What Happened To The Statue Of Zeus At Olympia

It was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
While the entries have varied over the centuries, the seven traditional wonders are the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Colossus of Rhodes, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Temple of Artemis, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

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. The statue was lost and destroyed during the 5th century AD; details of its form are known only from ancient Greek descriptions and representations on coins.

Though the 40-foot statue of Zeus lorded over the Olympic Games for 800 years, it somehow vanished from history.

As one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the statue of Zeus at Olympia once stunned any who laid eyes on it. The 40-foot statue of the Greek god of gods, Zeus, used to grace the temple inside the sanctuary of Olympia on the Greek Peloponnese Peninsula for over 800 years — until it was destroyed.

Indeed, the statue — once made from ebony and precious stones in addition to gold and ivory — no longer exists today. Historians are not completely sure about what happened to it, but there are a number of theories.

Statue of Zeus, at Olympia, Greece, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The statue was one of two masterpieces by the Greek sculptor Phidias (the other being the statue of Athena in the Parthenon) and was placed in the huge Temple of Zeus at Olympia in western Greece. The statue, almost 12 m (40 feet) high and plated with gold and ivory, represented the god sitting on an elaborate cedarwood throne ornamented with ebony, ivory, gold, and precious stones. On his outstretched right hand was a statue of Nike (Victory), and in the god’s left hand was a …(100 of 179 words)

Phidias: The Divine Sculptor

For the ancient Greeks, there was no greater sculptor than Phidias (beginning of the 5th century – c. 430 BCE). He was the one who oversaw the construction program of the Athenian Acropolis and created the Parthenon’s large chryselephantine (gold and ivory) statue of Athena. In fact, he was the first sculptor ever to dare represent the gods with gold and ivory.


Does the Statue of Zeus at Olympia still exist?

Unfortunately, the statue no longer exists. After the Olympic games were banned in 391 C.E. by the emperor Theodosius I as Pagan practices, the temple of Zeus (where the statue was housed) was ordered closed.

How was the statue of Zeus at Olympia destroyed?

According to some sources, the statue of Olympia’s ruler was destroyed when Emperor Theodosius II banned the games in 426 and closed the temple. Other sources allege that the statue was dismantled and transported to Constantinople, where it was reportedly burned.

Why was the statue of Zeus moved?

The next humiliation was having its gold components stolen by Roman Emperor Constantine I. Finally, in 395 CE, the statue of Zeus was relocated to Constantinople, where the Zeus sculpture and the temple were destroyed by an earthquake in the 6th century CE.

Who destroyed the temple of Zeus in Olympia?

In the 5th Century AD Theodosius II enforced a ban on pagan festivals, which included the destruction and abandonment of the Temple. A century later the remains of the Temple were completely destroyed by two Earthquakes.

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