of Ancient World
The ancient Greeks loved to compile lists of the marvellous
structures in their world. Though we think of the Seven Wonders
of the Ancient World as a single list today, there were actually
a number of lists compiled by different Greek writers. Antipater
of Sidon, and Philon of Byzantium, drew up two of the most well-known
lists. Many of the lists agreed on six of the seven items.
The final place on some lists was awarded to the Walls of the City
of Babylon. On others, the Palace of Cyrus, king of Persia took
the seventh position. Finally, toward the 6th century A.D., the
final item became the Lighthouse at Alexandria. Since the it was
Greeks who made the lists it is not unusual that many of the items
on them were examples of Greek culture.
The writers might have listed the Great
Wall of China if then had known about it, or Stonehenge
if they'd seen it, but these places were beyond the limits of their
world. It is a surprise to most people to learn that not all the
Seven Wonders existed at the same time. Even if you lived in ancient
times you would have still needed a time machine to see all seven.
While the Great Pyramids of Egypt
was built centuries before the rest and is still around today (it
is the only "wonder" still intact) most of the others
only survived a few hundred years or less. The
Colossus of Rhodes stood only a little more than half a century
before an earthquake toppled it.