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The seven wonders of the ancient world

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The seven wonders of the ancient world were a set of different monuments and different era that had in common the fact of being a "wonder", that is, were able to inspire respect and admiration to all those contemplating them.
Such a distinction was responding to a criterion based on the imposing of dimensions (the largest building in stone), the magnificence (the more richly decorated sculptures), the technical challenge (the tallest building in bronze), or a sum of all.
The idea to combine the greatest wonders never emerged from the hands of the man in a definitive list goes back, in the Western world, even as at least the ancient Greeks. Already own Herodotus, historian of the 5th century b.c., mentions "the three major works in Greek lands», namely: the aqueduct tunnel, the pier of the port and the great Temple of Hera, all of them on the island of Samos. In fact, the traditional reason for the seven wonders is not more than an extension of this idea already formulated by the great Greek historian.
In fact, the first reference to the seven wonders dating back to the Hellenistic period, just after the campaigns of King Alexander Magno, a native of Macedonia, which annexed, an increasingly polyglot and hellenized, Empire land belonging to Greek civilizations, as it was the case of the Egyptian, the Babylonian and the Persian. In fact, most likely the number seven to appropriate of the Middle East, where the notion of the seven day week come also (a little later).
The seven wonders belonged, in its entirety, to the ends of the new the more primitive version of the list of the seven wonders hearkens back to century m or n BC although no match at all that we know. One of the earliest written references we have is a brief poem of Sidon (towards the 125 BC) Antipater or Antipater of Thessaloniki [(entre el 20 a. C. y el 20 d. C.), in which the poet praises the statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Colossus of Rhodes, the hanging gardens of Babylon, the pyramids of Egypt]the mausoleum of Halicarnassus, and the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus. However, instead of mentioning the lighthouse of Alexandria quoted the walls of Babylon, so broad and so could circulate a truck by them without problems.

Las Siete Maravillas del Mundo Antiguo Grandes Obras de Ingenieria


PYRAMID OF CHEOPS



When Khufu, Pharaoh of the fourth dynasty, in the year 2640 b.c., ordered the erection of a tomb which by its height and Majesty should hide the Sun, went to 100,000 slaves who worked for 20 years. They were blacks, Jews and Berber twinned by the same suffering. Together they shared the little food, have shed their blood under the same whip of the guardians and were killed by the same fatigues. So that nobody could know the burial cell entry, to the completion of the work the survivors were executed.
During those 20 years, Egypt met hardships and miseries. The temples were closed, religious ceremonies were reduced, heavy taxes were applied and you were ordered to free men to help the slaves. Two million three hundred thousand blocks calcareous two tons and average weight each, one on top of another were raised up to 147 meters high.
To accomplish this enormous task was scarce and basic machinery: miners used wet wood that wedges stuck on stone, foretold it to dilate; transporters were the blocks along the Nile over huge rafts, and then across sleds to the plateau of to the Gizah, along a route that had cost ten years of work.
The slaves responsible of the piramide lifted the blocks from one to another tier, more with the strength of his arms than with the rudimentary cranes formed with trunks of trees, the only known.
Five thousand years passed since then. The pyramid of Cheops, sole survivor of the seven works that the ancients called "wonders of the world", become, almost intact, as a great testimony of a vanished civilization.
Las Siete Maravillas del Mundo Antiguo Grandes Obras de Ingenieria

THE HANGING GARDENS OF BABYLON


When Nebuchadnezzar, King of Chaldea, married Clarisa, daughter of the King of the Medes, he decided to offer his beloved garden which, due to the originality of its structure and the variety of its flowers, was worthy of the new Queen.
Bold was the project conceived by the architects of Babylon. Over an area of 19,600-square-foot raised a series of stone terraces supported by broad arches of 6 meters long, so that, seen from below, the hanging garden seem a high staircase brimming with flowers. Under the arcades large sparkling embellishments rooms, hiding that sovereigns could rest there.
So you are not missing never water arranged a great irrigation system that ended in the last terrace, in a fountain that flowed incessantly. Little or nothing remains of Babylon with its hanging gardens. But the few vestiges discovered thanks to the patience of the archaeologists, attest to the truth about the descriptions of ancient writers.
Las Siete Maravillas del Mundo Antiguo Grandes Obras de Ingenieria

