The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World as compiled by Herodotus
From ancient times before civilization, there existed a catalogue of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders and man-made structures. These structures according to historical findings were termed “The Seven (7) Wonders of the World” because these creations were built not only by great men of old but for what they represent.
The list of these old wonders of the world was compiled at the Museum of Alexandria by a Greek historian Herodotus and Callimachus of Cyrene. Although, due to wars and other natural factors, their writings did not survive but were used as reference to name the seven wonders of the world. It should be noted that the Great Pyramid of Giza, is the only wonder of the ancient world still in existence today and has been used as a tourist attraction till date.
Below is the list of the Original Seven Wonders of the World
1. Great Pyramid of Giza
The Great Pyramid of Giza is also known as the Pyramid of Khufu or the Pyramid of Cheops. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one in existence that is intact. It is also the oldest and biggest of the three pyramids in El Giza, Egypt. The pyramid was originally built as a tomb by the Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu around 2560 BC. The pyramid was built over a 10 – 20-year period and measured about 146.5 metres (481 feet), the Great Pyramid stood as the tallest man-made structure in the world for more than 3,800 years. The pyramid has three chambers which were used for the burial of the royal household of Egypt.
2. Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Till today, no one knows where is the exact location of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The garden is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, described as a beauty and an excellent work of engineering. According to one legend, it was King Nebuchadnezzar II who built the Hanging Gardens for his Median wife, Queen Amytis, because she missed the green hills and valleys of her native homeland. Since there exist no definitive archaeological evidence for the Hanging Gardens at Babylon, historians suggests that it was purely mythical. There are also no Babylonian manuscripts or texts which mention the gardens existence.
3. Statue of Zeus at Olympia
It was said that the statue of Zeus at Olympia was a giant seated figure that measured about 13 m (43 ft) tall in height and it was made by the Greek sculptor Phidias around 435 BC at the sanctuary of Olympia, Greece where the temple of zeus was located. It is also one of the seven wonders of the world. History suggests that it was lost and destroyed during the 5th century AD. Details of the statue of Zeus at Olympia are mostly from ancient Greek text and manuscript of their philosophers.
4. Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
The Temple of Artemis is also known as the Temple of Diana (Roman). It was a Greek temple of the goddess Artemis. It was located in Ephesus, one of the places St. Paul in the Christian Bible preached. It is also one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. History has it that the temple has been rebuilt three times. The temple design is what most temples in Greece use. As of today, what was once a magnificent temple has been turned into a debris of stones of its foundations and sculptural fragments of the remains. The site of the temple of Artemis still remains till this day.
5. Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus was a tomb built between 353 and 350 BC at Halicarnassus presently Turkey for Mausolus, a satrap in the Persian Empire, and his sister-wife Artemisia II of Caria. The structure was designed by the Greek architects Satyros and Pythius of Priene. The Mausoleum was approximately 45 m (148 ft) in height, and the four sides were adorned with sculptural reliefs, each created by one of four Greek sculptors—Leochares, Bryaxis, Scopas of Paros and Timotheus.
The finished structure of the mausoleum was considered to be such an aesthetic triumph that Antipater of Sidon identified it as one of his seven wonders of the world. It was reported to have been destroyed by successive earthquakes from the 12th to the 15th century. Since its destruction, the word mausoleum has now come to be used generically for an above-ground tomb.
6. Colossus of Rhodes
The Colossus of Rhodes was a statue of the Greek titan-god of the sun Helios, erected inside the city of Rhodes, on the Greek island of the same name, by Chares of Lindos in 280 BC. It was built to celebrate Rhodes’ victory over the ruler of Cyprus, Antigonus I Monophthalmus, whose son unsuccessfully attacked Rhodes in 305 BC. As one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the height of the colossus stood at about 33 metres (108 feet) high which is approximately the height of the modern Statue of Liberty from feet to crown. It was the tallest statue of the ancient world during its existence and was destroyed by an earthquake in 226 BC.
8. Lighthouse of Alexandria
The Lighthouse of Alexandria, or the Pharos of Alexandria as it is sometimes called was a lighthouse built during the Ptolemaic Kingdom between 280 and 247 BC which was between 394 and 449 ft tall. It was the third longest surviving ancient wonder after the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus and the Great Pyramid of Giza until 1480, when the last of its remnant stones were used to build the Citadel of Qaitbay on the site. It remained as one of the tallest man-made structures in the world for many centuries which earned it a place as one of the ancient wonders of the world. It was destroyed by series of earthquakes.
The above were the old wonders of the world that would always be remembered in history, but in modern times, different new wonders of the world sprang up. This does not mean that the ancient ones will be thrown but for reference purposes, below are the list of the new 7 wonders of the world and their locations according to Wikipedia.
|Wonder of The World||Date of construction||Location|
|Great Wall of China||Since 7th century BC||China|
|Petra||c. 100 BC||Jordan|
|Christ the Redeemer||Opened October 12, 1931||Brazil|
|Machu Picchu||c. AD 1450||Peru|
|Chichen Itza||c. AD 600||Mexico|
|Colosseum||Completed AD 80||Italy|
|Taj Mahal||Completed c. AD 1648||India|
|Great Pyramid of Giza (Honorary Candidate)||Completed c. 2560 BC||Egypt|