Colossus of Rhodes

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Colossus of Rhodes (kəlŏs´əs), large statue of Helios, the sun god, destroyed by an earthquake in antiquity. Consider one of the Seven Wonders of the World by the ancients, it was built in part by Chares of Lindus (Rhodes) between 292 and 280 BC Its bronze was taken from the machines and tools left behind by Demetrius I after his unsuccessful siege of Rhodes. According to legend, the 100 ft (30.5 m) statue stood astride the harbor and ships passed between its legs. In reality, it stood on a promontory overlooking the harbor, and the representational type is well known from images on coins of the same period.

Colossi also existed elsewhere in the ancient world. In Egypt, for example, there were many colossuses, 50 to 60 ft (15.2 to 18.3 m) high. The Athena Parthenos on the Acropolis at Athens and the Zeus in the temple at Olympia in Greece were other examples. In Japan, the word daibutsu describes colossal statues of Buddha, usually over 16 ft (5 m) in height. The most notable are those at Nara, Kamakura, and Kyoto. Of two colossal figures of Jesus in South America, one is at Rio de Janeiro, and the other, the Christ of the Andes, on the boundary between Argentina and Chile. An example of a modern colossus is the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor.

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colossus a person or thing of enormous size, importance or ability; the word in this sense is recorded from the early 17th century, and derives from the Colossus of Rhodes.

Colossus was the name given to the electronic digital computer, one of the first of its kind, which was developed at Bletchley Park in the Second World War to break German codes, the use of which was said to have shortened the war by two years.
Colossus of Rhodes a huge bronze statue of the sun god Helios, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Built c.292–280 bc, it stood beside the harbour entrance at Rhodes for about fifty years. Colossus comes via Latin from Greek kolossos, applied by Herodotus to the statues of Egyptian temples.

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co·los·sus / kəˈläsəs/ • n. (pl. -los·si / -ˈläsˌī/ or -los·sus·es) a statue that is much bigger than life size. ∎ fig. a person or thing of enormous size, importance, or ability. ORIGIN: late Middle English: via Latin from Greek kolossos (applied by Herodotus to the statues of Egyptian temples).

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Colossus An electronic special-purpose digital “computer” that was built in great secrecy by the Post Office Research Station in London and began useful work at the government establishment at Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire, in late 1943. It contained 1500 vacuum tubes (valves) and could operate at high speed. The strategy or “program” was controlled from patchboards and switches. The faster Mark II machines, operating by mid-1944, contained 2500 tubes. Both versions were used for code-breaking purposes during World War II.

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Colossus of Rhodes One of the Seven Wonders of the World, a bronze statue of the Sun god overlooking the harbour at Rhodes. It stood more than 30.5m (100ft) high. It was built, at least in part, by Chares of Lindos between c.292 bc and c.280 bc, and destroyed by an earthquake c.224 bc.

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colossus gigantic statue, e.g. that at Rhodes. XIV. — L. colossus — Gr. kolossós.
So colossal XVIII. — F.