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Chares

Χάρης), of Lindus in Rhodes, a statuary in bronze, was the favourite pupil of Lysippus, who took the greatest pains with his education, and did not grudge to initiate him into all the secrets of his art.

Chares flourished at the beginning of the third century B. C. (Anon. ad Herenn. 4.6; printed among Cicero's rhetorical works.) He was one of the greatest artists of Rhodes, and indeed he may be considered as the chief founder of the Rhodian school of sculpture. Pliny (Plin. Nat. 34.7. s. 18) mentions among his works a colossal head, which P. Lentulus (the friend of Cicero, cos. B. C. 57) brought to Rome and placed in the Capitol, and which completely threw into the shade another admirable colossal head by Decius which stood beside it. (The apparently unnecessary emendation of Sillig and Thiersch, improbabilis for probabilis, even if adopted, would not alter the general meaning of the sentence, at least with reference to Chares.)

But the chief work of Chares was the statue of the Sun, which, under the name of " The Colossus of Rhodes," was celebrated as one of the seven wonders of the world. Of a hundred colossal statues of the Sun which adorned Rhodes, and any one of which, according to Pliny, would have made famous the place that might possess it, this was much the largest. The accounts of its height differ slightly, but all agree in making it upwards of 105 English feet. Pliny (l.c.), evidently repeating the account of some one who had seen the statue after its fall, if he had not seen it himself, says that few could embrace its thumb ; the fingers were larger than most statues; the hollows within the broken limbs resembled caves ; and inside of it might be seen huge stones, which had been inserted to make it stand firm. It was twelve years in erecting (B. C. . 292-280), and it cost 300 talents. This money was obtained by the sale of the engines of war which Demetrius Poliorcetes presented to the Rhodians after they had compelled him to give up his siege of their city. (B. C. 303.) The colossus stood at the entrance of the harbour of Rhodes. There is no authority for the statement that its legs extended over the mouth of the harbour. It was overthrown and broken to pieces by an earthquake 56 years after its erection. (B. C. 224, Euseb. Chron., and Chron. Pasch. sub Ol. 139. 1; Plb. 5.88, who places the earthquake a little later, in B. C. 218.) Strabo (xiv. p.652) says, that an oracle forbade the Rhodians to restore it. (See also Philo Byzant. de VII Orbis Miraculis, c. iv. p. 15.) The fragments of the colossus remained on the ground 923 years, till they were sold by Moawiyeh, the general of the caliph Othman IV., to a Jew of Emesa, who carried them away on 900 camels. (A. D. 672.) Hence Scaliger calculated Considering the mechanical difficulties both of modelling and of casting so large a statue, the nicety required to fit together the separate pieces in which it must necessarily have been cast, and the skill needed to adjust its proportions, according to the laws of optics, and to adapt the whole style of the composition to its enormous size, we must assign to Chares a high place as an inventor in his art.

There are extant Rhodian coins, bearing the head of the Sun surrounded with rays, probably copied from the statue of Chares or from some of the other colossal statues of the sun at Rhodes. (Eckhel, Doct. Num. ii. pp. 602-3; Rasche, Lex. Univ. Rei Num. s. v. Rhodus, A., b., 11, &c.) There are two epigrams on the colossus in the Greek Anthology.


Further Information

Brunck, Anal. i. p. 143, iii. pp. 198-9; Jacobs, 1.74, 4.166. Respecting these epigrams, and the question whether Laches completed the work which Chares commenced, see Jacobs, Comment. 1.1, pp. 257-8, 3.2, p. 8, and Böttiger, Andeutungen zu 24 Vorträgen über die Archäologie, pp. 199-201.

[P.S]

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