|Author||Charles River Editors|
|Publisher||CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform|
|Publication Date||September 4, 2013|
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*Includes pictures of historic art depicting important people and places.
*Includes ancient descriptions of the Hanging Gardens and discusses their authenticity.
*Explains the historical debate over the origins of the Hanging Gardens and where they were actually located.
*Includes a bibliography for further reading.
"There was also, beside the acropolis, the Hanging Garden, as it is called, which was built, not by Semiramis, but by a later Syrian king to please one of his concubines; for she, they say, being a Persian by race and longing for the meadows of her mountains, asked the king to imitate, through the artifice of a planted garden, the distinctive landscape of Persia.” Diodorus Siculus
In antiquity, the Hanging Gardens, like the Great Pyramid of Giza, were considered both a technological marvel and an aesthetic masterpiece. Ancient historians believed that the Hanging Gardens were constructed around the 7th century B.C. after the second rise of Babylon, which would make them the second-oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Reputedly, they were created by the biblical Nebuchadnezzar II (the king who conquered Judea) to please his homesick wife, after the model of Egyptian pleasure gardens, but in 1993, British Assyriologist, Stephanie Dalley, proposed a theory that they were ordered built by the Assyrian King Sennacherib a century earlier for his giant palace at Nineveh, instead. She believed that the two sites were easily confused by ancient sources, resulting in the Gardens being incorrectly located in Babylon a century later.
Many ancient writers discussed the Hanging Gardens, including including Strabo, Diodorus Siculus, and Quintus Curtius Rufus. In fact, Diodorus Siculus and Philo of Byzantium both described the mechanisms of the Gardens at length. According to their accounts, the Hanging Gardens were terraced and cultivated orchards that were built over a series of buildings made of glazed ceramic and perhaps watered by some kind of pulley or pump system of irrigation. Water was drawn from a reservoir through a network of reeds and bricks, held together by asphalt and cement, with lead used as a sealant. The Gardens were built on a citadel 80 feet high with walls 22 feet thick.
Despite the detailed descriptions, historians still question whether the Hanging Gardens ever actually existed. The sheer amount of water that would’ve been required, and the fact that they would’ve relied on technology that was supposedly invented 400 years down the line cast doubt upon their existence. Officially, the reason why it is not known whether the Hanging Gardens ever existed is because they were reported to have been destroyed by several earthquakes, the last of which left the Hanging Gardens completely ruined by the 2nd century B.C., around the time the Greek “tourists” were writing their pamphlets. Therefore, it is not known if any of the writers who described them ever truly saw the Hanging Gardens, and even as ancient Greeks and Romans of different centuries wrote about the Hanging Gardens and relied on previous ancient texts, Babylonian sources do not mention them. Neither do near-contemporaneous Greek sources like Herodotus.
Legends of the Ancient World: The Hanging Gardens of Babylon comprehensively covers the history and mystery of the famous wonder of the ancient world, looking at ancient descriptions of the Hanging Gardens and the questions modern academics are still trying to answer. Along with pictures, a bibliography and a Table of Contents, you will learn about the Hanging Gardens like you never have before, in no time at all.
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