Statue of Zeus

Statue of Zeus

The Statue of Zeus at Olympia was a giant seated figure; about 42ft (13 m) tall, built by Greek Sculptor Phidias in around 435BC in Olympia, Greece and erected in the Temple of Zeus


Sculptor is made out of Ivory, Gold, Wood and precious Gems.


It was the biggest statue, Greeks have ever realized and is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.


Destructed by a fire during the 5th century AD.


Nothing has ever been found.


Coin from Elis district in southern Greece and Roman coins, illustrate the Olympian Zeus statue.

Zeus on Coin Zeus on Coin

How it Looked???

It seems that if Zeus were to stand up


In the 2nd century AD, on his visit to Statue, Pausanias said that the statue was Crowned with a sculpted Wreath of olive sprays.
Zeus was wearing Gold Sandals, and a Golden robe carved with Animals and lilies.
In his Right hand, was a small Chryselephantine statue of crowned Nike, goddess of victory.
In Left hand, he held a Sceptre inlaid with many metals, supporting an Eagle.
The Throne was decorated in Gold, precious Stones, Ebony, and Ivory.

Loss and destruction

The circumstances of the statue’s eventual destruction are unknown, but 11th century Byzantine historian, Georgios Kedrenos records a tradition that it was carried off to Constantinople, where it was destroyed in the great fire of the Lauseion.

Phidias’ workshop

The workshop of Phidias was found in 1958 and believed to be the same workshop where the Statue of Zeus was constructed. Archaeologists also found tools for working on Gold, Ivory, Ivory chippings, Precious stones and Terracotta moulds.

Phidias' Tools Phidias Workshop

Why Built???

A possible reason is to honor god Zeus.


The first archaeological work on the Olympia site was done by a French group in 1829 and the phase of work was done by Germany from 1875 to 5 summers.


In 97 A.D, a visitor Dio Crysostomos declared the image was so powerful that, “If a man, with a heavy heart from grief and sorrow in life, will stand in front of the statue, he will forget all.”

The Greek traveler Pausanias, recorded that when the statue was finally completed, Pheidias asked Zeus for a sign that the work was to his liking so the god replied by touching the temple with a thunderbolt that did no damage.

The feeling, Temple gave in its time was probably very much like the Lincoln Memorial or Jefferson Memorial.

Jefferson Memorial Temple of Zeus Lincoln's Memorial

The workshop of Phidias was discovered beneath an early Christian Church.

It took Phidias 12years, to complete the statue of Zeus

Zeus was considered to be the ‘Father of gods and men‘ and was the King of all the other gods.

The sculptor Phidias had previously created a similar sized statue of the goddess Athena in Athens.

The size of the Statue of Zeus was so large that if Zeus stood up he would have put his head through the roof of the temple.

All the details of the Statue today are taken from depictions on coins and ancient Greek descriptions.

Olive oil was applied to the statue regularly to keep the wood from deteriorating and Ivory from cracking.

The statue was damaged by an earthquake in 170 BC but it was repaired.

Another theory states that the statue was still in its original place in the Olympic Temple in 425 A.D when it burned down.

According to the architect, Libon, the Statue was as tall as a modern 4 story building

The Statue, today can be seen nowhere but the remains of the Temple of Zeus have survived and as a matter of fact, Something is Better Than Nothing, we can visit the temple and can feel the Statue so why you delaying??

Temple of Zeus

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