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Original Seven Wonders of the Ancient world

Updated on July 3, 2011

Why only seven?

Everyone has heard of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and no doubt many have been puzzled as to why the number of wonders is only seven, when it might easily have been seventy. The reason is that seven was then, and always has been, a "mystic" number.There are seven days in the week, seven deadly sins, seven champions of Christendom, and many ancient nations, Greeks, Romans, Hebrews and others, had the same belief in the sacred quality of the number seven.

Another question which may occur to you is who made the list of the Wonders? The answer is that it was Antipater of Sidon, who lived about 2,000 years ago. But though he is the first to have written out the list, it was probably in existence a long time before he was born.

The Original Seven

The original Seven Wonders of ancient World were all connected with the two arts of architecture and sculpture, and the only remaining of them is the Great Pyramid of Egypt. Others in the lists are:

The Colossus of Rhodes

The Mausoleum erected by Artemisiafor Mausolus, King of Caria

The Statue of Zeus at Olympia

The Temple of Dianna at Ephesus, a Greek city in Asia Minor

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, associated with the Great Queen Semiramis

ThePharos or lighthouse of Alexandra, an enormous tower of white marble built on an island at the mouth of the Nile to guide mariners.

The Wonders of Egypt

There are about seventy-five pyramids in Egypt, and all these were originally built as the tombs of kings.

The more the Great Pyramid is studied the more marvellous it seems, for, besides the wonder of its making, its position and measurements go to prove that the men who designed it had a wonderful store of knowledge. It seems clear that they fully understood the size and shape of our planet, and all about its poles and equator, and were also deeply learned in the lore of the starry firmament.

Another Egyptian Wonder was the Pharos or lighthouse of Alexandria, an enomous tower of white marble built on an island at the mouth of the Nile. Its purpose was to guide mariners into Egypt's principal port by day or night. But there is nothing of it. Not only the splendid tower, with its great spiral staircase, has vanished, but even the island on which it stood has sunk beneath the restless waves.

The Wonder of Greece

The Colossus of Rhodes was the greatest statue of the ancient world, which stood at the entrance to one of its two ports of Island Rhodes. It was cast about 280 B.C., and fifty-six years later it was overthrown by a mighty earth quake, but its remains lay where they had fallen for six centuries till in A. D. 653 an Arab General sold them to a Hebrew as old metal.

The Colossus of Rhodes gives us the word "colossal", means "extremely great or large", or"so great in size or force or extent as to elicit awe".

Another Greek Wonder was the Statue of Zeus at Olympia. The father of the gods was represented on a throne made of ivory, and wore a mantle of gold. It was the work of the greatest of ancient sculptors,the Greek Pheidias. It is said that when the Zeus was finished the sculptor prayed that the gods would give him some sign that they were satisfied with his five years' labour, and in answer a thunderbolt fell at his feet.

Diana's Temple at Ephesus was burned down by a crazy fellow, called Herostratus, to achieve lasting fame, and he did it. But it was rebuilt more splendid than before.

Just as the Colossus of Rhode has given us the word 'colossal,' so we now use 'mausoleum' for a specially fine tome. The original mausoleum was the tomb of Mausolus, king of Caria, built by his widow, Artemisia. The Mausoleum lasted for some 1,500 years before it fell into ruin, much longer than the colossal statue at the port of Rhodes.

the Hanging Gardens of Babylon

The only Wonder that has not been proven by archaeologist is the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The city itself has totally disappeared, but a mound remains to be claimed to mark the site of this seventh Wonder of the world.

Babylon lay in the midst of flat desert land, and Semiramis, who came from the mountains of Media, pined for her native hills. So for her was built an artificial mountain of stone and brick, with vast terraces planted with trees and flowers of all sorts, and watered from the Euphrates which ran below. And there the Queen walked in the cool of the evening amid rich colors and scents.


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      Sandria Green-Stewart 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Very interesting. I would love to see some picture of these 7 wonders.

      Thanks for sharing.