Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday's Seven Wonders - Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Seven Wonders of the Ancient World #2 - The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

(This hand-coloured engraving is by the 16th-century Dutch artist Martin Heemskerck and depicts the fabled Hanging Gardens of Babylon)

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, also known as the Hanging Gardens of Semiramis, near present-day Al Hillah in Iraq (formerly Babylon), is considered one of the original Seven Wonders of the World. They were built by Nebuchadnezzar II around 600 BC. He is reported to have constructed the gardens to please his wife, Amytis of Media, who longed for the trees and fragrant plants of her homeland Persia. The gardens were destroyed by several earthquakes after the 2nd century BC. According to the tradition, the gardens did not hang, but grew on the roofs and terraces of the royal palace in Ancient Babylon.

There is some controversy as to whether the Hanging Gardens were an actual creation or a poetic creation due to the lack of documentation of them in the chronicles of Babylonian history. In ancient writings the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were first described by Berossus, a Chaldean priest who lived in the late 4th century BC. These accounts were later elaborated on by Greek historians.

1 comment:

Julia Smith said...

Another lovely post on the Ancient Wonders, Bobbi. I have to confess I'm especially romantic about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. I love the sound of it, the thought of it, and I have many pictures of it in my minds' eye.