The fate of the statue of Zeus at Olympia

Stevenson, Tom (2011). The fate of the statue of Zeus at Olympia. In Janette McWilliam, Sonia Puttock, Tom Stevenson and Rashna Taraporewalla (Ed.), The statue of Zeus at Olympia: New approaches (pp. 155-171) Newcastle upon Tyne, England: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

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Author Stevenson, Tom
Title of chapter The fate of the statue of Zeus at Olympia
Title of book The statue of Zeus at Olympia: New approaches
Place of Publication Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Publisher Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Publication Year 2011
Sub-type Research book chapter (original research)
ISBN 1443829218
Editor Janette McWilliam
Sonia Puttock
Tom Stevenson
Rashna Taraporewalla
Chapter number 10
Start page 155
End page 171
Total pages 17
Total chapters 13
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Academic treatments of the Zeus at Olympia have shown little interest in the demise of the great statue. Instead, its fate has most often been discussed in books on the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and a widespread view has gained currency - a view that is well entrenched rather than well founded. According to this popular view, the statue was stripped of its precious materials, perhaps as early as the reign of Constantine; later, following the end of worship at Olympia soon after the Theodosian prohibition of pagan cull in A.D. 391, the Zeus was transported to Constantinople; there it was regrettably destroyed in a massive fire, probably that of A.D. 475. My aim in this paper is to revisit this popular story and to emphasise that its various elements are based on meagre and highly questionable evidence, which is comprised largely of three problematic passages in the works of late authors (reproduced below). This evidence presents numerous interpretive difficulties, and also tends to be read very differently by classical and Byzantine scholars respectively. [Chapter extract]
Q-Index Code B1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Fri, 21 Oct 2011, 19:37:30 EST by Dr Tom Stevenson on behalf of School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry