Rhodes, off Turkey


The Colossus of Rhodes
The Colossus of Rhodes—the fourth Wonder of the World—was a statue of Helios, the sun-god. This giant statue (without pedestal) measured 110 feet high. The pedestal added another 50 feet, making it 160 feet in all. It was made entirely of bronze. Behind the giant’s open eyesockets beacon fires gleamed at night. The statue was shaken down in an earthquake only twenty-three years after Demetrius’ visit. Here is a remarkable drawing showing the Colossus straddling the narrow entrance to the inner harbor at Rhodes. But this is only a fanciful  icture. Centuries after the statue fell, a foolish legend grew up that the Colossus stood in this manner, and that ships sailed beneath his wide-spread legs. We know this is fiction. No ancient Greek sculptor would have dared make any statue of a god in such an undignified pose. Helios’ feet, we can be sure, stood firmly together on the statue pedestal. When the statue was overthrown in 227 BC, the broken pieces, fortunately, fell along the breakwater, and not into the harbor. There they lay for 800 years. One Roman traveler, after examining the fallen giant, wrote that few men could clasp their arms around its thumb; that its fingers were taller than most statues; and that wide caverns gaped within its broken limbs. (public domain)


Rhodes harbor.
Rhodes harbor. (CC BY 2.0, ©2017 Bengt Nyman)