Saturday, September 29, 2007

The 7 wonders of the world

This topic came from our kopitiam talk yday. We, the 3 musketeers were at the kopitiam talking nonsense until like 11:30pm yday. I was supposed to go Yishun to get a costume from May so that I can wear tomorrow. Then after that we went to this ulu yishun kopitiam to la kopi.

This was the second time that YH ask me what are the 7 wonders.

So I told her there are 2 sets of 7 wonders, the old one and the new one.

The old 7 Wonders

This earliest version of the 7 wonders was compiled in the 2nd century BC by Antipater of Sidon.

The Great Pyramid of Giza

One of the ancient 7 wonders is the Great Pyramid of Giza. There are 3 very prominent pyramids at Giza and they are the only survivors among the old 7 wonders. They were thought to have been built between 2589 - 2566 BC

Compare the pyramid to the man at the bottom! Can you see the man?

Hanging Gardens of Babylon

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon was believed to be built around 600BC by Nebuchadnezzar II . Babylon is the present day Iraq.

The Hanging Gardens are extensively documented by Greek historians such as Strabo and Diodorus Siculus, but otherwise there is little evidence for their existence. In fact, there are no Babylonian records of any such gardens having existed.

According to accounts, the gardens were built to cheer up Nebuchadnezzar's homesick wife, Amyitis. Amyitis, daughter of the king of the Medes, was married to Nebuchadnezzar to create an alliance between the nations. The land she came from, though, was green, rugged and mountainous, and she found the flat, sun-baked terrain of the Mesopotamia (a region of southwest Asia) depressing. The king decided to recreate her homeland by building an artificial mountain with rooftop gardens.

The Hanging Gardens probably did not really "hang" in the sense of being suspended from cables or ropes. The name comes from an inexact translation of the Greek word kremastos or the Latin word pensilis, which means not just "hanging² but "overhanging," as in the case of a terrace or balcony.

Temple of Artemis

This was a Greek temple dedicated to Artemis completed around 550 BC at Ephesus (in present-day Turkey) under the Achaemenid dynasty of the Persian Empire.

The Temple was designed and constructed around 550 BC by the Cretan architect Chersiphron and his son Metagenes. This early construction was built at the expense of Croesus, the wealthy king of Lydia. Marshy ground was selected for the building site as a precaution against future earthquakes, according to Pliny the Elder.

The temple of Artemis at Ephesus was destroyed on July 21, 356 BC in an act of arson committed by Herostratus.

The site of the temple was rediscovered in 1869 by an expedition sponsored by the British Museum, and while several artifacts and sculptures from the reconstructed temple can be seen there today, as for the original site, only a single column remains from the temple itself.

The graphical image of the temple of Artemis.

The only column left from the Temple of Artemis. The rest was destroyed.

Statue of Zeus
The very classic wonder. It was carved by the famed Classical sculptor Phidias (5th century BC) circa 435 BC in Olympia, Greece.

Zeus was carved from ivory (technically the ivory was soaked in a liquid that made it softer, so it was probably both carved and shaped as necessary) then covered with gold plating (thus chryselephantine) and was seated on a magnificent throne of cedarwood, inlaid with ivory, gold, ebony, and precious stones.

The circumstances of its eventual destruction are a source of debate: some scholars argue that it perished with the temple in the 5th century AD, others argue that it was carried off to Constantinople, where it was destroyed in the great fire of the Lauseion.

Mausoleum of Maussollos

The Mausoleum of Maussollos was a tomb built between 353-350 BC at Halicarnassus (present Bodrum, Turkey), for Mausolus a provincial king in the Persian Empire, and Artemisia, his wife and sister.

Mausolus Artemisia spent their huge amount of tax money on beautifying the city. They bought statues, temples, and buildings of gleaming marble. In the center of the city Mausolus planned to place a resting place for his body after he was dead. It would be a tomb that would forever show how rich he and his queen were.

In 353 BC Mausolus died, leaving Artemisia broken-hearted. (It was the custom in Caria for rulers to marry their own sisters. One reason for these marriages might have been that it kept the power and wealth in the family.) As a tribute to him, she decided to build him the most splendid tomb in the known world. It became a structure so famous that Mausolus' name is now associated with all stately tombs through our modern word mausoleum.

Colossus of Rhodes

The Colossus of Rhodes was a giant statue of the god Helios, erected on the Greek island of Rhodes by Chares of Lindos between 292 BC and 280 BC. It was roughly the same size as the Statue of Liberty in New York, although it stood on a lower platform. It was one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

The statue stood for only 56 years until Rhodes was hit by an earthquake in 224 BC. The statue snapped at the knees and fell over onto the land. Ptolemy III offered to pay for the reconstruction of the statue, but an oracle made the Rhodians afraid that they offended Helios, and they declined to rebuild it. The remains lay on the ground for over 800 years, and even broken, they were so impressive that many travelled to see them.

Pharos of Alexandria

The Pharos of Alexandria was a lighthouse built in the 3rd century BC on the island of Pharos in Alexandria, Egypt to serve as that port's landmark, and later, a lighthouse.

With a height variously estimated at between 115 and 135 metres (383 - 440 ft) it was among the tallest man-made structures on Earth for many centuries, and was identified as one of the Seven Wonders of the World by Antipater of Sidon.

It ceased operating and was largely destroyed as a result of two earthquakes in the 14th century AD; some of its remains were found on the floor of Alexandria's Eastern Harbour by divers in 1994.

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