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statue of Zeus at Olympia (everything you need to know)
The Seven Wonders of the World are divided into old and new categories. The statue of Zeus at Olympia is one of the Seven Ancient Wonders. This statue is one of the largest statues in the world, made by a sculptor named Phidias.
Zeus was the ruler of another god. In fact, it can be said that Zeus is the god of the ancient gods. The word Zeus is derived from the Greek word Dios and means radiant. The ancient Greeks believed that Zeus ruled the heavens and the earth. There are also many epic stories about Zeus.
The statue of Zeus, one of the largest statues, was one of the most important statues of Greek gods at the time. This statue is located in a place called Olympia. Olympia is a region 120 km west of Athens, in southwestern Greece. Olympia was the venue for the Olympics at the time.
The story of the construction of this statue dates back to 2500 years ago, at that time Zeus was very important among the people and this led to the decision to build a temple for him. After the temple was built, the statue of Zeus was missing, so another of the Seven Wonders of the World was built. The statue dates back to 435 BC. At that time, a person named Phidias created the statue.
The height of this statue is 12 meters and its width is 4 meters. The main body of this statue is made of ivory and gold has been used to decorate parts of it. In the hands of this statue there is a cane and a symbol of the victorious god. Some people reportedly see a golden eagle next to the statue, while others believe that two lion statues are next to the statue.
The design of the statue of Zeus is such that the head of the statue hits the roof of the temple, experts believe that this was done to magnify as much as possible. The statue is also sitting on a bed, which is also designed for further magnification.
The statue of Zeus was moved by the Greeks to Istanbul, Turkey after 850 years, but after a short time a fire broke out there and the statue of Zeus was destroyed. The exact date of the fire is not known, but some scholars in 475 It is attributed to AD and others say that the fire occurred in 425 AD. Today, no trace of the statue of Zeus remains, but archaeologists have identified its exact location. According to the pictures and paintings of this sculpture, it can be said that its design was completely in the Greek style.
The same method has been used to make this statue that it is made today to make giant sculptures. So that they make a skeleton of metal and build the body of the statue on it. But to make the statue of Zeus Phidias, he made a skeleton out of wood and then made other components of the statue.
After the wooden skeleton was made, it was covered with ivory plates. In fact, the statue of Zeus was empty and was decorated with ivory and gold plates. Phidias erected the statue 150 km west of Athens, at the Temple of Zeus in Olympia, and showed great care in doing so, so that the statue looked quite solid and heavy, and it is now unfortunate that this work It is demolished.
Due to the materials used in this sculpture and due to the humid weather of Olympia, it was necessary to take care of the sculpture constantly. Since this was a difficult task and not everyone could handle it, Phidias himself became the custodian of the statue of Zeus. He lubricated the statue daily with a special oil, probably olive oil, so that the ivory statue would not crack. At the end of the day, these oils were collected in a small pond at the base of the statue.
Although the statue of Zeus was 12 meters high and 6 meters wide, but because it was sitting, its grandeur was doubled in front of the visitors, because everyone who saw the statue said to himself, "If Zeus rises, the temple will surely rise." It will collapse.
In general, this temple is made of limestone, there are 72 columns in the exterior of the temple. 72 gypsum columns built by an architect named Libon, which has doubled the beauty of the temple. Other decorations in this temple include sculptures, paving stones and beautiful stones in it.
After the destruction of the statue of Zeus, the temple of Zeus was also destroyed. The temple was completely destroyed by an earthquake in the region of Olympia in 522 AD, and today only ruins remain.
It was mentioned above that the statue of Zeus was destroyed in the fire, but there are also rumors about this, which we will mention later. Some people believe that the statue was broken and destroyed on the way to Turkey, and others say that the statue caught fire on this route (transfer route) and according to others, the statue did not leave the temple and was destroyed due to the destruction of the temple. Destroyed.
These opinions and beliefs have led to the lack of accurate information about the destruction of the statue of Zeus, but some stories have been more credible than others, which we will mention below:
In the first story, it is stated that this statue was transferred from Olympia to Rome by order of a person named Gaius Caligula Augustus Germanicus, who broke it in the middle of the road. Another story states that in 401 AD, a man named Flavius Theodosius was the Roman emperor who was strongly opposed to idolatry, so he ordered the destruction of all parts of Olympia, including the temple and the statue, after the Olympic Games.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT ZEUS
• The Olympic Games in Olympia were held every four years in honor of Zeus.
• The statue of Athena in Greece is very similar in structure to the statue of Zeus.
One of the reasons that the statue of Zeus needed constant care was its wooden skeleton.
• Special oils were used to polish the statue of Zeus.
• Phidias had a workshop west of the Temple of Zeus that prepared most of the statue.
• Most of the information available about the statue and temple of Zeus is taken from ancient Greek inscriptions and coins.
• According to information, in the right hand of the statue of Zeus was a symbol of victory and in the left hand was his royal scepter.
• The statue was damaged and repaired by an earthquake in 170 BC.
• There was a golden eagle on the side of Zeus' staff.
As mentioned above, Olympia has been the venue for the Olympics. The Greeks at that time used various methods to pay homage to and worship Zeus, and the Olympic Games were one of the most popular celebrations of Zeus. The history of the Olympic celebrations dates back to 776 BC. It is interesting to know that during the Olympic celebrations and the commemoration of Zeus, various affairs of the country and even the war were stopped.