Colossus Rhodes, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world,
the Colossus Rhodes was a giant statue of Helios, the Rhodian patron god, 33 meters tall and was often said to have stood with its feet apart on either side of the harbour mouth. The fanciful conjecture is now disputed as it would have been impossible, the entrance to the harbour was approximately 400 meters wide. It is known that in antiquity the Rhodians were not involved in the quarrels of the other Greek city-states. Although Rhodes island sought to safeguard its independence and pursure its commercial activities undisturbed it was qonquered many times. During the wars of Diadochi, a conflict between the successors of Alexander the Great, in the late fourth centry BC Rhodes was beseged by Demetrius Poliorcetes, son of Antigonus I Monopthalmus. After one year of siege a relief force sent by Ptolemy I Soter arrived enabling the Rhodians to rout the besiegers, forcing them to flee leaving behind much of the siege equipment. To celebrate their victory sold the spoils and with the money raised they erected a stunning statue in honour of their patron gof Helios. According to the Roman natural philosopher Pliny the elder, the bronze statue was designed by the sculptor Chares, a native of Lindos, and its construction lasted 12 years, being finally completed in 282 BC. The bronze coating was fixed onto an iron frame and as it was hollow inside, the workers placed heavy stones in the legs in order to ensure the staue’s stability. For a long time after its completion visitors to the island were greeted by the imposing statue. Fifty six years later, in 226 BC, a major earthquake hit Rhodes, snapping the statue’s knees, toppling over the Colossus which fell on to dry land. Ptolemy III Euergetes offer to pay for its reconstruction, but a prophecy by the oracle of Delphi frightened the Rhodians into believing that they had offended Helios, so they chose not to rebuild it, leaving it lying on the ground for some 900 years. In 654 AD a Syrian prince captured Rhodes and the Colossus brass plate were said to have been among loot sent back to Syria. These were apparently sold to a merchant who very probably melted these down to make coins.