Wonders of the World: The Hanging Gardens

An Artist's Conception

The original Wonders of the World from the 1st to 2nd century BC are attributed to Philo of Byzantium, Strabo, Herodotus, Diodoros of Sicily, and Antipater of Sidon.  The Seven Wonders primarily centered on sites along the Mediterranean/Adriatic area that encompassed the area conquered by the Greeks in the 4th BC.  

In his Greek Anthology (written c. 140 BC), the Greek poet Antipater of Sidon wrote “I have set eyes on the wall of lofty Babylon on which is a road for chariots, and the statue of Zeus by the Alpheus, and the hanging gardens, and the Colossus of the Sun, and the huge labour of the high pyramids, and the vast tomb of Mausolus; but when I saw the house of Artemis that mounted to the clouds, those other marvels lost their brilliancy, and I said, ‘Lo, apart from Olympus, the Sun never looked on aught so grand.’”

Yesterday, Rita  Bay toured the Great Pyramid at Giza which is the oldest and only Wonder that remains intact.  Today, The Hanging Gardens of Babylon which were located in the ancient city of Babylon in present day Iraqare featured.  The story has it that they were built by Nebuchadnezzar II around 600 BC for his wife Amytis of Media who was homesick for the mountains of her homeland. The Gardens were planted with exotic plants watered by a system of circulating water throughout the area.

The Hanging Gardens are unique among the Wonders because the actual existence of the Gardens cannot be verified. While descriptions by numerous Greek writers exist, none of those surviving were composed from first-hand accounts.  They are not mentioned in Babylonian documents until the Babylonian Berossus described them in the 4th century BC.  Some believe that the gardens were actually located in Nineveh where gardens were known to have existed.

The Greek historian Strabo stated that the gardens were located on a series of steppes on the River Euphrates. On the river banks, recently discovered massive walls 25 meters thick may have been stepped to form terraces the ones described in Greek references.  The gardens (if they existed) were destroyed by a series of earthquakes in the 2nd century BC.

Tomorrow, Temple of Artemis at Ephesus    Rita Bay

1 Comment

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One response to “Wonders of the World: The Hanging Gardens

  1. shyra shawn araide sensei

    the hanging garden of babylon is so beautiful

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