Phidias (also Pheidias) was, according to his contemporaries, the most renowned of all Greek sculptors. His greatest masterpieces were completed between c. 465 and 425 BCE. Unfortunately, except through copies, no example of his work has survived. Although little is known of his early life, he rose to prominence during the rule of the statesman, commander, and orator Pericles around 449 BCE in the Golden Age of Athens. Phidias is most famous for his three Athenian monuments to Athena, the virgin Greek goddess of wisdom and war, as well as the statue of Zeus at the Temple of Zeus in Olympia, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Supposedly, his works were so inspiring that people believed he had witnessed the majesty of the gods and revealed it to mankind through his sculptures.

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