Seven Wonders Of The Ancient World

Seven Wonders Of The Ancient World How many individuals can name the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World? These ancien, man made monuments were compiled into a list considerable in their enormous size or some other unusual quality (Donovan 325). We should not let these legacies be left behind in the past, because each of these Seven Wonders has a story hidden within their ruins, or in one case, within its remains. Picture these architectural structures as I uncover the legends of The Statue of Zeus, the Colossus of Rhodes, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, and the Temple of Artemis. The first full modern version of the list appeared less than four centuries ago in Italy in 1608 (Romer IX). After that the lists varied, sometimes naming ten wonders, but always keeping the honored name of The Seven Wonders of the World (IX).

The listing of these wonders initiated by Greeks and Romans listed memorable things that they thought travelers should see (Donovan 325). The origianl authorship of the list is not completely proven, but it is believed to be composed by Bede and Philo (Romer X). Philo’s list is the most impressive, because of it’s uncomparable text, in length, poetry, and information given (Romer X). At one time, classical writers argued over the true list, but today there is one most commonly used (Virtual Tours 1). Few drawings or sketches exist of the vanished monuments, so archeologists have relied on ancient tales and literary works to get an idea of appearance and history (2).Every one of the seven wonders is connected to the legendary King Alexander (Romer XII). He founded Egyptian Alexandria, the city of Pharos; he stormed Halicarnassus, the city of the Mausoleum; the Rhodian of Colossus was cast in his image; he died in Babylon, the city of the Hanging Gardens, and all of them stood within his shortlived Empire (Romer XII).

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Apart from the Statue of Zeus in the west and the Hanging Gardens in the east, they all lay in the center of the Greek Empire (McLeish 4). In the Fourth Dynasty, built 4600 years ago, the Giza Pyramids came known as the greatest of the Seven Wonders (Grigson 18). These pyramids are the largest of the 70-odd pyramids built (18). The largest of the three Giza Pyramids is the Pyramid of Cheops (18). Its base is 57,000 square feet and has 2,300,000 limestone blocks each weighing two and one-half tons (18). It is made up of a King’s Chamber, Queen’s Chamber, grand gallery, vents, ascending and descending passages, and a Greaves Shaft (Krystek 4).

Cheop’s Pyramid is surrounded by rows of low flat tombs, mastabas, and three small pyramids in which his family and other high officials were buried (Grigson 20). The second pyramid is called the Pyramid of Chephren and the third if the pyramid of Mycerinus (20). These pyramids all have an astonishing accuracy in their construction (18). There is only about eight inches difference between the longest and the shortest baseline and teh four corners make an almost perfect right angle (18). It is believed that the Eyqyptians worked by observing teh stars because all the sides are aligned to face the cardinal points of the compass (18).

Richard Procter, and astronomer, observed hat the descending passage could have b een used to observe transit stars and he grand gallery could have been used to map the sky when on the top (Krystek 3). The pyramid is probably connected with Egyptain sun worship and a pyramid stone, the benben, symbolizes the sun god ( Grigson 20). When the sun’s rays breaks through at exactly the angle of teh Giza Pyramids, the Egyptians regarded that as a stairway to heaven for their kings (20). They believed the body was the spirit’s house and so they want to perserve the body as long as they can (Mc Leish 5). Priests began by removing all the soft parts of the body, such as the brain, lungs, heart, liver, and intestines (5).

A great archeologist, Sir Flanders Petrie, estimated that it took 100,000 men to haul stones and another 4,000 to work on the actual construction (Grigson 20). They used no pulleys, but must have used an incline plane to raise the blocks (20). How the inside of teh pyramid is built is unknown (20). The center of the pyramid is the home of Cheop’s burial chamber (20). Before and after the construction of the Pyramids, Egyptians interned their dead Pharohs and Kings to intricate tombs (Krystek 2). They believed that the body has two separate existances, so all the dead leaders were placed in the tomb along with many treasures the Egyptians believed they would need in the afterlife (2).

This is why the Pyramids were such a hot spot for thieves. Egyptian architects tried designing passageways that could be plugged with immoveable granite rocks, hidden rooms, and decoy chambers, but nothing worked (2). There is almost no exception that each tomb of the Egyptian Kings was plundered (2). The next wonder is the Olympian Zeus. Greeks were very attatched to their gods, perhaps because even though the gods were immortal and had superhuman powers, in every other way they were like mortal men (Grigson 22).

They had feelings, jealousy and rivalries (22). The mightiest of the Greek’s gods was Zeus (22). Zeus was the son of the titans Cranos and Rhea (22). He was regarded as the king and father of gods and men (22). Zeus was married to his sister, Hero, but he had many affairs with other goddesses and mortal woman despite her (22).

The Olympic games were held in honor of Zeus since 776 B.C. at the Plain of Olympia at Pelopomesus (22). At his altar, 100 cattle were sacrificed as the main part of the festival (Mcleish 19). So, the the greeks decided to build a temple in his honor in the fifth century B.C. (Grigson 22).

One of the best Greek sculptors, Phedias, was asked to do it (22). It was built in about 457 B.C and the finished Zeux was a gold and ivory work with the flesh parts carved from ivory and mounted on a wood or stone core (22). The draperies and other ornaments were cast from gold (22). This lavish 40 foot statue had a wreath around his head, holds a figuire of his messenger, Nike, in his right hand, and a sceptor in his left (Ashmawy 1) Zeus was believed to have long hair, a bush beard, and a moustach with long ends (Grigson). Eventually, weathly Greeks moved the statue to a palace in Constantinople, today known as Istanbul, Turkey (Ashmawy 1). Their effort prolonged its life because a fire devastated the Olympia Temple (1). Roamans adopted Zeus and one of the emporers wanted to take the statue to Rome, remove Zeus’ head, and replace it with a statue of his own (1). When they went to get it, they wre driven out of the temple by peals of laughter (1).

Later a sever fire also destroyed the statue in 462 A.D. (1). One of the most beautiful sights of the ancient world was the Hanging Gardens of Babylon (Grigson 16). They came to be when Babylon, one the world’s great empires, was defeated by the rival empire Assyria (15). In 626 B.C., and alliance defeated Assyria and the Chaldean ruler of Nabopolassar made himself king of Babylon (15). With the new king, Babylon exceeded to its old glory as Nabopolassar built mighty walls around the city (15).

According to the legen, Nabuchadnezzar continued Nabopolassar’s work of building fortresses and walls (15). His queen was a princess of his father’s allies, and she missed the hills of her Persian homeland and disliked the flatness of Babylon (15). To please her, Nabuchadnezzar built a man-made hill in the form of terrace gardens (15). The Hanging Gardens rose 328 feet and were surrounded by a reinforcing wall 23 feet thick (15). Workman built terraces in long straight rows and marble staircases s …


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