Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Statue of Zeus at Olympia

This is the statue of god in whose honor 1st ever-Olympic games were held in the history of mankind. This statue of Zeus was located on the land name Olympia which given its very name to Olympics.

Its located on the west coast of modern Greece in the ancient town of Olympia almost 150km west of Athens.

There is opinion that the ancient Greek calendar starts in 776 BC the year in which Olympic games were started. The splendid temple of Zeus was built around 450BC and the architect Libon designed it and the Athenian sculptor Pheidias made statue of Zeus. He started working on the statue of Zeus around 440 BC. In making of statue wooden frames, metal sheets and ivory was used.

The beauty of temple attracted the people and worshippers from all over the world for years. The statue was repaired in 2 BC skillfully. In the first century AD the Roman emperor Caligula tried to shift the statue to Rome but he failed to shift it because the scaffolding built by workmen was collapsed. The emperor Theodosius I banned the Olympic games in AD 391 as Pagan practices and also the temple of Zeus was ordered closed. Later on Olympia faced the natural disasters like earthquake, landslides and floods, and the temple was damaged by fire in the 5th AD. The rich Greeks transported the statue to Constantinople but it was destroyed in 462AD by massive fire.

Pheidias started working on the statue around 440BC and years earlier he developed a technique to build large size statues of gold and ivory. The workshop of Pheidias still exists in Olympia that can be a co incident that it’s so much identical in size and orientation to the temple of Zeus.

The base of statue was about 6.5 m (20 ft) wide and 1.0 (3 ft) high aside from its base the statue’s height was 13 m (40 ft) according to modern building heights its equal to a 4 story 4- story building.


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