years later its citizens revolted and expelled the Macedonians. Rhodes’s power and wealth reached a zenith in the second and third centuries b.c., and it became a famous cultural center. One badge of that political unity and artistic eminence was the Colossus, built to commemorate the raising of the Antigonid Macedonian Demetrios Poliorcetes’ long siege (305–304 b.c.). The metal for the statue was taken from the siege machines abandoned by the invaders when they withdrew. It is said that the dedicatory inscription read, “To you, O Sun, the people of Dorian Rhodes set up this bronze statue reaching to Olympus when they had pacified the waves of war and crowned their city with the spoils taken from the enemy. Not only over the seas but also on land did they kindle the lovely torch of freedom.”

A violent earthquake struck Rhodes about 225 b.c. The city was extensively damaged, and the Colossus, broken at the knee, crashed down. Ptolemy III of Egypt offered to meet the restoration costs, but when an oracle warned them against rebuilding, the Rhodians declined. It is ironic that the Colossus was actually lying in ruins when it was accorded a place among the wonders of the world. In a.d. 654 the Arabs invaded Rhodes, and two years later a Muslim dealer—some sources say a Syrian Jew—bought the fragments of the statue as scrap metal and carried them away to be melted down. Tradition has it that they were transported to Syria by a caravan of 900 camels.

In December 1999 the Municipal Council of Rhodes announced an international design competition for a new Colossus. As the island’s millennium project, the monument will encompass “modern artistic expression and technical construction that will surpass conventional standards [while borrowing] all the ancient symbolic values of the original.” Expected to cost U.S.$2.8 million, it is, intended to be finished in time for the Athens Olympic Games in 2004.

Further reading

Clayton, Peter, and Martin Price. 1988. The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. London: Routledge.

Cox, Reg, and Neil Morris. 1996. The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Parsippany, NJ: Silver Burdett.

Confederation Bridge, Prince Edward Island


The 8-mile-long (12.9-kilometer) Confederation Bridge, which crosses the Northumberland Strait between Jourimain Island, New Brunswick, and Borden-Carleton on Prince Edward Island, is the longest bridge over ice-covered water in the world. Its daring conception, the quality of its engineering, and the logistics of its realization are among the factors that make it one of the great constructional feats of the twentieth century. The project is also environmentally, politically, and culturally significant.

Prince Edward Island, on Canada’s Atlantic coast, is the nation’s smallest province, with a population of around 130,000. It lies in the Gulf of St. Lawrence at an average of 15 miles (24 kilometers) across the strait from mainland New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The strait freezes for up to three months every year, and links with the island historically were expensive, freight and passengers having to be moved by ferry. In 1912 the Canadian government decided to build a railcar ferry to run between Borden-Carleton and Cape Tormentine, New Brunswick, and the Prince Edward Irland was commissioned in 1917. In the first year she made only 506 round-trips. In 1938, as a response to wider automobile ownership, a car deck was added, and the vessel continued to operate until 1969. The subsequent decades saw improvements to the service, and new ferries now make the seventy-five-minute crossing at hour-and-a-half intervals. Prince Edward Island has become a vacation resort and by the beginning of the 1990s tourism had joined commercial fishing and agriculture as a mainstay of its economy.

Between 1982 and 1986 several consortia approached Public Works Canada (PWC) with proposals for a privately financed permanent link between the island and the mainland. Three were for bridges (the first estimated at Can$640 million), one for a tunnel, and another for a combined causeway-tunnel-bridge link. In December 1986, the central government instructed PWC to commission feasibility studies of fixed-link alternatives. By June 1987 twelve expressions of interest were in hand, and the acceptance of Strait Crossing’s proposal was announced in