Who Decided the 7 Wonders of the World? A Journey Through Time to Uncover the Truth

Who decided the 7 Wonders of the World? This question has puzzled people for centuries. Many theories have been proposed, but the truth is still shrouded in mystery. Some believe that it was the ancient Greeks who first came up with the idea, while others argue that it was the Romans. But what if I told you that the answer lies much further back in time? Join me on a journey through history as we uncover the true origins of the 7 Wonders of the World and the people who brought them to life. Get ready to be amazed as we explore the wonders of the ancient world and the stories behind them.

The Ancient Origins of the 7 Wonders

The List of 7 Wonders in Ancient Times

The ancient origins of the 7 Wonders of the World can be traced back to the histories of various ancient civilizations. These civilizations had their own lists of impressive structures that were considered to be the greatest achievements of their time. Here is a brief overview of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World, as recorded by ancient historians:

  • The Colossus of Rhodes: This giant statue of the sun god Helios stood over 100 feet tall and was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was built in the city of Rhodes, which was a major trading center in the Mediterranean. The statue was destroyed in an earthquake in 226 BCE, but its ruins still attract tourists to the island of Rhodes today.
  • The Great Pyramid of Giza: This massive stone structure was built as a tomb for Pharaoh Khufu and is considered to be one of the greatest architectural achievements of all time. The pyramid’s base covers over 13 acres and it is estimated that it took over 20 years to build. Despite being over 4,500 years old, the Great Pyramid of Giza remains an impressive testament to ancient Egyptian engineering and architecture.
  • The Hanging Gardens of Babylon: These ancient gardens were said to have been built by King Nebuchadnezzar II for his wife, Amytis. According to legend, the gardens were designed to resemble the gardens of the gods on Mount Olympus and were built on top of a series of terraced buildings. Despite their fame, little is known about the actual existence of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and some historians doubt that they ever existed at all.
  • The Statue of Zeus at Olympia: This massive statue of the Greek god Zeus was built in the 5th century BCE and was considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The statue was carved from gold and ivory and stood over 40 feet tall. It was housed in a temple at Olympia, which was a major religious center in ancient Greece.
  • The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus: This ancient temple was dedicated to the Greek goddess Artemis and was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was built in the city of Ephesus, which was a major center of commerce and culture in the ancient world. The temple was destroyed and rebuilt several times over the centuries, but its ruins still attract visitors to the city of Sel├žuk, Turkey today.
  • The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus: This impressive tomb was built for King Mausolus of Caria in the 4th century BCE. It was considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and was famous for its intricate sculptures and architectural features. The mausoleum was destroyed in an earthquake in the 15th century, but its ruins still attract visitors to the city of Bodrum, Turkey today.
  • The Lighthouse of Alexandria: This ancient lighthouse was built in the 3rd century BCE and was considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was located in the city of Alexandria, which was a major center of learning and culture in the ancient world. The lighthouse was destroyed in a series of earthquakes in the 14th century, but its ruins still attract visitors to the city of Alexandria, Egypt today.

The Significance of the 7 Wonders in Ancient Culture

  • The 7 Wonders as a Marker of Achievement
    • The 7 Wonders served as a way for ancient civilizations to showcase their architectural and engineering prowess.
    • These monumental structures represented the pinnacle of human achievement in their time, and their inclusion in the list of 7 Wonders served as a testament to their greatness.
  • The 7 Wonders as a Source of Pride for Their Cities
    • The 7 Wonders were not only symbols of achievement but also sources of pride for the cities in which they were built.
    • The inclusion of a city’s structure in the list of 7 Wonders was a badge of honor, signifying the city’s wealth, power, and influence.
  • The 7 Wonders as a Unifying Force in the Ancient World
    • Despite the competitive nature of ancient civilizations, the 7 Wonders served as a unifying force, bringing people together across cultures and borders.
    • The recognition of these structures as the greatest achievements of their time created a shared language and a common ground for people to connect over, transcending geographical and cultural boundaries.

