Statue of Zeus at Olympia
Time Machine 7 has brought you back to 420 B.C.
and landed you in Olympia, Greece. You are standing in front of a huge temple
with a giant statue in it, but the Statue of Zeus is hidden behind a curtain. A
priest pulls aside the curtain and you catch a glimpse of the statue. You are
almost blinded by the amount of gold it is covered in.
Ms. Panda exclaims excitedly, “This is my
favorite site! Rarely does one actually see the Statue of Zeus except for the
priests. It is a very sacred place!”
In 433 B.C. at Olympia,
Greece, the Statue of Zeus was completed. It left its Greek inhabitants
speechless and many thought that they had seen the real Zeus when they
visited the statue.
In 466-456 B.C., a temple
was built in Olympia. It had gigantic columns and was surrounded by
stone blocks. A few years after the structure was completed, a
well-known sculptor from Athens, Phidias, was elected to design a statue
of Zeus in the temple.
Phidias and other workers first built the skeleton
of the Greek god. Later, they covered it with ivory, for the skin, and
gold for its clothing. Jewels were later added on to give the Statue of
Zeus more significance. The completed statue was 43 feet tall (13
meters). Nowadays, it would have cost ten million dollars to build it!
The statue stood for
another 800 years until Romans banned the Olympic Games and shut down
all Greek temples and monuments. The Statue of Zeus was then sent to
Constantinople where it was demolished in a fire in 462 A.D.
That was the end of the
great Statue of Zeus. Legend has it that Zeus let out such a loud roar
of laughter, that it frightened away a group of workers who were
assigned to move the statue to Rome.
Author: Scarre, Chris
Title: Seventy Wonders of the Ancient World
Place of publication: London, England
Publishing company: Thames & Hudson
Copyright date: © 1999
Author: Ash, Russell
Title: Great Wonders of the World
Place of publication: New York
Publishing company: Dorling Kindersley Publishing Inc.
Copyright date: © 2000
Author: Perrottet, Tony
Date of publication: June 2004
Title of article: Journey to the Seven Wonders
Title of periodical: Smithsonian
Date retrieved: 2/8/08