The Seven Wonders Category

The Seven Wonders of the World or the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (simply known as Seven Wonders) is a list of remarkable constructions of classical antiquity given by various authors in guidebooks or poems popular among ancient Hellenic tourists. Although the list, in its current form, did not stabilise until the Renaissance, the first such lists of seven wonders date from the 2nd1st century BC. The original list inspired innumerable versions through the ages, often listing seven entries. Of the original Seven Wonders, only onethe Great Pyramid of Giza, oldest of the ancient wondersremains relatively intact. The Colossus of Rhodes, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Temple of Artemis and the Statue of Zeus were all destroyed. The location and ultimate fate of the Hanging Gardens are unknown, and there is speculation that they may not have existed at all. Background The Greek conquest of much of the western world in the 4th century BC gave Hellenistic travellers access to the civilizations of the Egyptians, Persians, and Babylonians. Impressed and captivated by the landmarks and marvels of the various lands, these travellers began to list what they saw to remember them. Instead of 'wonders', the ancient Greeks spoke of 'theamata' (), which means 'sights', in other words 'things to be seen' ( [] T hept themata ts oikoumens [gs]). Later, the word for 'wonder' ('thaumata' , 'wonders') was used. Hence, the list was meant to be the Ancient World's counterpart of a travel guidebook. The first reference to a list of seven such monuments was given by Diodorus Siculus. The epigrammist Antipater of Sidon, who lived around or before 100 BC, gave a list of seven 'wonders', including six of the present list (substituting the walls of Babylon for the Lighthouse of Alexandria):I have gazed on the walls of impregnable Babylon along which chariots may race, and on the Zeus by the banks of the Alpheus, I have seen the hanging gardens, and the Colossus of the Helios, the great man-made mountains of the lofty pyramids, and the gigantic tomb of Mausolus, but when I saw the sacred house of Artemis that towers to the clouds, the others were placed in the shade, for the sun himself has never looked upon its equal outside Olympus.

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