The Greek architect Zenodorus designed the statue and began construction between A.D. 64 and 68. The statue was placed just outside the main palace entrance at the terminus of the Via Appia in a large atrium of porticoes that divided the city from the private villa.
Shortly after Nero's death in A.D. 68, the Emperor Vespasian added a sun-ray crown and renamed it Colossus Solis, after the Roman sun god Sol. Around 128, Emperor Hadrian ordered the statue moved from its origin location to just northwest of the Colosseum in order to create space for the Temple of Venus and Roma.
It was relocated again by the architect Decrianus with the use of 24 elephants. Emperor Commodus converted it into a statue of himself as Hercules by replacing the head, but after his death it was restored back to Sol/Nero.
Today, nothing remains of the Colossus of Nero except for the foundations of the pedestal at its second location near the Colosseum. It was possibly destroyed during the Sack of Rome in 410, or toppled in one of a series of fifth-century earthquakes, and its metal scavenged. However, it is also possible that the statue was still standing during the Middle Ages, because a poem by Bede (c. 672–735) says: "As long as the Colossus stands, Rome will stand, when the Colossus falls, Rome will also fall, when Rome falls, so falls the world."
While trying to burn the Grove of Dodona, Nero mentioned that his "wrecking crew" was about to arrive. After Nero's retreat, Sherman Yang detected it making landfall. It was first spotted as Apollo and the freed demigods were flying back to camp on winged Myrmekes.
It attempted in breaking the camp's protective barrier, created by the Athena Parthenos and the Golden Fleece. The campers and Chiron attempted to slow it down, with little visible effect. It succeeded in breaking the barrier, and destroyed the Dining Pavilion and the Demeter Cabin before Percy and Mrs O'Learey shadow-traveled on top of its head and distracted it out to sea.
On a chariot pulled by Pegasi, Apollo, Kayla & Austin tries to retrieve arrows from the automaton's armpit and neck. They succeeded in retrieving some arrows, which Apollo attempts to enchant. Apollo was able to enchant the arrow with hay-fever, causing his children to fall ill and crash the chariot.
Using Chiron's Bow, Apollo shoots his arrow into the statue's earhole. It nearly misses, but a gust of wind (possibly the West Wind) redirected it and found it's mark. The arrow inflicts sickness to the statue's life-force, causing it to sneeze repeatedly before its neck- damaged by the camper's arrows- broke, launching the head. It's body crashed into the sea, where whales hauled the body to Poseidon's Palace to be reused as a statue of Poseidon.
It was described as having based on both Apollo and Nero's image; having a halo of spikes representing the sun's rays and Nero's "neck-beard", it was replica of their own magnificence, gleaming in the late afternoon light. It was a hundred-foot-tall and carried a blade the size of a stealth bomber fixed to a fifty-foot-long pole. It was powered by harnessed nature spirits.
- It was made by Nero's successors into a statue of the sun god Apollo and the emperor to show off Nero's divinity.