Colossus of Rhodes

The Colossus of Rhodes
The Colossus of Rhodes

The Colossus of Rhodes – the last of seven wonders of the world created by masters of the Ancient world – existed only half a century. It is a symbol of human arrogance and gratitude, the greatest in every sense work of ancient art about which we almost know nothing authentically.
Enterprising Helios
According to myths, Ancient Greek gods always differed in really human vulnerability. One suffered from physical mutilations, others – from psychological complexes, the third could not be defined in family life in any way. And this with the fact that they remained gods allocated with immortality and power. So there were and good luck Sun – Helios. It would seem, both a face it is fine, and by the father Zeus it is loved, and in the sky feels freely. But here what it did not have – it is residences on the earth. And without it it is impossible for the Olympic gods. Without hesitation, Helios took out on hands a piece of sushi from the sea abyss, having created thus the island to which gave the name Rhodes. Since then inhabitants of the island worshipped Helios, considered it the defender. It is necessary to tell, Helios turned out the patron good. Not only that put the island in the remarkable place of the Aegean Sea – on crossing of maritime trade routes, having provided it thereby prosperity, – and protected from enemies for many years. Thanks to antique historians the description of a siege of the island Demetrius I Poliorket reached up to now.
Unsuccessful siege.
It happened in 305 BC. The broken-up Macedon’s power internal wars tormented. The island Rhodes during that time was controlled by the Egyptian tsar Ptolemaeus – too the offspring of the grand conqueror. But while it dealt with problems on the continent, on the island the forty-thousand army of Demetriya landed. It was not just collected quick gang, but the professional army equipped state-of-the-art. To walls of the capital of Rhodes pulled together a huge number of various obsidional tools. Was especially terrible gel-opolida – an obsidional tower with rams, a flying bridge, catapults and platforms for a landing. Geleopolida upholstered with iron was set in motion by 3400 soldiers. But could not take the city of Demetry. On a legend, Helios, having been indignant with what is created by aggressors on his island, was in all the power before enemy army and blinded soldiers. Historians consider that the reason of success of defenders of the island – in well organized defense. And soon Ptolemaeus’s fleet approached Rhodes, and Demetry hastily retired together with all army, having abandoned the smart obsidional tools. Enterprising citizens of Rhodes, which to attack was simply there is nobody, sold them together with well-known geleopolidy to unknown merchants for money fabulous for those times. And they decided to use the realized sum for a good cause – to thank the heavenly patron. And the Rhodes Colossus was born.
Building of a century.
Rodosets decided to entrust so large-scale project to Hares – the pupil of the sculptor Lysippos famous in those days. The contractor got down to business thoroughly, made the estimate on 500 talents of bronze and 300 talents of iron (respectively, about 13 and 8 tons). Within the next twelve years that there was a construction, inhabitants and guests of the island saw only the growing hill of the earth and the slaves who are scurrying about to and fro. The discontent of customers grew day by day, and many seriously thought that the sculptor wants to deceive all and to disappear with money. But time when Hares declared the work finished came. At night, under favor of the darkness, workers razed the hill to the basis. And in the morning, in the first beams of the sun, to the amazed rodosets the Colossus appeared. It was the 36-meter bronze sculpture representing the naked young man. With a radiant crown on the head and a raincoat in the left hand, it represented Helios – the patron of the island. The polished statue shone on the sun, and the pedestal from white marble made impression of its zero gravity. The colossus if did not soar in air, then just about could come off the earth. Of course, the sculpture was only revetted with bronze. From within it consisted of the clay reinforced by steel rods. Stability gave it three points of support – besides legs the Colossus leaned also on the bronze raincoat so easy in appearance. Thanks to the fact that the young man, tensely peering afar slightly deviated back, the center of gravity was chosen ideally. Hares’s creation by right can be considered as miracle. Nobody to it used similar engineering decisions, but the mankind uses them still – and not only in sculptural business, but also in construction of skyscrapers.
Crash of the Colossus
The message about the Rhodes Colossus was carried promptly. Many specially made a huge way to look at it. The benefit, was visible bronze Helios even from the neighboring islands. But, maybe, because it outstripped the time, its century was short. In 222 BC the destructive earthquake destroyed many monuments of antique civilizations – including the Rhodes Colossus. As soon as the dust which rose after an earthquake settled, the escaped inhabitants of the island saw the prostrate bronze young man lying on the earth at the pedestal. And on a block from white marble remained only huge a foot. Knees of the giant did not sustain loading, and the statue lost balance. Exactly from here the phrase “A colossus on clay legs” went. Repeatedly residents of Rhodes, their compassionate neighbors and governors changing from time to time tried to restore a statue. The Egyptian tsar sent the best sculptors and builders. But everything was vain. It is possible if Hares then was still living, he also thought up how to rescue the creation. The prostrate Colossus lay more than one thousand years. But even in such look it struck with the sizes. The Roman historian Pliny Sr. mentions that only the few could clasp with both hands a statue thumb!
Ashes – to ashes
Over time history began to acquire tales. Everyone, seeing a statue, tried to exaggerate its scale, and those who only heard about it, at all godlessly lied. In the beginning the sizes grew from 36 to 200 meters. Then there was a myth that the Rhodes Colossus over an entrance to harbor, and his legs towered stood on its opposite coast, and between them floated the ships even with the most tall masts. If to consider that width of harbor makes about 400 meters, it is possible to present the sizes of the fictional giant. The highest skyscrapers of the present hardly hold on to this height. History of a prostrate Colossus is sad. In 977 our era Arabs sold a statue to the unknown merchant as scrap metal. That dismembered a colossus, shipped iron and bronze on 900 camels and took away on melting. So from a magnificent sculpture of Helios there was only a mountain of clay which was washed away in the sea by rains, plentiful that year. However, god of the Sun at that time was not worshipped for a long time and to revenge for blasphemy there was nobody. Adherents of new beliefs not especially stood on ceremony with monuments to pagan antiquity. Their principle was: ashes – to ashes. So this sad story also ended. But a few years ago archeologists found something at the bottom of the Aegean Sea, reminding a hand of a giant statue, and just near an entrance to Rhodes harbor. So, maybe, the legend of the Colossus has a continuation, and Helios will return on blessed to them the island?

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.