Imaginative picture of the Statue of Zeus, 1572
The Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Greece was designed by Phidias about 432 BC. Phidias built his workshop at Olympia to construct this statue and probably stayed there the rest of his life. The statue was housed in the Temple of Zeus. With the base, it stood seven times larger than life or about 12.40 meters. The face, arms, and feet were made of ivory. The robe, sandals, the beard and hair were made of gold. He wore a silver olive wreath on his head. The throne was made of gold, bronze, ebony, ivory, and gems. It was decorated with scenes from mythology. This Zeus was the kindly Zeus rather than the fierce and powerful Zeus. The Roman emperor Caligula wanted the statue sent to Rome. He planned to take the head off and replace it with an image of his own. The statue does not survive. It was probably shipped to Constantinople about 393 AD and destroyed in a fire there in 475 AD. The statue was one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
- Photinos, Spiros (1982), Olympia, Olympic Publications, Athens: Pan. & Theo. Agridiotis, pp. 39, 42
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