15 Oct 2009

Sample Essay: 7 Wonders of the Ancient World

Introduction

The seven wonders of the ancient world is a list of very important buildings a great Greek historian called Herodotus wrote, over two thousand years ago. They are seven because he only wrote about the greatest structures he knew, he did not know much Asia and the Americas.

People have always felt the need to create lists.  Lists are accounts of vital places, places, people or events.  About two thousand five hundred years ago a Greek historian named Herodotus is said to have made a list of what he thought were the greatest structures in the world.  His list of places became known as the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

A wonder is a feeling created by something strange and amazing. It’s created when one sees or feels something rare and unexpected. Although there are several wonders in the world there are seven which are recognized as being ancient.

The great pyramids of Egypt

These are the buildings most associated with Egypt. They are found at a place called Giza which is a necropolis of ancient Memphis (Ancient wonders of the world). The pyramid age, which has a life span of over four thousand years, began when buildings began to crop up within the third dynasty under the reigns of Djoser. It is believed the shape symbolized the prehistoric knoll from which they believed life emerged.

The bigger sizes of these pyramids symbolize the powers which were vested upon the Pharaohs, the power and success of their country.

The hanging gardens of Babylon

They are also known as the hanging gardens of Semiramis. It was built by Nebuchadnezzar II in 200 BCE, to please his beloved wife Semiramis. Historically the Garden was 100 feet long by 100 feet wide and built in tiers to resemble a theatre (The seven wonders of the ancient world). There is a big doubt amongst historians and archaeologists if this paradise ever existed. It is believed that this garden was built in the middle of a Mesopotamian desert. The garden was irrigated by the River Euphrates by the use of chain pumps.

The statue of Zeus at Olympia

This is a seated sculpture of Zeus who was the king of the Greek gods. It measured 39 feet tall. It was made by a great sculptor called Phidias, and erected in the Zeus temple in 432 BC at Olympia. It is made of plated Bronze and Ivory (Romer, John p48). There are many myths to the cause of its destruction; some claim that it was destroyed by the lauseion fire in 475 while others say it burnt with the temple in 425 AD (The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World).

The temple of Artemis at Ephesus

This is a shrine built by an architect named Theodorus. It was 300 feet in length and 150 feet in height. It was built for the Greek goddess of fertility called Ephesus Artemis. The temple was the pride of Ephesus until one man named Herostratus burnt the temple to the ground. This temple offered a place for worship of this goddess by the Greek. Although it was destroyed its importance made the people build it back severally, although it was finally destroyed in a raid in 262 BC. At the moment place where the building stood is a marshy field. A single column is built to remind tourists its existence as an ancient wonder.

The mausoleum at Halicarnassus

This is a special tomb built by queen Artemisia as attribute to her husband king Mausolus. Because of its beauty and specialty it became one of the seven ancient wonders.

The Colossus of Rhodes

After the death of Alexander the great, his generals fought severely to take over this kingdom.  Ptolemy, Antigous and Seleucus managed to divide the kingdom among them. Because Ptolemy received much support from the people of the Rhode Island, Antigous became so angry that he sent his son Demetrius to punish the residents of the island. Although Demetrius had a large army, he was defeated by the Rhodians who were smart (Clayton, Peter A. p60). To celebrate their victory, they decided to build a huge statue of the god Helios. It stood over 30 meters high making it one of the tallest statues of the ancient world.

The light house of Alexandria

This is a tower built in third century, on the Pharos Island in Egypt to serve as the Islands land mark. It is believed it was ruined because of an earthquake in 1303 AD.

Conclusion

The great pyramids are used for research; this research is carried out to know the history of the ancient Egypt. By studying these pyramids one gets to know the way of life, culture and beliefs of the Egyptian. Artifacts and writings inside these pyramid enables us learn more about early civilization. They also serve as tourist destination. Many people all over the world come to Egypt in large numbers just to see this great wonder.

We need these wonders to help us know why they were built, like the Colossus of Rhodes was built to celebrate victory over war. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus is needed because it symbolizes love because it shows us how special love is.

These wonders are also needed to show people their heritage and culture. Lastly we need them to find out their significance and importance in the modern world. They could have been compared with the modern wonders to find out the differences as to why they are referred to as being ancient.

References

Ancient wonders of the world http://coolmaps.7wonders.googlepages.com/ancientwonders.html

Clayton, Peter A. et al. The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. New York: Routledge, 1988: 56-98

Pathak, Reena. The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. 1999. Online. 2 Nov. 1999

<http://www2.cs.vwindsor.ca/60-205/99win/sec1/pathak/>.

Romer, John et al. The Seven Wonders of the World: A History of the Modern Imagination. New York: Henry Holt, 1995:45-68

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, http: / / www.unmuseum.org / wonders.htm http: / / ce.eng.usf.edu / pharos / wonders / list.html

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