or rather Zeus (1 syl.) A statue by Phidias, and reckoned one of the “Seven Wonders of the World.” Pausanias (vii. 2) says when the sculptor placed it in the temple at Elis, he prayed the god to indicate whether he was satisfied with it, and immediately a thunderbolt fell on the floor of the temple without doing the slightest harm.
The statue was made of ivory and gold, and though seated on a throne, was 60 feet in height. The left hand rested on a sceptre, and the right palm held a statue of Victory in sond gold. The robes were of gold, and so were the four lions which supported the footstool. The throne was of cedar, embellished with ebony, ivory, gold, and precious stones. (See Minerva.)
It was placed in the temple at Elis B.C. 433, was removed to Constantinople, and perished in the great fire of A.D. 475, It was completed in 4 years, and of course the materials were supplied by the Government of Elis.
The “Homer of Sculptors” died in prison, having been incarcerated on the trumpery charge of having introduced on a shield of one of his statues a portrait of himself.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894