Seven Wonders of the World
1 Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
2 Seven Wonders lists about the Middle Ages
3 Modern lists
3.1 Modern wonders
3.2 Tourist travel wonders
3.3 Natural wonders
3.4 Underwater wonders
3.5 New Seven Wonders
4 See also
6 Further reading
7 External links
7.1 Seven Ancient Wonders
7.2 Other wonders
Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (from left to right, top to bottom): Great Pyramid of Giza, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Temple of Artemis, Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Mausoleum of Maussollos, Colossus of Rhodes and the Lighthouse of Alexandria.
The Seven Wonders of the World (or the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) is a widely-known list of seven remarkable constructions of classical antiquity. It was based on guide-books popular among Hellenic sight-seers and only includes works located around the Mediterranean rim. Later lists include those for the Medieval World and the Modern World.
The historian Herodotus and the scholar Callimachus of Cyrene (ca 305-240 BC) at the Museum of Alexandria, made early lists of "seven wonders" but their writings have not survived, except as references. The earliest extant version of a list of seven wonders was compiled by Antipater of Sidon, who described the structures in a poem around 140 BC:
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 labour 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.'
- Antipater, Greek Anthology IX.58
A later list, under various titles like De septem orbis spactaculis and traditionally misattributed to the engineer Philo of Byzantium, may date as late as the fifth century AD, though the author writes as if the Colossus of Rhodes were still standing.
These are given in the table below:
Wonder Date of construction Builder Notable features Date of destruction Cause of destruction
Great Pyramid of Giza
2650-2500 BC Egyptians
Built as the tomb of Fourth dynasty Egyptian pharaoh Khufu.
Still standing -
Hanging Gardens of Babylon
600 BC Babylonians
Herodotus claimed the outer walls were 56 miles in length, 80 feet thick and 320 feet high (although some archaeological findings suggest otherwise). After 1st century BC Earthquake
Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
550 BC Lydians, Persians, Greeks
Dedicated to the Greek goddess Artemis, it took 120 years to build. Herostratus burned it down in an attempt to achieve lasting fame. 356 BC Arson
Statue of Zeus at Olympia
435 BC Greeks
Occupied the whole width of the aisle of the temple that was built to house it, and was 40 feet (12 meters) tall. 5th-6th centuries AD Fire
Mausoleum of Maussollos at Halicarnassus
351 BC Persians, Greeks
Stood approximately 45 meters (135 feet) tall with each of the four sides adorned with sculptural reliefs. Origin of the word mausoleum. by AD 1494 Earthquake
Colossus of Rhodes
292-280 BC Hellenistic Greece
A giant statue of the Greek god Helios roughly the same size as today's Statue of Liberty in New York.
224 BC Earthquake
Lighthouse of Alexandria
3rd century BC Hellenistic Egypt
Between 115 and 135 metres (383 - 440 ft) tall it was among the tallest man-made structures on Earth for many centuries. AD 1303-1480 Earthquake
The Greek category was not "Wonders" but "theamata", which translates closer to "must-sees". The list that we know today was compiled in the Middle Ages-by which time many of the sites were no longer in existence. Since the list came mostly from ancient Greek writings, only sites that would have been known and visited by the ancient Greeks were included. Even as early as 1600 BC, tourist graffiti was scrawled on monuments in the Egyptian Valley of the Kings.
Antipater's original list replaced the Lighthouse of Alexandria with the Ishtar Gate. It wasn't until the 6th century AD that the list above was used. Of these wonders, the only one that has survived to the present day is the Great Pyramid of Giza. The existence of the Hanging Gardens has not been definitively proven. Records show that the other five wonders were destroyed by natural disasters. The Temple of Artemis and the Statue of Zeus were destroyed by fire, while the Lighthouse of Alexandria, Colossus, and Mausoleum of Maussollos were destroyed by earthquakes. There are sculptures from the Mausoleum of Maussollos and the Temple of Artemis in the British Museum in London.
Seven Wonders lists about the Middle Ages
Seven Wonders lists about the Middle Ages are existing historical lists for which there is no unanimity of opinion about origin, content or name. These historical lists go by names such as "Wonders of the Middle Ages" (implying no specific limitation to seven), "Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages", "Medieval Mind" and "Architectural Wonders of the Middle Ages". The lists are more properly seen as a continuing type or genre in the Seven Wonders tradition than a specific list.
It is unlikely the lists originated in the Middle Ages. Brewer's calls them "later list[s]" suggesting the lists were created after the Middle Ages. This is supported because the word medieval was not even