July 10, 2007

Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

The New Seven Wonders of the World are: The Great Wall (China), Petra (Jordan), Christ Redeemer (I'm not sure how that's a wonder; definitely impressive, but a wonder? - Brazil), Machu Picchu (Peru), Chichén Itzá (Mexico), The Roman Colosseum (Italy), and The Taj Mahal (India).

Here are the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World:

The Great Pyramid of Giza (2700-2300 B. C.)

The Great Pyramid is the only Ancient Wonder that does not require a description by early historians and poets for us to know about it. Its appearance, size, and shape are known (unlike the other six). Ironically, it is the oldest, yet only surviving of the Seven Ancient Wonders.

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

The Gardens may have only existed in the minds of Greek poets and historians. Supposedly, it was a palace with legendary gardens built on the banks of the Euphrates river by King Nebuchadnezzar II

The Temple of Artemis

Dedicated to the goddess Diana, construction began about 555 B.C. It burned down in 356 B.C., but it was rebuilt by Alexander the Great.

The Statue of Zeus at Olympia (430 B.C.)

"In his right hand a figure of Victory made from ivory and gold. In his left hand, his scepter inlaid with all metals, and an eagle perched on the sceptre. The sandals of the god are made of gold, as is his robe." - Pausanias the Greek (2nd century AD)

The Mausoleum at Halikarnassos (353 B.C.)

Like the Great Pyramid, it was the burial place of an ancient king. Its sculptured friezes apparently made it a thing of great beauty, and likely led to its inclusion on the list.

The Colossus of Rhodes (280 B.C.)

Between its building and destruction are a mere 56 years (an earthquake snapped the statue off at the knees). Why was it included? This quote from Pliny the Elder - "But even lying on the ground, it is a marvel," suggests why.

The Lighthouse of Alexandria (279 B.C.)

The Lighthouse of Alexandria is the only one of the Seven Ancient Wonders to have had a practical use. It was the tallest building on Earth during its existence. It is believed that the mirror's reflection could be seen more than 35 miles off-shore. And the remains could be seen as recently as 1480.

image from CNN

Some of the facts come from this excellent site. It's some fascinating stuff!


Lisa said...

Ok. Now you win the award for Most Unique and Consistently Surprising Blog EVER. Everyone else can just pack it in. This is awesome. I approve. ::applause::

Chris said...

Thank you very much, lisa. I appreciate that!

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