The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World were a gathering of noteworthy developments recorded by different Greek authors, including Antipater of Sidon and Philo of Byzantium. The excellent rundown included seven wonders situated in the Eastern Mediterranean (Clayton & Prince 5). The seven wonders included the Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Greece, the Colossus of Rhodes and the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus. They also included the Hanging Gardens of Babylon as well as the Lighthouse of Alexandria, Egypt (Garden 2). The seven wonders were initially referred to as the themeata by Philo of Byzantium in 225 BCE. These works of art and architecture served as a testament to the imagination and ingenuity of which human beings are capable. They were a reminder of the capacity of people for disagreement, embellishment, and destruction. Although not entirely mythological, the seven wonders were linked with various Greek myths and heroes of the Greek mythology, and they became the grounds for different legends. These wonders were splendid constructions worthy of prevalence. According to Clayton and Prince (7), the original list of the seven wonders got lost. Hence, this paper will discuss four of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World with a focus on their meaning, the people who commissioned them, how they were built, their location, the year each of them was constructed, the reason it is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and what happened to it.
Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
This temple was reckoned by Antipater of Sidon who was a Greek poet and it is considered the most outstanding among the seven wonders. The temple stood as a colony to the Greece, and it took more than 120 years to construct and just a night to be destroyed (Clayton & Prince 4). The temple was 425 feet high, 225 feet wide and it was completed in 550BCE. It was supported by 127 60 foot, and the sponsors of its construction were King Croesus of Lydia, a very wealthy king that did not spare any expense in building the temple.
The temple became so magnificent and all the accounts concerning the temple are written in the same tone that agrees with each other that it was the most unusual structure that human beings ever constructed (Garden 2). Unfortunately, on July 21 356 BCE, a selfish man who wanted fame set the temple on fire. The Ephesians agreed that his name would never be recorded nor remembered. The night of the burning of the temple was the day which Alexander the Great was brought to the world, and later, he offered to rebuild the temple that was destructed, but the Ephesians turned down the offer. After the death of Alexander, the temple was reconstructed and destroyed again by the Goths. It was rebuilt again and destroyed entirely by a Christian mob that was led by John Chrysostom in 401 CE. The temple was a wonder since it was built to honor Artemis, one of the goddesses of Olympus and currently it is near Selcuk, Turkey
Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
It was the tomb of the Persian Satrap Mausolus and was constructed to honor and store the remains of Mausolus of Caria. The construction took place under the orders of Artemesia who was Mausoluss wife, and it was constructed in the capital city of what is known today as Turkey. The structure was built in 353 BCE with Artemesias objective of coming up with a town that would have unmatched beauty in the world. Mausoleum was a regional governor of the Persians after the death of his father in 377 BCE (Clayton & Prince 9). He was a ruler who was possessed with expansion, and he moved the first capital city from Mysala to Halicarnassus. It is considered a wonder of the ancient world because it distances itself by great value and beauty it had. The ornaments of the sanctuary were discovered by a famous artist of its era. After 1,800 years the Mausoleum was destroyed by earthquakes which occurred in the 15th century. During this time, most of the materials used in building the Mausoleum was taken away and used to construct other structures, specifically a Crusader fortress that was held by the Knights of St. Johns and the sculptures moved into the fort to be utilized as decorations (Clayton & Prince 12).
Hanging Gardens of Babylon
The Gardens of Babylon were constructed by Nebuchadnezzar II between 605-562 BCE, and he built the garden as a gift to his wife. The ancient author who discovered it is Diodorus Siculus as self-watering planes full of exotic fauna and flora that had a height of 75 feet across a series of climbing terraces.
According to Gardens (2), the reason why the Gardens of Babylon were created is that Nebuchadnezzar II wife; Amtis of Media had missed her hometown due to its richness in mountains and flowers. Hence, the king and the king instructed that his servants come up with a customized mountain in Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar II had married Amtis purposefully for political ambitions. Thus, an elaborated garden was put up to replace her lush homeland and cheer her up. The Garden had an exclusive design that had a garden made up of simulated mountain with rooftops gardens supported by baked bricks columns (Clayton & Prince 2). Though there are reports that the Hanging Garden of Babylon never existed since it is not mentioned in the history of Babylon, the Garden is a wonder because the grandeur of the sight of the Gardens has been awe-inspiring like the other wonders. Hence, it would be the reason why Herodotus considered them among the wonders of the ancient world. The Gardens were brought down by a massive earthquake in the 1st century (Clayton & Prince 2).
To sum up, the Seven Wonders of the World were created after Alexander the Great was conquered. Many travelers from the mainland of Greek got access to the ancient civilizations of the Persians, Egyptians, and the Babylonians. These travelers were carried away by the scenery and marvels of the lands they visited, and they came to a consensus that they will list the things they saw so that they can remember which land was worthiest easier. And in Greek, the marvels were referred to as theamata. The exceptional work of architecture and sculpture emerged in the Classical Antiquity era as a combined work of Antipater. There has been another script attributed to Herodotus a historian, Callimachus of Cyrene an architect and Philo of Byzantium who was an engineer. The list may be highly biased to boost the achievements of arts in Greece and their sculpture according to some historians especially since these wonders came from the native of ancient Greece. However, it is not yet sure that some of the wonders such as Hanging Gardens of Babylon was real.
Statue of Zeus at Olympia
The Statue of Zeus at Olympia was built in the 15th century BCE by the immense Greek stone worker and an exceptional artist of the ancient world in the fifth century BCE. It was situated on the shoreline of Greece in Olympia, a city that was a position of a clique which had different fortunes owned by Greek craftsmanship: sanctuaries, landmarks, sacrificial stones and bronze votive offerings.
The image portrayed god Zeus based on his position of authority, his skin of ivory and robes of pounded gold that was 40 feet tall, intended to motivate admirers who went to the Temple of Zeus at Olympia (Barringer 212). Everyone was not happy with the statue but despite the fact that the sanctuary itself is expansive, the Strabo an author was censured for not having valued the statue. He demonstrated Zeus put, yet with its head practically reaching the roof for the people to believe that if Zeus was to stand up, he could unroof the sanctuary. The Temple at Olympia was destructed after the ascent of the religion of Christianity, as well as the restriction of Olympic activities as a ritual for pagans and the statue, was moved to Constantinople. The Statue was a wonder because the work continued to be a statue of the god where people paid tribute to as it was where antiquated Olympic Games were made (Barringer 217). They occurred at regular intervals and were the most popular outdated four recreations amid where Greeks were included. Tragically, the statue was annihilated amid the fire that assaulted the sanctuary in 462. Currently, just stone vestiges that were utilized for the development of the temple remain (Barringer 222).
Barringer, Judith M. "The temple of Zeus at Olympia, heroes, and athletes." Hesperia 74.2 (2005): 211-241.
Clayton, Peter A., and Martin J. Price. Seven Wonders Ancient World. Routledge, 2013.
Gardens, Hanging. "Seven Wonders of the Ancient World." (2014).
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