Alexander the Great conquered much of the known world in the 4th century BC. As a result, visitors from Greece had access to the ancient civilizations of the Egyptians, the Persians, and the Babylonians.
These visitors began to list the various landmarks of these lands. There were several different lists, compiled by various Greeks, but the most well known is the list of Antipater of Sidon, from 140 BC.
The seven wonders were the Lighthouse at Alexandria, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Colossus of Rhodes, the Great Pyramid at Giza, the Statue of Zeus on Mount Olympia, the Tomb of King Mausollus, and the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus.
The Colossus of Rhodes was built nearly 2000 years ago on the lovely Mediterranean island of Rhodes. It was a tribute to their patron god, Helios. The Rhodians believed he had protected from the siege of Demetrios, successor to Alexander the Great.
The statue stood 110 feet tall and took 12 years to build. It stood on a 50 foot marble pedestal at the mouth of the harbor.
Although the statue has been depicted in the past with its legs straddling the harbor mouth, more recent research indicates that it would have looked more like a classic Greek statue. It was nude, wore a spiked crown, and shaded its eyes from the rising sun and carried a cloak over its left arm. See the picture at the right.
Many people have heard of the Colossus of Rhodes but few know of its link to our own Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Liberty was referred to as the "New Colossus", as you can see from the inscription on the dedication plaque.
In the 7th century, the Arabs conquered Rhodes and the statue was broken up into smaller pieces. The tons of bronze were sold off as scrap metal.
A legend says it took 900 camels to carry it away.