The Medieval Period and the 7 Wonders

Key takeaway: The 7 Wonders of the World, which include the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes, and the Pharos Lighthouse at Alexandria, are considered to be some of the greatest architectural and artistic achievements of human civilization. They have inspired countless people throughout history and continue to do so today. These wonders serve as a testament to the ingenuity, creativity, and resourcefulness of our ancestors, who were able to conceive and construct such remarkable structures using only the tools and technologies available to them at the time. The 7 Wonders also serve as a source of inspiration for future generations, reminding us of the potential for human achievement and the power of imagination and innovation.

The Decline of the 7 Wonders

  • The Destruction of the Great Library of Alexandria
    • The Great Library of Alexandria was one of the most significant cultural and intellectual centers of the ancient world.
    • It housed a vast collection of scrolls, manuscripts, and books, including many important works of literature, science, and philosophy.
    • The library was destroyed in a fire in the late 4th century BC, and while some claim it was due to an accident, others believe it was intentionally burned down by the Roman Emperor Theodosius in 391 AD.
    • The loss of the Great Library of Alexandria marked the end of an era of intellectual and cultural achievement that had lasted for centuries.
  • The Abandonment of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
    • The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus was a tomb built for King Mausolus of Caria in the 4th century BC.
    • It was considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and was renowned for its grandeur and beauty.
    • The Mausoleum was eventually abandoned and fell into ruin, but it continued to be an important cultural and historical landmark for centuries.
    • In the Middle Ages, the site was eventually destroyed by earthquakes and the ravages of time.
  • The Destruction of the Lighthouse of Alexandria
    • The Lighthouse of Alexandria was a monumental structure that served as a beacon for ships entering the harbor of Alexandria.
    • It was built in the 3rd century BC and was one of the tallest structures in the ancient world.
    • The lighthouse was eventually destroyed in a series of earthquakes in the 14th century AD, and while some of its ruins still remain, it has long since vanished from the landscape.
    • The loss of the Lighthouse of Alexandria marked the end of an era of architectural and engineering achievement that had lasted for centuries.
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The 7 Wonders in Medieval Legends and Tales

During the medieval period, the 7 Wonders of the World were not just a source of inspiration for architects and engineers, but also for artists and writers. Many medieval legends and tales revolved around the 7 Wonders, each adding its own unique spin to the story.

One of the most famous medieval legends surrounding the 7 Wonders is that of the traveler who visited all 7 Wonders in a single day. According to the legend, the traveler was a wealthy merchant who set out on a journey to see the 7 Wonders of the World. He managed to visit all 7 Wonders in a single day, thanks to the help of a magical horse that could travel at incredible speeds.

Another medieval legend surrounding the 7 Wonders is that of the 7 Wonders as a symbol of God’s divine power. According to this legend, the 7 Wonders were not created by human hands, but were instead gifts from God to humanity. They were seen as symbols of God’s divine power and were believed to be imbued with supernatural powers.

In addition to these legends, there were also many medieval myths and legends surrounding the 7 Wonders. One of the most popular was the story of the 7 Wonders as a source of eternal youth. According to this myth, anyone who visited all 7 Wonders would be granted eternal youth and would never age beyond their current age.

Another popular medieval myth surrounding the 7 Wonders was the story of the 7 Wonders as a source of untold wealth. According to this myth, anyone who could find and control all 7 Wonders would be granted access to untold wealth and riches.

These legends and myths surrounding the 7 Wonders of the World continued to inspire and captivate people throughout the medieval period, and their influence can still be felt today.

The Renaissance and the Rediscovery of the 7 Wonders

The Renaissance Interest in Antiquity

The Revival of Classical Learning and Scholarship

During the Renaissance, there was a renewed interest in classical learning and scholarship. This movement, which spanned from the 14th to the 17th century, marked a period of cultural, artistic, and intellectual growth in Europe. It was characterized by a rediscovery of ancient Greek and Roman texts, leading to a revival of classical ideas and values.

