We’ve all heard of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, examples of the height of human accomplishment, but how many can you name? I’d bet that pretty much everyone knows about the Pyramid of Giza, the only Wonder that has survived. I think the next best known are probably the Colossus of Rhodes or the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, but what about the other four? If you know, then you get some brownie points for sure, and if you don’t, I think you’re in for a trip!
Our first stop would be at the famed Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. King Mausolus was a well beloved ruler who protected many towns and villages and commissioned the creation of the glorious city of Halicarnassus, emphasizing that more homes should be constructed for the “common” folk. When he passed, the people wanted to celebrate his memory, so four of the most famous artists of the time came together to build a temple in his honor. It was so grand that, in addition to becoming a Wonder of the Ancient World, it also set the naming standard for all future grand memorials.
Our next ancient stop would be in Olympia to see the statue of Zeus. This statue was a sight to behold, so great that while seated, Zeus’ head was almost touching the ceiling (at least the equivalent of a three-story house today). This statue was covered in gold, ebony, ivory, glass, and precious stones from every corner of the known world. It has even been said that the sight of this statue moved warlords to tears of awe. That’s insanely inspirational!
Lets not forget the Pharos lighthouse! That’s right, a lighthouse was one of the Ancient Wonders. This lighthouse was more than just a beacon of safety and security for Alexandria, also home to the most extensive library of ancient knowledge. This was the first lighthouse ever built, and it served as the prototype for all lighthouses that have come since. In fact, in size and shape, it was the ancient equivalent of the Empire State Building of today!
Our last ancient wonder is the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus. Built some time around the Bronze Age, this temple was apparently quite grand. In fact, Antipatros Sidonios, the Greek poet who crafted the list of the Seven Wonders, was so awe-struck by this temple that he said all the other Wonders paled in comparison. Ok I’m paraphrasing, but still this must have been some temple! In fact, it fell apart twice, and on the third reconstruction, Alexander the Great offered to fund its completion; however, the architect wasn’t too keen on the idea and said, tactfully, that one god should not build a temple for another!
So that does it for today’s history lesson. I am in awe of these accomplishments and Wonder what we will leave behind for our descendants to marvel at. What are your predictions? Leave a comment below!