Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
A selection of seven ancient monuments that has become famously known as wonders of the world.
In the ancient world there were seven great man-made structures. Six of the seven have long been destroyed, either by nature or by human hands.
Lists of the so-called seven wonders of the world sometimes varied. The following list, dating from about the 6th century AD, is a commonly used one:
1. The Pyramids of Egypt;
The only ancient wonder still in existence today, the Pyramids are also the oldest, being constructed over 4500 years ago.
2. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon;
Built around 600 BC, allegedly destroyed by earthquakes after the 1st century BC.
3. The statue of Zeus at Olympia;
Built inside a Temple about 435 BC, it was destroyed by fire around 5th–6th centuries AD.
4. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus;
Built in 351 BC, destroyed by floods in 1494 AD.
5. The Temple of Artemis (Diana) at Ephesus;
Built circa 550 BC, and first destroyed by an arson fire in 356 BC. Reconstructed after this, it was again ruined by raiding Goths in 268 AD.
6. The Colossus of Rhodes;
Built 292–280 BC, and destroyed by an earthquake in 226 BC.
7. The Pharos (lighthouse) of Alexandria;
Built circa 280 BC, destroyed by 2 earthquakes, one in 1303 and the other 20 years later. In 1480, the then Sultan of Egypt, Qaitbay, built a medieval fort on the former location of the building using some of the remaining stones.
People love to make lists, often of the biggest and /or the best. Almost 2500 years ago, a Greek writer named Herodotus (c. 484-425 BC) made a list of the most awesome things ever built by mankind. The list included monuments, statues, buildings, and other objects that were all large, wondrous, impressive or unbelievable. Through the ages, other writers added their own ideas to this list, and eventually agreed on a final list. It became known as the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
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Sources: (1) Clayton, Peter and Price, Martin, The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Routledge Publishers; (2) Bentley, Diana, Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Oxford University Press.
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