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The Statue of Zeus

Statue of Zeus
One of the greatest Greek sculptures to be ever built was the Statue of Zeus. Built by one of the greatest living sculptors of the time, Phidias, the statue of Zeus at Olympia was a 40-feet colossal wonder. The Greeks used to hold the Olympic games to unify a warring and sectioned society. These games were held in honour of the king of gods, Zeus. The temple of Zeus at Olympia was built around 450 BC.

The statue of Zeus at Olympia was made of Ivory and covered with gold leaf. This majestic statue was seated on a high throne of cedar wood which was inlaid with gold, ivory and ebony. The statue of Zeus was so high that the visitors could see and describe the throne more easily than the statue itself. The statue held a smaller statue of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, in its right hand. In the left hand was a scepter above which an eagle perched.

The statue of Zeus was constructed by Phidias in a special workshop built to the west of the temple and which was excavated in the middle of the twentieth century.

The lord of thunder and lightning, Zeus, was housed in a majestic temple built solely for his worship. But as with all things time-bound, the temple too fell a prey to the ravages of time. It began with a fire in 5 th century AD, in which, it was widely believed that the statue was destroyed. Other accounts say that the statue of Zeus was taken away to a city in Turkey where it was kept to save it from pillagers but eventually got burnt in a temple fire. Whatever be the truth of the destruction of the statue one thing all accounts agree with is the majesty and splendour of the statue that was unrivalled in its size and beauty in the ancient world.

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