THE TOMB OF MAUSOLUS AT HALICARNASSUS


Facing the sea, in the vicinity of Halicarnassus, capital of Caria in Asia minor, stood still, 1,100 years later Jesucristo, a magnificent tomb for its marbles, sculptures, its polychrome decors and its imposing height.
When, after a happy reign, became extinct in the year 353 before Jesus Christ, the life of Mausolus, King of Caria, Queen Artemisia. his wife, decided to make it build a tomb that immortalized his memory, managing to do so to the most illustrious artists of Greece.
Satyr and Picteas architects, sculptors Scopas, Timothy, Briasides and Leocardis attended the call. Galleys loaded with marble came from the Dodecanese, and slaves, as also free men driven by gratitude to honour the memory of the King were devoted to the construction of this funeral monument.
Artemis, whose pain came back it increasingly weak and pale, sensing would not survive long at the loss of her husband, with his presence encouraged workers and urged them to hurry. He died. in effect two years later, and his people wanted to it laying next to him that he had so loved.
For a long time no one dared to disturb your sleep. But. After 18 centuries. When Halicarnassus no longer existed. the Marauders crossed the thresholds of the grave, depojaron of their precious marbles and seized the treasures that the gratitude of the people of Caria had offered to their sovereign in a last act of homage and devotion. Since then, all sumptuous grave called "mausoleum".
Las Siete Maravillas del Mundo Antiguo Grandes Obras de Ingenieria

THE TEMPLE OF DIANA IN EPHESUS


Where today stands the Turkish village of Aia Soluk, practicabase once the cult of Diana, Goddess of fertility. The Temple of Ephesus, which was consecrated to him was destroyed and reconstructed several times, always with magnificence. There was talk throughout Asia treasures which exploded its underground galleries, as well as from its architectural beauty due to the genius of Quersifion and Metagenes, and sculptures that adorned it and whose authors were Scopas and Praxiteles. This wonder not impressed by its size as the pyramid of Cheops, but the harmony of its proportions made it a jewel of Greek art.
In the year 356 BC during a warm summer night, an insane beggar named Herostratus, burned down the building.The whole city slept, and it was not possible to prevent flames to destroy this unique monument, and cannot save the incalculable riches accumulated there. A few years later, the temple rose again, based on the same plane. One hundred and twenty-seven 18 meters high ionic columns surrounded the cell where the statue of the goddess stood and, among them, 36 richly sculpted at the base were donated by Croesus, King of Lydia were crowned with a broad triangular, also sculpted pediment. Inside, the frescos of Apelles filled surprise visitors for the beauty and skill of drawing. Completed in the year 323 b.c. the new temple, was semidestruido by the liordas Odes between the years 260 and 268 of our era.Later, the carriers of Aia Soluk, unable to capture its beauty, used the stones to build their homes
Las Siete Maravillas del Mundo Antiguo Grandes Obras de Ingenieria

STATUE OF OLYMPIC JUPITER


Little is known of the appearance of the statue of Zeus in the Temple of Olympia, finished in 456 a. of J.C. The image of God in ivory and ebony, richly decorated with gold and precious stones, it seems that it had a height of 15 m. Among the Greeks it was considered unfortunate who had not seen the National Shrine. "Even the irrational beings must be moved to a view of Zeus" (Chrysostom). The Zeus of Olimpia was the last work of the Greek sculptor Phidias, whose hand was also the statue of Atenea Parthenos from the acropolis, sculpted under the same technique. It represented the father of the gods with furrowed brow, as when Zeus crinkled his forehead, Olympus was shaking.
From the year 668 b.c. until the year 393 of the Christian era they had place, every four years, games that were the most important of the Greek national holidays. All Greece met in Élide, region of ancient Greece.
The name of Olympia not designated a town, but rather a meeting of temples and public monuments, erected on the occasion of these games. Among these temples, the most beautiful was that of Jupiter. in whose ship the statue of God., rose works of Phidias
The winners, among the applause of the people, was crowned in the temple, at the foot of the statue, whose 20 meters height is raised impressive, showing Jupiter seated on the throne, with the image of victory, all solid gold, in the right hand. Special incense had conferred on the ivory statue of human skin color. The clothes that tightened her waist and reached to his feet, were also of pure gold.
Told that, at the end of his work, Phidias threw is at the foot of the statue supplicating Jupiter it granted a sign of approval. Suddenly, in the serene sky, broke out a beam that filled the temple with its blinding brightness and fell at the feet of the artist. It was the answer of God.
Maravillas del Mundo Antiguo