The Re-discovery of the Ancient World

The Renaissance saw the re-discovery of the ancient world, with many scholars and artists looking to the achievements of the Greeks and Romans for inspiration. This interest in antiquity led to the excavation of numerous ancient sites, such as the Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, which provided new insights into the cultures and achievements of the ancient world.

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One of the key figures in this re-discovery was the Italian humanist, Poggio Bracciolini, who unearthed numerous ancient manuscripts, including the text of the “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.” These discoveries fueled a renewed interest in the achievements of the ancient world and paved the way for the eventual recognition of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

The Influence of the 7 Wonders on Renaissance Art and Architecture

  • The Imitation of Ancient Styles and Techniques
    • The revival of classical Greek and Roman architectural styles, such as the use of columns, arches, and domes, in Renaissance buildings.
    • The adoption of ancient techniques, such as the use of Roman concrete, in Renaissance construction.
  • The Use of the 7 Wonders as a Source of Inspiration for Renaissance Artists and Architects
    • The depiction of the 7 Wonders in paintings and sculptures, such as the Colosseum in Rome.
    • The incorporation of the 7 Wonders into the design of buildings, such as the incorporation of the lighthouse of Alexandria into the facade of the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice.

The Modern Era and the 7 Wonders

The 7 Wonders as a Symbol of World Heritage

  • The Preservation of the 7 Wonders as a Symbol of Cultural and Historical Significance
    • The Role of Governments and Organizations in Preserving the 7 Wonders
      • The Creation of National Parks and Historical Sites
      • The Provision of Funding for Restoration and Conservation Efforts
    • The Importance of Private Investment in the Preservation of the 7 Wonders
      • The Role of Philanthropists and Corporations in Supporting Conservation Efforts
      • The Creation of Public-Private Partnerships for Preservation
  • The Listing of the 7 Wonders as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Voting Process for the New 7 Wonders of the World

The initiative to select a new set of 7 Wonders was spearheaded by the Swiss-based non-profit organization, the New7Wonders Foundation, in 2000. The aim was to generate global interest and encourage tourism while also promoting cultural and natural heritage conservation.

The selection process involved several stages, including:

  • Nominations: The foundation invited countries to nominate one monument or landmark each to be considered for the new 7 Wonders. Over 200 monuments from all over the world were nominated.
  • Preliminary Shortlist: A panel of experts evaluated the nominated sites based on criteria such as architectural and cultural significance, historical importance, and symbolic value. They selected a preliminary shortlist of 77 sites.
  • Global Voting: The shortlist was then put to a global vote through an extensive marketing campaign that involved various media partners. The voting was open to the public for a period of 3 years, from 2007 to 2010.
  • Announcement of the New 7 Wonders: The final results were announced on July 7, 2007, in Lisbon, Portugal. The New 7 Wonders of the World were:
    1. Great Wall of China
    2. Petra in Jordan
    3. Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    4. Machu Picchu in Peru
    5. Chichen Itza in Mexico
    6. Colosseum in Rome, Italy
    7. Taj Mahal in India

However, the voting process was not without controversy. Critics argued that the initiative was more of a publicity stunt than a genuine effort to promote cultural heritage conservation. They also raised concerns about the credibility of the voting process, given that it was largely driven by popularity rather than academic or cultural criteria. Additionally, some countries accused the foundation of favoring certain sites over others, and even alleged vote-buying schemes.

The Truth Behind the 7 Wonders

The Mystery Surrounding the Selection of the 7 Wonders

The selection of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World has been a topic of much debate and speculation throughout history. Unfortunately, there is no recorded information available that sheds light on the process by which the 7 Wonders were chosen.

One theory suggests that the selection was made by a group of scholars and historians who sought to immortalize the greatest achievements of the ancient world. However, there is no concrete evidence to support this theory.

Another theory suggests that the selection was made by a single individual, such as a king or a dictator, who had the power to decide what would be considered the greatest achievements of the ancient world. However, there is no evidence to support this theory either.

