Statue of Zeus at Olympia

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Statue of Zeus
The Greek sculptor Phidias created the 12-m (40-ft) tall Statue of Zeus in about 435 bc. The statue stood in Olympia, and was perhaps the most famous sculpture in ancient Greece. Phidias made the gods robe and ornaments from gold and carved the body out of ivory.

The Statue of Zeus at Olympia carved by the famed Greek sculptor Phidias (5th century BC) in 435 BC, in present-day Greece, was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. In AD 394, it was taken to Constantinople (modern Istanbul) the capital of the Byzantine Empire, where it was probably destroyed in an accidental fire. The seated statue occupied the whole width of the aisle of the temple that was built to house it. According to a contemporary source, it was about 12 metres tall. "It seems that if Zeus were to stand up," the geographer Strabo noted early in the 1st century BC, "he would unroof the temple." Zeus was carved from ivory (technically the ivory was soaked in a liquid that made it more malleable, so the ivory was shaped rather than carved) and was seated on a magnificent throne made of cedarwood and inlaid with ivory, gold, ebony and precious stones. In Zeus' right hand there was a small statue of Nike, the goddess of victory, and in his left hand a shining sceptre on which an eagle perched. Visitors like the Roman general Aemilius Paulus, the victor over Macedon, were moved to awe by the godlike majesty and splendor that Phidias had captured.

Perhaps the greatest discovery in terms of finding out about this wonder came in 1958 with the finding of the workshop used to create the statue. This led archaeologists to be able to re-create the anatomy of the statue.

da:Zeusstatuen i Olympia de:Zeus-Statue des Phidias el:Άγαλμα του Ολυμπίου Διός es:Estatua de Zeus en Olimpia fr:Statue chryslphantine de Zeus olympien it:Statua di Zeus nl:Beeld van Zeus te Olympia pl:Posąg Zeusa pt:Esttua de Zeus ru:Статуя Зевса на Олимпе ta:ஒலிம்பியாவின் ஸேயுஸ் சிலை

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