nike, the goddess of victory, and in his left hand, a shining sceptre on which an eagle perched. Plutarch, in his Life of the Roman general Aemilius Paulus, records that the victor over Macedon "was moved to his soul, as if he had beheld the god in person," while the Greek orator Dio Chrysostom wrote that a single glimpse of the statue would make a man forget his earthly troubles.
Mausoleum of Maussollos atHalicarnassus
The Mausoleum of Maussollos, or Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, was a tomb built between 353 and 350 BC at Halicarnassus (present Bodrum, Turkey) for Mausolus, a satrap in the Persian Empire, and Artemisia II of Caria, his wife and sister. The structure was designed by the Greek architects Satyrus and Pythius. It stood approximately 45 meters (135 feet) in height, and each of the four sides was adorned with sculptural reliefs created by one of four Greek sculptors - Bryaxis, Leochares, Scopas and Timotheus. The finished structure was considered to be such an aesthetic triumph that Antipater of Sidon identified it as one of his Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The word mausoleum has since come to be used generically for any grand tomb, though "Mausol - eion" originally meant "dedicated to Mausol".
Colossus of Rhodes
The Colossus of Rhodes was a giant statue of the Greek god Helios, erected on the Greek island of Rhodes by Chares of Lindos, a student of Lysippos, between 292 and 280 BC. It was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Before its destruction, the Colossus of Rhodes stood 70 cubits tall, over 30 metres (100 feet), making it the tallest statue of the ancient world.
Alexander the Great died at an early age in 323 BC without having time to put into place any plans for his succession. Fighting broke out among his generals, the Diadochi, with three of them eventually dividing up much of his empire in the Mediterranean area. During the fighting Rhodes had sided with Ptolemy, and when Ptolemy eventually took control of Egypt, Rhodes and Ptolemaic Egypt formed an alliance which controlled much of the trade in the eastern Mediterranean.
Another of Alexander's generals, Antigonus I Monophthalmus, was upset by this turn of events. In 305 BC he had his son Demetrius Poliorcetes, also a general, invade Rhodes with an army of 40,000; however, the city was well defended, and Demetrius-whose name "Poliorcetes" signifies the "besieger of cities"-had to start construction of a number of massive siege towers in order to gain access to the walls. The first was mounted on six ships, but these were capsized in a storm before they could be used. He tried again with a larger, land-based tower named Helepolis, but the Rhodian defenders stopped this by flooding the land in front of the walls so that the rolling tower could not move.
In 304 BC a relief force of ships sent by Ptolemy arrived, and Demetrius's army abandoned the siege, leaving most of their siege equipment. To celebrate their victory, the Rhodians sold the equipment left behind for 300 talents and decided use the money to build a colossal statue of their patron god, Helios. Construction was left to the direction of Chares, a native of Lindos in Rhodes, who had been involved with large-scale statues before. His teacher, the sculptor Lysippos, had constructed an 18-metre high bronze statue of Zeus at Tarentum.
Lighthouse of Alexandria
The Pharos of Alexandria (ancient Greek: ????? ????????????, modern Greek: o ????? ??? ????????????) was a tall tower built in the 3rd century BC (between 285 and 247 BC) on the island of Pharos in Alexandria, Egypt to serve as that port's landmark, and later, its lighthouse.
With a height variously estimated at between 115 and 135 metres (383 - 440 ft) it was among the tallest man-made structures on Earth for many centuries, and was identified as one of the Seven Wonders of the World by classical writers. It was the third tallest building after the two Great Pyramids (of Khufu and Khafra) for its entire life. Some scientists estimate a much taller height exceeding 152 metres that would make the tower the tallest building up to the 14th century.
1. Cox, Reg, and Neil Morris, "The Seven Wonders of the Modern World". Chelsea House Publications: Library. October 2000.
2. Cox, Reg, Neil Morris, and James Field, "The Seven Wonders of the Medieval World". Chelsea House Publications: Library. October 2000.
3. D'Epiro, Peter, and Mary Desmond Pinkowish, "What Are the Seven Wonders of the World? and 100 Other Great Cultural Lists". Anchor. December 1, 1998.
4. Morris, Neil, "The Seven Wonders of the Natural World". Chrysalis Books. December 30, 2002.