Alexander the Great conquered many places, including
the Mediterranean Island of Rhodes, which was part of ancient
quite young from an insect bite around 300 BCE. His three generals
split up his empire. All wanted the island of Rhodes. Rhodes was
situated perfectly to be a crossroads of trade.
The people of
Rhodes supported General Ptolemy. Unfortunately, although the general
was successful in taking over Egypt, most of Greece was conquered by
another general. This general was angry that the people in Rhodes had
not supported him. He sent his son to level the city. His son was not
successful. General Ptolemy sent an army from Egypt to lend the
townspeople a hand. Together, they drove the enemy army away.
With joy, the
townspeople used the armor and war machinery left behind. They melted
down the bronze, and used it to build a giant statue of their patron
god, Helios, to thank Helios for helping them save their city.
The statue was
110 feet high and stood on a 50 foot base. Each morning, the sun
glittered off the bronze plates that covered the statue. It must have
been quite a sight! It only took about 15 years to build this
incredible statue, and the materials mostly were free!
Only 56 years
after the statue was built, it was toppled by an earthquake. Most of
the pieces fell into the harbor. The statue's thumb was accessible.
Many people traveled to see the statue's thumb and to try and put
their arms around it. The thumb was bigger than than their arms could
The king of
Egypt offered the people of Rhodes money to rebuild the statue. But
the townspeople said no. They were afraid their god Helios had tossed
the statue down in a fit of anger. They decided to leave the statue
exactly as their god had placed it.
later, around 600 CE, Arab traders finally removed the remains of the
Colossus to use as scrap metal. Legend says ... it took 900 camels to
ferry the pieces home.
wonder inspired other artists throughout time. A French sculptor based
one of his most famous work of arts on the Colossus of Rhodes. That
work of art is still in existence today. It's in New York City. It is
called The Statue of Liberty!
Colossus of Rhodes in PowerPoint format (pppst)
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