Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 394: 158-159


Pliny: Natural History

flatum opus erat frangi, opposita columna. itaque magnitudinem propter difficultatemque moliendi1 non attigit eum Fabius Verrucosus, cum Herculem, 41qui est in Capitolio, inde transferret. ante omnes autem in admiratione fuit Solis colossus Rhodi, quem fecerat Chares Lindius, Lysippi supra dicti discipulus. lxx cubitorum altitudinis fuit hoc simulacrum, post lxvi2 annum terrae motu prostratum, sed iacens quoque miraculo est. pauci pollicem eius amplectuntur, maiores sunt digiti quam pleraeque statuae. vasti specus hiant defractis membris; spectantur intus magnae molis saxa, quorum pondere stabiliverat eum constituens. duodecim annis tradunt effectum ccc talentis, quae contigerant ex apparatu regis Demetrii relicto morae taedio 42obsessa3 Rhodo. sunt alii centum numero in eadem urbe colossi minores hoc, sed ubicumque singuli fuissent, nobilitaturi locum, praeterque hos deorum quinque, quos fecit Bryaxis.


Factitavit colossos et Italia. videmus certe Tuscanicum Apollinem in bibliotheca templi Augusti quinquaginta pedum a pollice, dubium aere mirabiliorem an pulchritudine. fecit et Sp. Carvilius Iovem, qui est in Capitolio, victis Samnitibus sacrata



it to shelter it on the side where it was most necessary to break the force of the wind. Accordingly, because of its size, and the difficulty of moving it with great labour, Fabius Verrucosus left it alone when he transferred the Heracles from that place209 b.c. to the Capitol where it now stands. But calling for admiration before all others was the colossal Statuechares. Colossal statue at Rhodes. of the Sun at Rhodes made by Chares of Lindus, the pupil of Lysippus mentioned above. This statue was 105 ft. high; and, 66 years after its erection, was overthrown by an earthquake, butc. 226 b.c. even lying on the ground it is a marvel. Few people can make their arms meet round the thumb of the figure, and the fingers are larger than most statues; and where the limbs have been broken off enormous cavities yawn, while inside are seen great masses of rock with the weight of which the artist steadied it when he erected it. It is recorded that it took twelve years to complete and cost 300 talents, money realized from the engines of war belonging to King Demetriusa which he had abandoned when he got tired of the protracted siege of Rhodes. There305–4 b.c. are a hundred other colossal statues in the same city, which though smaller than this one would have each of them brought fame to any place where it might have stood alone; and besides these there were five colossal statues of gods, made by Bryaxis.

Italy also was fond of making colossal statues,other colossal statues. At all events we see the Tuscanicb Apollo in the library of the Temple of Augustus, 50 ft. in height measuring from the toe; and it is a question whether it is more remarkable for the quality of the bronze or for the beauty of the work. Spurius Carvilius also made the Jupiter that stands in the Capitol,

  • aDemetrius Poliorcetes.
  • bCf. § 34.
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938