Below are five less known facts about the Colossus of
1. One of the
Seven Wonders of the World, the Colossus stood at the entrance to the harbor of
the Mediterranean island of Rhodes. At about 33 meters high, construction took
12 years and was finished in 282 BC. The base was made of white marble, and the
body was made of bronze, fortified with iron and stone.
Rhodes city-states - Ialysos, Kamiros, and Lindos - had united in 408 BC.
In 305 BC, the Antigonids of Macedonia besieged Rhodes, trying to break its alliance with Egypt,
but they failed to enter the city. When they withdrew, the jubilant Rhodians sold military equipment left behind
to fund a huge statue of their sun god, Helios - the Colossus.
3. During a strong earthquake in about 226
BC, the Colossus broke at the knee and toppled. Ptolemy III Eurgetes of Egypt, offered to pay for restoration, but
an oracle had forbidden a re-erection.
4. The statue lay in ruins until 654 AD, when
the Arabs invaded Rhodes, broke up the Colossus' remains and sold them to a Jew from Syria. Legend has it that it
took 900 camels to transport the fragments to Syria.
5. The Colossus, which symbolizes freedom,
inspired French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi to create New York's Statue of Liberty, to commemorate the
100th anniversary of American independence.