|It is sometimes
called "Modern Colossus," but more often called the
Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Liberty is somewhat like Colossus.
Both were built as a celebration of freedom.
Originally, Colossus stood over 2,000 years ago at the Islands of Rhodes. It is located off of the southwestern tip is Asia Minor, where the Agean Sea meets the Mediterranean Sea. The capitol city, Rhodes, was built in 408 B.C.
In 357 B.C the island which was conquered by Mausolus of Halicarnassus (one of the other seven wonders) fell to the Persians in 340 B.C. and was finally captured by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C.
The Statue of Liberty, which is the same size as Colossus, weighs 225 tons! Colossus weighed a little more. Inside the statue were several stone columns, which acted as the main supports.
In the 7th century (A.D.) the Arabs conquered Rhodes and broke up Colossus, and sold it as scrap metal. It took 900 camels to take away the statue. It was a sad ending for what was a majestic work of art.
When Alexander died at an early age people could not decide who would reign. Three people: Ptolemy, Seleucus, and Antigous divided the kingdom between themselves. Antigous sent his son Semetrious to capture and punish Rhodes. The war was very long and painful. The city was protected by a strong wall. The attackers were forced to use siege towers and try to climb over it. Diameters had a second tower built. The second tower stood 150 feet high and 70 feet square at the base. It carried water tanks that were used to fight fires. The tower was mounted on iron wheels, and could be rolled. When Demetrious attacked the city, defenders stopped the machine by flooding a ditch outside the wall and moving the heavy machine in the mud.
To celebrate their freedom, the Rhodians built a giant statue of their patriot God Helious. Colossus was a Latin word, meaning any statue that is larger than life size.
They spelled it "Colossos" but then changed it to "Colossus." Colossus was built in 304 B.C. and it took twelve years to build it. The statue was 110 feet high and stood on the pedestal. Colossus was posed in a traditional Greek manner: nude, wearing a spiky crown, with his eyes shaded from the bright sun with his right hand while holding a cloak over his left hand.
Colossus stood shining in the sun for 56 years. Sadly, an earthquake hit Rhodes, and the statue collapsed. Huge pieces lay in the harbor for a long time. An Egyptian king decided to pay for reconstruction, but the people of Rhodes refused. They had feared that somehow, they had offended Helious who had used the earthquake to tear it down. Out of all of the wonders, Colossus was the one that stood the least amount of time. It stood for only 56 years, but in brief time won fame throughout the entire civilized world.
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