The Statue of Zeus at Olympia
The 12-m (40-ft) Statue of Zeus (mid-5th
century BC) by the Greek sculptor Phidias was the central feature
of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, Greece.
The Statue of Zeus (circa 450 BC) was a
9-m (30-ft) portrayal of Zeus seated on a throne. Plated with gold
and ivory, it was crafted by Phidias, a Greek sculptor. The statue
was placed in the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, Greece.
It was erected in Olympia, in the Peloponnesus
of Greece, by the great lptor Phidias in the 5th century BC.
The seated figure of Zeus was over forty
feet high ( 12 meters) and dominated most of the interior of the
temple. Zeus was the most powerful of the gods, and many of the
participants of the olympics paid homage to him before the games.
The statue construction began in 440 B.C. by the sculptor, Pheidias.
The project was finally completed around
the years 450 B.C. It was constructed because the Greeks felt the
temple was too plain. The huge statue of Zeus took up almost the
entire interior of the temple. Made entirely of ivory and gold,
The Statue of Zeus was covered with symbols of victory and conquest.
The statue may have been the most magnificent of the Seven Wonders
of the Ancient World.
In the year 391 A.D. the temple in Olympia,
about 150 miles west of Athens, where the statue stood had a very
bad year. Earthquakes, landslides, and floods destroyed the temple.
The only remaining part of the temple are the ruins and the foundation
of the structure. Earlier, however, Zeus was transported to a palace
in Constantinople, now Istanbul, by wealthy Greek men where it was
eventually destroyed by a fire near the fall of the Western Roman
Empire in 462 A.D.