"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 of Sidon
Nearly 2,000 years ago, two ancient writers named Antipater of Sidon and Philo of Byzantium authored antiquity's most well-known tour guides. After the two Greeks had traveled around the Mediterranean, they wrote of what they considered to be the classical world's greatest construction projects. While there is still some question as to who actually authored the text attributed to Philo and Antipater at the time of its creation, their lists ended up comprising the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, igniting interest in the ones they chosen and inspiring subsequent generations to identify their era's own Seven Wonders.
Naturally, the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World may be considered something of a misnomer. Only one still stands (the Great Pyramid at Giza in Egypt), all existed in the Hellenistic culture rather than all over the world, and relatively few people saw them or visited them. They were all architectural marvels of the late Classical period and all but two were created by the Greeks. All but one were in the Mediterranean area. Even so, they represented a widespread range of works and cultures and spread out across three different continents.
©2012 Charles River Editors (P)2015 Charles River Editors