If anyone hasn’t heard of the Seven World Wonders, he/she must be living on an isolated island for a lifetime. The list of World Wonders has become so famous and popular that we can easily get the quick image of any wonder in our mind. The Pyramids of the Egypt or the Great Wall of China is sure to pop up in our head, isn’t it? But one thing that many of you might not know is that there are more than one list of the Seven World Wonders. And the Pyramids of the Egypt and the Great Wall are not in the same list though.
The fact is that the list of the World Wonders consists of seven outstandingly remarkable construction of antiquity. In the beginning, it depends on the guide-books among the Greek sightseers. The first seven wonders only rest in the Mediterranean rim. Later, the list has the versions for the medieval world and the modern world.
The Seven World Wonders of the Ancient Times
The earliest list of the world wonders came from the writing of the Greek historian Herodotus and the Cyrene scholar Callimachus. But their piece of writing didn’t survive the test of time. The one that compiled and described the construction of the poem depicting the earliest world wonders was the Antipater of Sidon, a Greek poet. His work of writing said:
“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 labor 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” (Greek Anthology IX.58).
So according to what we have from the Antipater of Sidon, the last standing wonder is the Pyramid of Egypt. Meanwhile, the other six wonders are no longer physically with us.
Seven World Wonders of the Ancient Times
Truth is, there are many pyramids in Egypt but the one that is listed as one of the seven wonder is the Great Pyramid or the Pyramid of Khufu. It is monument for the Pharaoh Khufu who was the ruler of fourth dynasty of Egypt. The Great Pyramid rests in the site of Pyramids of Giza.
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon belonged to the Babylonians and they were the construction of 600 BCE. The hanging gardens were the fabled gardens that served to adorn the capital Neo-Babylonian Empire. This wonder evokes many controversies because scholars have different viewpoints upon its existence and destruction.
Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was the house of worship dedicated to goddess Artemis. It took 120 years to complete the temple. The temple later experienced the arson in 356 BCE and was restored only to be demolished in 401 CE.
The statue of Zeus at Olympia is also in the list. The enormous statue seemed like “Zeus was to stand up”. Fire deprived us of the chance to observe the statue.
Mausoleum of Maussollos was a tomb as a aesthetic construction in 351 BCE with beautiful sculptural reliefs. An earthquake destroyed the mausoleum by 1494 BCE.
The other two wonders, Colossus of Rhodes and the Lighthouse of Alexandrian, were also destroyed by the earthquakes. The former was the giant statue of the Greek god Helios while the later was the tower built to be the port’s landmark.
The Seven World Wonders in the present time
As time progresses, there are more versions of the seven-wonder lists. The creators of these later lists are unknown . Many in the lists have existed ever since the Middle Age. People might call it “Wonders of the world” which doesn’t necessarily consist of seven wonders, “Medieval Mind”, or “The Architectural Wonders of the Middle Ages”. Many in list are still popular in this day and age. The most famous sites in the modern list include:
- Stonehenge: Bronze Age monument (standing stones) in Wiltshire, an English county.
- Colosseum: the famous amphitheater in Rome, Italy
- Catacomb of Kom el Shoqafa: Mound of Shards
- The Great Wall of China: stone fortifications discontinuously stretching 6,400km today
- Porcelain Tower of Nanjing: the noblest structure from the East
- Hagia Sophia
- Leaning Tower of Pisa: the freestanding tower in Pisa, Italy
Other famous lists of the Seven World Wonders include the New7Wonders of the World, New7Wonders of Nature, etc. The New7Wonders of the World include:
- The Great Wall of China
- Christ the Redeemer
- Machu Picchu
- Chichen Itza
- Roman Colosseum
- Taj Mahal
- Great Pyramid of Giza (honorary candidate)