If you have had a look around this website, you will have seen the name Chares in various places. Chares Of Lindos (Χάρης ὁ Λίνδιος in Greek) to be exact. Do you know why? Have you any idea who Chares was and what he achieved? Maybe you do, you just don’t know that you do 🙂
Even if you have never visited Rhodes in Greece before, I think it is safe to say that most people around the world have heard of The Colossus Of Rhodes. Do you agree?
This statue was built and completed in 282 BC. It stood for a period of 66 years before an earthquake hit the island and the statue came down. It was destroyed in 226 BC.
Chares of Lindos was the Greek sculptor behind the construction of The Colossus – One Of The Seven Wonders Of The Ancient World.
Briefly About The Colossus
I have already set aside a section with a lot of information about The Colossus, but I will mention it again briefly here simply due to its importance.
The Colossus was a huge statue that stood at 32 meters in height. It was a depiction of The Sun God Helios. It was made of bronze and was said to have stood at the entrance to Mandraki Harbor in Rhodes Town. The exact construction site for The Colossus has been questioned though.
The statue was built in honor for the victory over the Macedonian forces in 305 BC. Dimitros Poliorkitis, also known as The Besieger, was sent to Rhodes by his father, The King Of Syria to overpower the island.
The Rhodians were able to defeat these forces however, and The Colossus was built as thanks to Helios for their victory.
Watch The Video For More On Chares And His Amazing Colossus
Although the life of Chares in fine detail is hard to come by, it is known that he was born on the island of Rhodes. He was also a student of one of the Classical Greek era Sculptors named Lysippos.
As mentioned above, Chares was responsible for the building of The Colossus Of Rhodes which is said to be the pinnacle of his achievements. But how did things turn out for him in the end?
As time has passed, of course several myths have come to light as to what happened to Chares.
It is said that he did not live to see the completion of his finest work at all.
- One of these myths goes on to say that, during the end phase of the building of The Colossus, an error in its construction was highlighted to him. Because of this, he felt a great shame and possible humiliation. This caused him to take his own life. A little drastic in my opinion, but is it true?
- Another myth goes on to detail the arrangements and fees for building The Colossus. Originally the statue was to be designed to stand at 15 meters tall. Chares quoted the cost of the work to the Rhodian people for this to be put in place. When asked how much it would be to build the statue at 30 meters in height, he simply doubled the price. Double the height, double the price! Unfortunately, Chares went on to construct the Statue at 30 plus meters, but he did not consider the price of the materials to build it to the quoted scale. The scale that was agreed to double the height of the statue, required a lot more money than simply doubling the price. 8 times more money in fact. This led him to face bankruptcy and he took his own life.
It is very clear the Chares was an educated and clever individual. But was he someone to take his own life due to imperfections in his work or a miscalculation?
I would like to think not.
Like I say, over time things start to become myth. Evidence fades away and we are left with legends and tales.
Whatever is said though, his talent cannot be taken away from him. He created work that will be remembered long into the future. He created one of The Seven Wonders Of The Ancient World.
What are your opinions on Chares and his creation?
I would love to know what you think. Just leave me a comment below.
Click From Below To Learn More About Some Important Historical Figures In Rhodes