A large bronze statue of the Roman Emperor Nero
, commissioned by Nero himself, and erected in the vestibule of the Domus Aurea
, on the summit of the Velia
. A Greek named Zenodorus
built the colossus, which stood nearly 120 feet high. The Romans called it Colossus Neronis.
After Nero's death the head was regularly knocked off and alternately replaced by the heads of other emperors, until Vespasian
had the statue altered as an embodiment of a sun god. In 128 A.D. Hadrian
had the colossus moved to the Amphitheatrum Flavium, or Flavian Amphitheater
, in order to make room for a temple to Venus Felix
. Henceforth the Amphitheater would be known as the Colosseum
. The emperor Commodus
, with a rigorous vanity rivaling that of Nero
, converted the colossus into a statue of himself as Hercules
. Upon his death it was restored to its previous personification of a sun god
The square tiled travertine pedestal built by Hadrian that stands in front of the Colosseum is presently the only remnant of the Colossus of Nero.