The Colossus of Rhodes

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Part 2: The Huge Statue

The result was the Colossus, a giant iron and bronze statue that measured 110 feet high and stood on a 50-foot-high pedestal. Inside were stone columns that helped keep the statue upright.

Historians think that construction began in 304 B.C. and that it took 12 years to build the statue. Some archaeologists also think that the statue was building using ramps, in much the same way that the Egyptian Pyramids might have been built.

The Colossus was made by a man named Chares, whose teacher had built a 60-foot-high statue of Zeus. Historians tell us that Chares started out by making a model of the statue, then working his way up to larger versions.

It stood proudly at the entrance to Rhodes harbor for 56 years, until an earthquake broke it into pieces. For hundreds of years after that, the pieces lay where they fell, symbols of the city's former glory.

Sometime in the 600s A.D., Arabs conquered Rhodes and broke up the statue's pieces. Stories of the time say that it took 900 camels to cart away all the stone, iron, and bronze that once made up the Colossus of Rhodes.

First page > The Story Behind the Statue > Page 1, 2

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David White