Why man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus, and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs and peep about
To find ourselves dishonorable graves.
William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar (I,ii,135–38)
To you, o Sun, the people of Dorian Rhodes set up this bronze statue reaching to Olympus, when they had pacified the waves of war and crowned their city with the spoils taken from the enemy. Not only over the seas but also on land did they kindle the lovely torch of freedom and independence. For to the descendants of Herakles belongs dominion over sea and land.
Dedication inscription for the Colossus of Rhodes (from the Anthologia Graeca 4, 171 H. Beckby, Munich, 1957)
Upper: Colossus of Rhodes, constructed c. 294–282 bc, wood engraving reconstruction by Sidney Barclay, c. 1875.
Lower: Colossus of Rhodes, imagined in a 16th-century engraving by Martin Heemskerck, part of his series of the Seven Wonders of the World.