Wonders of the Ancient World
The ancient Greeks
loved to compile lists of the marvelous structures in their
world. Though we think of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
as a single list today, there were actually a number of lists
compiled by different Greek writers. Antipater of Sidon, and
Philon of Byzantium, drew up two of the most well-known lists.
Many of the lists
agreed on six of the seven items. The final place on some lists
was awarded to the Walls of the City of Babylon. On others,
the Palace of Cyrus, king of Persia took the seventh position.
Finally, toward the 6th century A.D., the final item became
the Lighthouse at Alexandria.
Since the it was
Greeks who made the lists it is not unusal that many of the
items on them were examples of Greek culture. The writers might
have listed the Great Wall of China if then had known about
it, or Stonehenge if they'd seen it, but these places were beyond
the limits of their world.
It is a surprise
to most people to learn that not all the Seven Wonders existed
at the same time. Even if you lived in ancient times you would
have still needed a time machine to see all seven. While the
Great Pyramid of Egypt was built centuries before the
rest and is still around today (it is the only "wonder" still
intact) most of the others only survived a few hundred years
or less. The Colossus of Rhodes stood only a little more
than half a century before an earthquake toppled it.