The lack of recorded information on the selection process has led to much speculation and debate among historians and scholars. Some believe that the selection was based on the popularity of the monuments at the time, while others believe that it was based on the political or economic power of the rulers who commissioned them.

Despite the mystery surrounding the selection of the 7 Wonders, they remain a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of the ancient world. Whether they were chosen by a group or by a single individual, they continue to inspire awe and wonder in people around the world.

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The Importance of the 7 Wonders Beyond Their Selection

The 7 Wonders as a Symbol of Human Achievement

The 7 Wonders of the Ancient World, which include the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes, and the Pharos Lighthouse at Alexandria, are considered to be some of the greatest architectural and artistic achievements of human civilization. They have inspired countless people throughout history and continue to do so today. These wonders serve as a testament to the ingenuity, creativity, and resourcefulness of our ancestors, who were able to conceive and construct such remarkable structures using only the tools and technologies available to them at the time.

The 7 Wonders as a Source of Inspiration for Future Generations

In addition to their historical significance, the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World also hold great symbolic value for contemporary society. They serve as a reminder of the potential for human achievement and the power of imagination and innovation. By studying these wonders, we can gain insight into the minds and motivations of those who created them, as well as the societies and cultures that produced them. Moreover, by recognizing the importance of preserving and protecting these cultural landmarks, we can inspire future generations to continue striving for excellence and pushing the boundaries of human creativity and knowledge.

The 7 Wonders of the World have inspired countless people throughout history and continue to do so today. These wonders serve as a testament to the ingenuity, creativity, and resourcefulness of our ancestors, who were able to conceive and construct such remarkable structures using only the tools and technologies available to them at the time. By studying these wonders, we can gain insight into the minds and motivations of those who created them, as well as the societies and cultures that produced them. Moreover, by recognizing the importance of preserving and protecting these cultural landmarks, we can inspire future generations to continue striving for excellence and pushing the boundaries of human creativity and knowledge.

FAQs

1. Who decided the 7 Wonders of the World?

The 7 Wonders of the World is a list of the most famous and impressive structures of the ancient world. The concept of the 7 Wonders originated in the 2nd century BCE, and the list has varied over time. The most well-known list of the 7 Wonders was compiled by the ancient Greek historian Antiochus of Athens in the 2nd century BCE. This list included the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes, and the Pharos lighthouse in Alexandria.

2. Why were the 7 Wonders of the World chosen?

The 7 Wonders of the World were chosen because they were considered to be the most impressive and remarkable structures of the ancient world. These structures were built by some of the most powerful and wealthy civilizations of the time, and they represented the pinnacle of architectural and engineering achievement. The 7 Wonders were chosen not only for their beauty and grandeur, but also for their cultural and historical significance.

3. What happened to the 7 Wonders of the World?

Over time, all of the 7 Wonders of the World were eventually destroyed or severely damaged. Some of the structures, such as the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, still stand today, but in a much-damaged state. Other structures, such as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Colossus of Rhodes, have been completely destroyed and only exist in historical records and ruins. Despite their eventual fate, the 7 Wonders of the World remain an important part of history and continue to inspire awe and wonder.

4. How has the list of the 7 Wonders of the World changed over time?

The list of the 7 Wonders of the World has varied over time, as different historians and scholars have compiled their own lists of the most impressive structures of the ancient world. The most well-known list of the 7 Wonders, which includes the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, was compiled by the ancient Greek historian Antiochus of Athens in the 2nd century BCE. Other lists of the 7 Wonders have been compiled by scholars and historians throughout history, and these lists often include different structures and vary in their selection criteria.

5. What is the significance of the 7 Wonders of the World today?

The 7 Wonders of the World are an important part of history and continue to inspire awe and wonder. They represent some of the most impressive and significant structures of the ancient world, and their stories and legacies continue to fascinate people today. The 7 Wonders of the World also serve as a reminder of the power of human creativity, ingenuity, and ambition, and they continue to inspire architects, engineers, and artists to push the boundaries of what is possible.

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