Colossus Of Rhodes

In 292 BC, Chares of Lindos a 3rd century BC sculptor from Rhodes erected the Colossus, which was viewed as being one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.  This statue stood at the entrance to the busy harbor on the Island of Rhodes.  The gigantic statue of the god Helios was one hundred and ten feet high and stood upon a fifty-foot pedestal near the harbor entrance perhaps on a breakwater.  It was the last of the seven wonders to be completed, and it was built to thank the gods for a victory that Rhodes won over an invading enemy.  Although the statue has sometimes been popularly depicted with its legs spanning the harbor entrance, so that ships could pass beneath, it was actually posed in a more traditional Greek manner.  Historians believe the figure was nude or semi-nude with a cloak over its left arm or shoulder.  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 a torch aloft in a pose similar to one later given to the Statue of Liberty.  The Colossus of Rhodes stood for less than sixty years before it was destroyed by an earthquake.

The island of Rhodes was an important economic center in the ancient world.  It was located off the southwestern tip of Asia Minor where the Aegean Sea meets the Mediterranean.  The capitol city, also named Rhodes, and that was built in 408 BC and was designed to take advantage of the island’s best natural harbor on the northern coast.  When the statue was finished it was dedicated with a poem, “To you, o Sun, the people of Dorian Rhodes set up this bronze statue reaching to Olympus, when they had pacified the waves of war and crowned their city with the spoils taken from the enemy. Not only over the seas but also on land did they kindle the lovely torch of freedom and independence.  For to the descendants of Herakles belongs dominion over sea and land.”

Travelers to the New York City harbor can see a marvelous sight, as standing on a small island in the harbor is an immense statue of a robed woman, holding a book and lifting a torch to the sky.  The statue measures almost one-hundred and twenty feet from foot to crown.  The Statue of Liberty is sometimes referred to as the Modern Colossus.  Despite the government shutdown the Statue of Liberty will remain open, as it is temporally being funded by the State of New York.

Written for Linda G Hill Life in progress January 21, 2018 #JusJoJan Daily Prompt is Liberty by Capt Jill at Capt Jills Journeys.

11 thoughts on “Colossus Of Rhodes

      1. Pyramids were built on the need to showcase the might of the the ruling class. They unlike Roman aqueducts or the Great Wall serve no purpose. Be it Taj Mahal, or Michelangelo’s painting on the ceiling in economical term at the time of their creation they served no other purpose, other than of course, boosting the ego of the ruling gentry.

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      2. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and art is like music as many different people have different tastes. Monuments do not need a purpose as they can just be expressions of art, you don’t have to like it or even look at it, but I think that you are in the minority on this one.

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      3. I have never said that these are not great, if not exceptional, pieces of art. But there is a purpose behind every action. Weighing it in economical term does give a good idea about the needs, which as I’ve said before, should be the basic concern of the ruling gentry. I don’t care if I’m in minority, but I would rather see a public University being funded by that money rather than seeing it being (mis) used on a structure that serve no other purpose other than soothing the eyes of the beholder.

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