Statue of Zeus at Olympia

One of the seven ancient wonders of the world, the statue of Zeus, was the ancient Greek sculptor of Phidias. Phidias was also responsible for the impressive statue of Athena in the Parthenon, as well as several other smaller sculptures at Plataea and Marathon. From the Temple of Zeus in Olympia Greece, created by the architect Libon, was magnificently in itself. It was built to honour Zeus and serve as a more fitting location for the Olympic Games, which had been held previously in the Peloponnese. The temple was as high as a four building is today but was determined, nor be too easy for the King of the gods and thus Phidias was commissioned to build the statue of Zeus. The statue of Zeus was was created in the workshop of Phidias piece by piece and c. 456 BC completed and assembled in the Temple of Zeus.


The statue of Zeus was a chryselephantine sculpture, which overwhelmed all the temples. Thin sheets of ivory to a wooden frame carve the method for the production involved a chryselephantine sculpture. The ivory is then gold leaf to the appearance of hair, armor, etc. with accent. Sometimes, gemstones are used precious or semi-precious stones for eyes, weapons and jewellery.


Zeus, who was God of Thunder, sitting on a throne inlaid with ivory, gold, ebony and gemstone Cedar represented. Dual engraved Sphinxes supports the armrests. Pausanias, a traveller 2 was the statue of Zeus with olive shoots worked embellished in gold. In Zeus right hand rested a miniature statue of the goddess of victory Nike. The small statue of Nike was is also in the nature. A gold sceptre inlaid with an eagle on it was Zeus left hand. The head of the statue of Zeus touched almost to the ceiling of the temple which was little more than forty meters increased. Strabo, a well-known geographer, explains that when the legendary Zeus "he the temple would unroof." Indication of the approval of the statue of the Zeus himself requested Phidias and legend has it that lightening struck the temple shortly after the statue was completed.


The statue of Zeus withstood attacks by nature and competitors for many years. Caligula, Roman Emperor, attempted that have removed the statue of Zeus from the temple and moved to Rome. Caligula, Roman Emperor, was jealous of the statue obvious influence on his new oppressed people. He ordered the statue of Zeus in the Temple in Olympia away and moved to Rome, where he intended to transform the statue in his own image. The contractor is arrived and tried the statue but remove the skeleton, which had built the statue, shook and broke apart. Who says legend, that the incident a sound was accompanied, the laughing as sound. The contractor fled.


The statue of Zeus remained, continuing earthquakes and other attacks by mother nature, eight centuries later when the Roman Emperor closed the temple at the urging of Christian priests. It is generally believed that the statue of Zeus was taken apart and pulled out in your new home in Constantinople in A.D. 394. It was destroyed in the great fire of Lauseion A.D. 462. During the archaeological excavations in the 19th and 20th century, only a few columns, together with evidence of Phidias ' workshop at the place where the statue of Zeus was said built have been excavated. These few elements are the only remaining evidence of this magnificent monument to this day.



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