Was the "Seven Wonders of the World" a marketing scheme for ancient tourism companies? How did the wonders become known as such? More importantly, just what are they? How many of them can you name?
iMinds specializes in under-10-minute audiobooks aimed at filling gaps in cultural, scientific, or historical knowledge. Lovingly produced with elegant soundtracks and capable Australian narrators like Luca James Lee, whose voice adds gravity to these brisk listens, this instalment will save the listener from embarrassment when an office trivia game turns toward the ancient. Hint: Only one of the wonders still exists.
Learn about the Seven Wonders of the World with iMinds insightful audio knowledge series.2,500 years ago, people began to talk about the wondrous structures they had seen in their travels around the Mediterranean. In 222 B.C., Philo of Byzantium wrote an essay called “On the Seven Wonders”. The historian Herodotus had made his list a few hundred years before. But it was Antipater of Sidon, a Greek poet, who brought the Seven Wonders to life in 120 B.C. Antipater lived during the Hellenistic age, when the culture of the ancient Greeks had spread throughout the Mediterranean. Seven was a mystical number to people of this era. And Antipater’s Seven Wonders soon became tourist shrines, much like the Statue of Liberty and Eiffel Tower are today.
The various lists which survived mentioned other wonders. This created confusion around the sixteenth century when there was a renewed interest in the ancient world. While the writers of that time generally agreed on six of them, the seventh Wonder was in dispute. It was entirely by chance that the list was finalized in the middle of the sixteenth century. A Dutch artist, Maerten van Heemskerck, made a series of engravings depicting the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. As he had never visited these Wonders, he could only use his imagination to create the images but they remained the general opinion of what the Wonders looked like. This changed more recently, when modern science was able to shed further light on all seven.
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