THE COLOSSUS OF RHODES


To celebrate a very important triumph, the city decided to raise a memorable monument to Helios, God of the Sun, in the port. He directed works Chares of Lindos, disciple of Lysippos. The statue is growing, first frame of iron and bronze plates. Finally, when the statue measures no less than 32 meters high. His fame will attract travelers from all over the ancient world to see it. With the Colossus they became five wonders of the world that is raised upon the face of the Earth, number that was not passed but was decreasing. Fifty-six years after its construction, in 223 a. of C., an earthquake toppled the Colossus. The inhabitants of Rhodes, on the advice of an Oracle, decided to let lie his remains where it fell. In the year 672 of the Christian era, when the Arabs invaded Rhodes, the shadow of a giant body submerged in water filled them stupor.
The Colossus of Rhodes, huge bronze statue that was erected at the entrance to the port, lay from 800 years ago in the background dark, covered with algae and molluscs, broken legs and his face sunk in the mire. Chares of Lindos and Laches were the architects. After 12 years of work that the task was started in the year 292 a. J. C., Chares himself beset by the fear of not ever the stability of the statue. Laches concluded the work, which required fabulous sums. More than three hundred tons of bronze were needed.
The interior of the statue was padded brick up to the waist; the upper part was hollow and contained a staircase leading up to the Tower of fire placed on the head. Every night the guardians climbed up the tower to light torches, which served as a beacon to sailors, less by the eyes of the Colossus. This statue, dedicated to the Sun, had the legs apart, with affirmed feet on each side of the entrance to the port. The Colossus of Rhodes was knocked down, 56 years after its erection, by an earthquake and no one ever cared about raise it again. When, finally, the remains were removed from the sea, was for use on Newbuilds.
Extension: according to a contemporary writer there was in ancient times statues 3000, 100 of them colossal measures, on the rich island of Rhodes. Among them was the most famous giant statue of antiquity, the Colossus of Rhodes: Helios, the Sun God, cast in iron. Apparently must have a height of 30 to 40 mm, a weight of 70 T., and legs open to the entrance of the port of Rhodes, and carrying a lit torch in hand. In the 4th century a. a.d., according to tradition, after his victory over the Macedonian King Demetrios Poliorcetes, the rhodians took the decision melt a statue of his protective God.
Demetrius had put site to the island for a long time, but abandoned it by fruitless. It is said that the rhodians sold the loot constituted by the machines of war abandoned in the Macedonian camp and employed its product in the casting of the statue.
The work was entrusted to the sculptor Criares. It began with the first sketches at 291. It ended twelve years later. Kept in place only just over 50 years. An earthquake hit Rhodes tearing down the Colossus to the sea. On the pedestal they were not more than some remains of the feet.
In 653, the remains of the statue were sold to a Jewish merchant of Edessa, which dished them into 900 loads of camel and melted them on the Mainland. No one knows exactly which aspect was the Colossus of Rhodes, but "in any case his view due be indescribably horrific, tacky, repellent, and also indecent in high-grade", according to adverse Willy Haas's opinion, when he learned of rebuild the Colossus for tourism projects.
Las Siete Maravillas del Mundo Antiguo

THE LIGHTHOUSE OF ALEXANDRIA


The lighthouse of Alexandria, built to the year 300 a. 280 b.c. by the Greek architect Sostratos of Cnidus in a peninsula ahead of the Egyptian city, considered one of the largest technical production in antiquity. A slender octagonal tower of 100 meters of height was raised on a square base. On the upper platform at night burned a fire, fueled with wood and resin. The cost of building should amount to more than 70 billion pesetas, or triple according to other data. Legend has it that Sostratos sought for a long time, for the foundations, a material that disdains the seawater, and finally built the tower over gigantic blocks of glass. In 1375, an earthquake destroyed the remains of the tower.
The lighthouse of Alexandria was the only - one of the seven wonders of the ancient world - built with a utilitarian purpose. In year 279 before Christ, Ptolemy Philadelphus commissioned architect Sóstrates de Cnido construction of a tower on the island of headlights, front of Alexandria, that serve as a guide to Mariners. To give the building greater strength and greater resistance against corrosive force of waters, Sostrates employed for the foundations glass blocks, on which it erected the rest of the building with marble blocks joined by means of molten lead. Marble blocks joined with cast lead constituted the rest of the building, octagonal on a platform of a square base, reaching a height of 134 meters.
On the top was placed a large metal mirror so that its light is not confused with the stars. During the day reflected the light of the Sun, and at night projected that of fire at a distance of up to 50 kilometers. On the top was placed a large metal mirror so that its light is not confused with the stars.
During the day reflected the light of the Sun, and at night projected that of fire at a distance of up to 50 kilometers. An earthquake toppled it in the 14th century, and eight hundred years after its construction, the Caliph Al-Walid went down in history by their ingenuity, both their greed to bring down the remains of the lighthouse with the hope of finding a vast hidden treasure under its foundations.
Solid and resistant to bad weather and the warlike devastation, the lighthouse of Alexandria was knocked down in the seventh century by the eager gullibility of the Caliph Al-Walid ordered its demolition in security to find a treasure hidden in the foundations of the tower.

SOURCE: IT IS FULL (TOMO III 1965)

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