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Mare Nostrum

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

by E.S.



Important facts about the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

    The Seven Wonders were brought together by the Greeks, but not all of them were of Greek origin (Pathak). They were compiled as a list of architectural and artistic marvels and represent nearly 2000 years of ancient Mediterranean culture (Ashmawy).

Other lists of ancient wonders

    The list we use today was not the first list to be created. The first list was actually compiled in 500 BCE by Callimachus of Cyrene (305-240 BCE), who was the Chief Librarian of the Alexandria Mouseion. He wrote "A Collection of Wonders around the World," but it was lost when the Alexandria Library was destroyed, so we don't know what was in it (Ashmawy).

    The last known list was compiled in the Middle Ages. It listed seven wonders. Some of the wonders named had not survived to that time, but were thought of as beautiful representations of the ancient world (Ashmawy).

The list we use today

    The list of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that we use today was put together in 200 BCE by a Greek historian named Antipatros (Ashmawy), who wanted to commemorate the achievements of the ancient world (King 2). He chose them for many reasons.
    • Grandeur (King 2)

      This included their presige. A well-known construction was more likely to be chosen than an obscure one. This also meant that the Wonder should have been unique, or the first of its kind.

    • The vision and purpose that inspired them (King 2)

      This was important, especially to the Greeks. Each of these Wonders had an important purpose, whether to serve as a tomb, or to bring beauty into the world.

    • Their unequaled size, design, and craftsmanship (King 2)

      The smallest of the Wonders stood 40 feet tall (King 10), and the largest stood 451 feet tall (Ashmawy).

~A map of the Mediterranean area with major cities and the sites of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

The Wonders: