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Colossal Structures…

November 29, 2013

Colossal – definition: extraordinary great in size, extent, or degree; gigantic; huge

As some of you may know, I studied Greek and Roman mythology. This word brought to mind one of the lost wonders of the world. One I learnt about back in the day.

RhodesThe word colossal comes from the Latin – colossus , which in turn comes from the ancient Greek word kolossos, which meant large statue. In particular it referred to firstly the colossus of Rhodes. This statue was gigantic and stood at the entrance to the port of Rhodes. And also the  The Colossus Neronis in Rome, which stood beside the Coliseum as a tribute to the emperor, Nero.

The Colossus of Rhodes was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was constructed to celebrate Rhodes’ victory over the ruler of Cyprus, Antigonus I Monophthalmus. He was unsuccessful in besieging Rhodes in 305 BC. It was an impressive 30 meters (98.4 ft) high, which made it one of the tallest statues of the ancient world. The statue stood until its destruction by an earthquake in 226 BC.  


Another large statue was the Colossus Neronis in Rome. This bronze statue was 30 meters high and represented the Emperor Nero. It stood in the vestibule of his Domus Aurea, an imerial villa complex spanning a large area from the north side of the Palatine Hill, across the Velian ridge and to the Esquiline Hill.  Nero’s successors modified the statue into a representation of the sun god Sol Invictus. It is last mentioned in the 4th century AD. The statue was eventually moved to a spot outside the Flavian Amphitheatre, which (according to one of the more popular theories) became known, by its proximity to the Colossus, as the Colosseum.

Which colossal structure has your vote in the modern world?

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