Halfway through the week I allotted for the poll, Blogger reset it on me. Fortunately, I remembered the results up to that point and I quickly wrote them down so that I wouldn’t forget. I added in the three new votes and the results are in!
First place goes to the Seven Wonders of the World
Second place goes to Prophets
And tied for Third are the Zodiac and the Chinese Zodiac
Now, you’re probably saying to yourself, “Hmm, seven wonders, this series will be over in a couple of months.” Well, you’d be wrong. There’s more that seven wonders of the world.
Just for fun, do a google search for The Seven Wonders of the World. Right now. It’s okay, I’ll wait.
See? I didn’t lie. There’s way more than just seven wonders. There’s the Ancient Wonders, the Medieval Wonders, the Natural Wonders, even the Engineering Wonders, just to name a few. We’re going to start with the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Scholars have debated for years over who compiled the first list of wonders – or as the Greeks called them, theamata, which translates as "things to be seen". It has been suggested that Callimachus of Cyrene drafted the list in the third century B.C. or Herodotus, who lived from around 484 to 425 B.C.
It’s generally agreed that Antipater, a Greek author living in the Phoenician port of Sidon came up with the original list in a poem where he lists the most remarkable creations of mankind:
I have gazed on the walls of impregnable Babylon along which chariots may race, and on the Zeus by the banks of the Alpheus, I have seen the hanging gardens, and the Colossus of the Helios, the great man-made mountains of the lofty pyramids, and the gigantic tomb of Mausolus; but when I saw the sacred house of Artemis that towers to the clouds, the others were placed in the shade, for the sun himself has never looked upon its equal outside Olympus.
– Antipater, Greek Anthology IX.58
Somewhere around the 8th century AD the walls of Babylon were dropped off the list, to be replaced by the Lighthouse of Alexandria.
Of the original seven wonders, only the Great Pyramid still exists. The others are in unrecognizable ruins, and the Hanging Gardens might never have existed at all. What we know about the wonders comes from written accounts of ancient tourists and modern archaeological research. Much of our information about the monuments is conjecture or questionable second hand accounts.
Next week we'll explore these wonders one by one, starting with the Pyramids at Giza.