The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

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The ancient Greeks loved to compile lists of the marvellous structures in their times. Though we think of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World as a single list today, there were actually a number of lists compiled by different Greek writers. Antipater of Sidon, and Philon of Byzantium, drew up two of the most well known lists. Many of the lists agreed on six of the seven items.

The final place on some lists was awarded to the Walls of the City of Babylon. On other lists, the Palace of Cyrus, king of Persia took the seventh position. Finally, towards the 6th century A.D., the final item became the Lighthouse at Alexandria. Since the it were Greeks who had made the lists, it is not unusual that many of the items on them were examples of Greek culture.

The writers might have listed the Great Wall of China if they had known about it, or Stonehenge if they'd seen it, but these places were beyond the limits of their world. It is a surprise to most people to learn that not all the Seven Wonders
existed at the same time. Even if you lived in ancient times you still would have needed a time machine to see all the seven wonders.

While the Great Pyramids of Egypt were were built centuries before the rest and are still around today (it is the only "seven wonders" still intact) most of the others only survived a few hundred years
or less. The Colossus of Rhodes stood only a little more than half a century before an earthquake toppled it.

1. Khufu's Great Pyramid


More than any other ancient peoples, the Egyptians seemed to spend the best years of their lives, and certainly their best efforts, in preparation for death. The greatest toil, and the most perfect resting place, went to the pharaoh. It is a splendid tribute to all that industry that the Great Pyramid of the Pharaoh Khufu at Giza near Cairo is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the World that still stands. The Khufu's Great Pyramid is one of the seven wonders of the ancienf world and one of the seven wonders of the world.


2. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon


Six hundred years before the birth of Christ, King Nabopalassar of Babylon was brought the news he had long been waiting for. His army, combined with the Medes, had at last destroyed Nineveh, capital of the brutal Assyrian Empire, and defeated the Assyrian army. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon is one of the seven wonders of the ancienf world and one of the seven wonders of the world.


3. The Statue of Zeus at Olympia


To the ancient Greeks, no greater god dwelt on sacred Mount Olympus than Zeus. He looked like a man and thought like one, he even had human failings that caused him tiresome domestic problems, but he was the supreme god. Zeus was indeed beloved by all the Greeks. The Statue of Zeus at Olympia is one of the seven wonders of the ancien world and one of the seven wonders of the world.


4. The Temple of Artemis-Diana


Which was the greatest building created by our ancestors? One ancient writer is quite sure. "I have seen the walls and hanging gardens of old Babylon, the statue of Olympian Jove (Zeus), the Colossus of Rhodes, the great labour of the lofty Pyramids, and the ancient tomb of Mausolus," he writes "but when I beheld the temple at Ephesus towering to the clouds, all these other marvels were eclipsed."

Another writer, declared that the temple "surpasses every structure raised by human hands." The Temple of Artemis Diana is one of the seven wonders of the ancienf world and one of the seven wonders of the world.


5. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus


It seemed to Queen Artemisia that her heart would overflow with sorrow when her husband died. He was a handsome man in the prime of life and if his portrait is to be believed a man of quiet dignity. His loss greatly saddened the devoted Artemisia. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus is one of the seven wonders of the ancienf world and one of the seven wonders of the world.


6. The Colossus of Rhodes


"Few men can clasp the thumb in their arms, and the fingers are larger than most statues. Where the limbs are broken asunder, vast caverns are seen yawning in the interior. The Colossus of Rhodes is one of the seven wonders of the ancienf world and one of the seven wonders of the world.


7. The Great Lighthouse at Alexandria


Ships of the ancient world sailing the Mediterranean bound for Alexandria always knew where to find the port. For the Pharos the amazing lighthouse of Alexandria was visible from 43 kilometres out at sea. The Great Lighthouse at Alexandria is one of the seven wonders of the ancienf world and one of the seven wonders of the world.

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