Seven Wonders of the Ancient World Essay

This essay has a total of 2665 words and 12 pages.

Seven Wonders of the Ancient World



How many individuals can name the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World? These ancien, man
made monuments were compiled into a list considerable in their enormous size or


some other unusual quality (Donovan 325). We should not let these legacies be left

behind in the past, because each of these "Seven Wonders" has a story hidden within

their ruins, or in one case, within its remains. Picture these architectural structures

as I uncover the legends of The Statue of Zeus, the Colossus of Rhodes, the Pyramids

of Egypt, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, and the

Temple of Artemis.

The first full modern version of the list appeared less than four centuries ago in

Italy in 1608 (Romer IX). After that the lists varied, sometimes naming ten wonders,

but always keeping the honored name of "The Seven Wonders of the World" (IX). The

listing of these wonders initiated by Greeks and Romans listed memorable things that

they thought travelers should see (Donovan 325). The origianl authorship of the list

is not completely proven, but it is believed to be composed by Bede and Philo (Romer

X). Philo's list is the most impressive, because of it's uncomparable text, in length,

poetry, and information given (Romer X). At one time, classical writers argued over

the true list, but today there is one most commonly used (Virtual Tours 1). Few drawings

or sketches exist of the vanished monuments, so archeologists have relied on ancient

tales and literary works to get an idea of appearance and history (2).Every one of the
seven wonders is connected to the legendary King Alexander (Romer


XII). He founded Egyptian Alexandria, the city of Pharos; he stormed Halicarnassus,

the city of the Mausoleum; the Rhodian of Colossus was cast in his image; he died

in Babylon, the city of the Hanging Gardens, and all of them stood within his shortlived

Empire (Romer XII). Apart from the Statue of Zeus in the west and the Hanging Gardens

in the east, they all lay in the center of the Greek Empire (McLeish 4).

In the Fourth Dynasty, built 4600 years ago, the Giza Pyramids came known as the greatest
of the Seven Wonders (Grigson 18). These pyramids are the largest of the 70-odd pyramids


built (18). The largest of the three Giza Pyramids is the Pyramid of Cheops (18).

Its base is 57,000 square feet and has 2,300,000 limestone blocks each weighing two

and one-half tons (18). It is made up of a King's Chamber, Queen's Chamber, grand

gallery, vents, ascending and descending passages, and a Greaves Shaft (Krystek 4).

Cheop's Pyramid is surrounded by rows of low flat tombs, mastabas, and three small

pyramids in which his family and other high officials were buried (Grigson 20). The

second pyramid is called the Pyramid of Chephren and the third if the pyramid of Mycerinus

(20). These pyramids all have an astonishing accuracy in their construction (18).

There is only about eight inches difference between the longest and the shortest baseline

and teh four corners make an almost perfect right angle (18). It is believed that

the Eyqyptians worked by observing teh stars because all the sides are aligned to

face the cardinal points of the compass (18). Richard Procter, and astronomer, observed

hat the descending passage could have b een used to observe transit stars and he grand

gallery could have been used to map the sky when on the top (Krystek 3). The pyramid

is probably connected with Egyptain sun worship and a pyramid stone, the benben, symbolizes

the sun god ( Grigson 20). When the sun's rays breaks through at exactly the angle

of teh Giza Pyramids, the Egyptians regarded that as a stairway to heaven for their

kings (20). They believed the body was the spirit's house and so they want to perserve

the body as long as they can (Mc Leish 5). Priests began by removing all the soft

parts of the body, such as the brain, lungs, heart, liver, and intestines (5). A great

archeologist, Sir Flanders Petrie, estimated that it took 100,000 men to haul stones

and another 4,000 to work on the actual construction (Grigson 20). They used no pulleys,

but must have used an incline plane to raise the blocks (20). How the inside of teh

pyramid is built is unknown (20). The center of the pyramid is the home of Cheop's

burial chamber (20). Before and after the construction of the Pyramids, Egyptians

interned their dead Pharohs and Kings to intricate tombs (Krystek 2). They believed

that the body has two separate existances, so all the dead leaders were placed in

the tomb along with many treasures the Egyptians believed they would need in the afterlife

(2). This is why the Pyramids were such a hot spot for thieves. Egyptian architects

tried designing passageways that could be plugged with immoveable granite rocks, hidden

rooms, and decoy chambers, but nothing worked (2). There is almost no exception that

each tomb of the Egyptian Kings was plundered (2).

The next wonder is the Olympian Zeus. Greeks were very attatched to their gods, perhaps
because even though the gods were immortal and had superhuman powers, in every other way
they were like mortal men (Grigson 22). They had feelings, jealousy and rivalries (22).
The mightiest of the Greek's gods was Zeus (22). Zeus was the son of the titans Cranos
and Rhea (22). He was regarded as the king and father of gods and men (22). Zeus was
married to his sister, Hero, but he had many affairs with other goddesses and mortal woman
despite her (22). The Olympic games were held in honor of Zeus since 776 B.C. at the
Plain of Olympia at Pelopomesus (22). At his altar, 100 cattle were sacrificed as the
main part of the festival (Mcleish 19). So, the the greeks decided to build a temple in
his honor in the fifth century B.C. (Grigson 22). One of the best Greek sculptors,
Phedias, was asked to do it (22). It was built in about 457 B.C and the finished Zeux was
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