Thursday, 12 July 2012

The Statue of Zeus at Olympia

By Dipankar Maity
The most celebrated creative work in all of Greece and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World the Statue of Zeus at Olympia has created a deep impact on all who have seen it.
Pausanias, a Greek voyager who has written the initial guidebook to olden Greece in 150 AD, explains the statue in vast detail; nevertheless he also writes that reports are far small of the idea made by a sight of the image. To the Greeks the statue of Olympian Zeus was the personified God, and the one who does get an opportunity to see it even once was considered to be ...
Governing over the Gods from his glorious and dignified throne on the top of Mount Olympus, Zeus could see everything, rewarded superior demeanor, penalized wickedness, and ruled all. He was the spreader of thunder and lightning, rain, and storms, and his weapon was the thunderbolt. He was thought to be the defender of towns, the dwellings, unfamiliar persons and supplicants.
Inside this temple the figure of the highest and ultimate God sat upon a meticulously carved cedar wood throne that was ornamented with legendary sights of inferior Gods and heroes made in gold, ebony, and valuable stones. In his left hand Zeus had a scepter made of a multihued alloy of uncommon metals; coroneted with an eagle's head, it represented his rule over the earth. His absolute right hand sustained a full size statue of Nike, the goddess of triumph, and the bench underneath his feet was held by two remarkable gold lions.
Presiding over the Olympic Games
Zeus controlled the Olympic Games, an enormous Pan-Hellenic celebration that took place only once in every four years. Confined by a sacred truce, athletes from cities all through Greece made a trip to Olympia to try and win in the festival's competitions of power, stamina and ability.
Fate of the Statue of Zeus
At its peak in approximately 5th century BC, the Olympic games started drawing crowds of nearly 40,000 from all around the Greek world: Athens, Sparta, Syracuse, Rhodes, and many other cities. The sculpture of Zeus resided over the games until 393 AD. After that it got close down by the Roman Emperor Theodosius I owing to their pagan relations. The fate of the figure is not known today. Theodosius II prepared the demolition of the temples in 426 AD, and the figure may have been corroded then or been taken off to Constantinople, to be misplaced in the great fire that surrounded that city in 475 AD...
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