Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World



The first attempts of forming a list of the wonders of the world were comprised by Greeks. Herodotus, who is known as the father of history, was a Greek who took great pride in the wonders that were constructed by his civilization. However, hearing about the Great Pyramid of Khufu, he travelled to Egypt in order to see the colossal monument. Upon arrival, he stood amazed at the architectural beauty of the pyramid and later resolved to create a list of wonders.
The first list was actually completed by a man known as Philos of Byzantium. Nevertheless, many did not accept his list, considering it to be more of a tourist guide. As time progressed, a number of men formed many different lists through the ages. After a certain time, however, an accepted list was created, comprising of 7 wonders.


The Pyramids of Egypt
A group of three pyramids, Khufu, Khafra, andMenkaura located at Giza, Egypt, outside modern Cairo, is often called the first wonder of the world. The largest pyramid, built by Khufu (Cheops), a king of the fourth dynasty, had an original estimated height of 482 feet (now approximately 450 feet). The base has sides 755 feet long. It contains 2,300,000 blocks. The average weight of each block is 2.5 tons. Estimated date of construction is 2680 B.C. Of all the Ancient Wonders, the pyramids is the only one still standing.
Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Often listed as the second wonder, these gardens, which were located south of Baghdad, Iraq, were supposedly built by Nebuchadnezzar around 600B.C. to please his queen, Amuhia. They are also associated with the mythical Assyrian queen, Semiramis. Archeologists think that the gardens were laid out atop a vaulted building, with provisions for raising water. The terraces were said to rise from 75 to 300 feet.


Statue of Zeus (Jupiter) at Olympia
Phidias (fifth century B.C.) built this 40-foot high statue in gold and ivory. All trace of it is lost, except for reproductions on coins. It was located in Olympia, Greece.
Temple of Artemis (Diana) at Ephesus
The temple was a beautiful marble structure, begun about 350 B.C., in honor of the goddess Artemis. The temple, with Ionic columns 60 feet high, was destroyed by invading Goths in A.D. 262. It was located in Ephesus, Turkey.
Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
This famous monument was erected in Bodium, Turkey, by Queen Artemisia in memory of her husband, King Mausolus of Caria in Asia Minor, who died in 353 B.C. Some remains of the structure are in the British Museum. This shrine is the source of the modern word “mausoleum,” which is a large above-ground tomb.
Colossus at Rhodes
This bronze statue of Helios (Apollo), about 105 feet high, was the work of the sculptor Chares. He worked on the statue for 12 years, finishing it in 280B.C. It was destroyed during an earthquake in 224B.C. Rhodes is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea.
Pharos of Alexandria
The seventh wonder was the Pharos (lighthouse) of Alexandria. Sostratus of Cnidus built the Pharos during the third century B.C. on the island of Pharos off the coast of Egypt. It was destroyed by an earthquake in the thirteenth century.

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