This page cannot be viewed in frames

Go to page

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

Colossus near Colosseum

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Colossus from the Colosseum
Author: National Geographic magazine, September 2014

The common name Colosseum is not derived from its “colossal size”, but from a huge building nearby (gr. kolossos) a statue of Nero depicted as Helios.

The statue was supposed to be huge and was supposed to be 30 meters high – according to the message of Pliny the Elder1. It was made of bronze and showed Nero in a gesture confirming his authority over the land and the sea. The statue was made by the Greek architect Zenodorus between 64 and 68 CE.

After the death of Nero, the statue was modified to show the Sol – solar deity. Originally, she was in Nero’s “Golden House” vestibule. Later it was moved before the Coliseum.

We do not have certain information about the statue’s subsequent fate. It disappeared or was destroyed, most likely in the 5th century CE, as a result of an earthquake or one of the sieges of Rome. Today, the only remains of the statue are the concrete blocks that once formed the foundation of its marble plinth.

  1. However, Suetonius claims that the statue was 37 meters high.

IMPERIUM ROMANUM needs your support!

If you like the content that I collect on the website and that I share on social media channels I will be grateful for the support. Even the smallest amounts will allow me to pay for further corrections, improvements on the site and pay the server.



Find out more!

Check your curiosity and learn something new about the ancient world of the Romans. By clicking on the link below, you will be redirected to a random entry.

Random curiosity

Random curiosity

Discover secrets of ancient Rome!

If you want to be up to date with newest articles on website and discoveries from the world of ancient Rome, subscribe to the newsletter, which is sent each Saturday.

Subscribe to newsletter!

Subscribe to newsletter

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: