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hanging gardens of babylon today

hanging gardens of babylon today

hanging gardens of babylon today

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hanging gardens of babylon today

Hanging Gardens of Babylon

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were the fabled gardens which beautified the capital of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, built by its greatest king Nebuchadnezzar II .

(r. 605-562 BCE). One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, they are the only wonder whose existence is disputed amongst historians.

Some scholars claim the gardens were not in Babylon but actually at Nineveh, capital of the Assyrian Empire, while others stick with the ancient writers and await archaeology to provide positive proof.

Still others believe the gardens are merely a figment of the ancient imagination. Archaeology at Babylon itself and ancient Babylonian texts are silent on the matter.

but ancient writers describe the gardens as if they were at Nebuchadnezzar’s capital and still in existence in Hellenistic times.

The exotic nature of the gardens compared to the more familiar Greek items on the list and the mystery surrounding their location.

and disappearance have made the Hanging Gardens of Babylon the most captivating of all the Seven Wonders.

Babylon & Nebuchadnezzar II

Babylon, located about 80 km (50 miles) south of modern Baghdad in Iraq, was an ancient city with a history of settlement dating back to the 3rd millennium BCE.

hanging gardens of babylon today

The greatest period in the city’s history was in the 6th century BCE during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II when the city was the capital of the Neo-Babylonian Empire.

The empire had been founded by Nebuchadnezzar’s father Nabopolassar (r. 625-605 BCE) after his victories over the Assyrian Empire.

Nebuchadnezzar II would go on to even greater things, including the capture of Jerusalem in 597 BCE. The Babylonian king then set about making his capital one of the most splendid cities in the world.

The Ishtar Gate was built c. 575 BCE with its fine towers and depictions in tiles of animals both real and imaginary, a 7-20 km brick double wall surrounded the city.

– the largest ever built – and then, possibly, he added the extensive pleasure gardens whose fame spread throughout the ancient world.

The Gardens

The majority of scholars agree that the idea of cultivating gardens purely for pleasure.

as opposed to the production of food, originated in the Fertile Crescent, where they were known as a paradise.

From there the notion would spread throughout the ancient Mediterranean so that by Hellenistic times even private individuals.

or at least the wealthier ones, were cultivating their own private gardens in their homes.

Gardens were not just about flowers and plants, either, as architectural, sculptural, and water features were added, and even the views were a consideration for the ancient landscape gardener. Gardens became such a desired feature that fresco painters.

such as those at Pompeii, covered entire walls of villas with scenes which gave the illusion that on entering a room one was also entering a garden.

All of these outdoor pleasant places, then, owed their existence to ancient Mesopotamia and, above all, to the magnificent Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were sometimes referred to as the Hanging Gardens of Semiramis after the semi-legendary and semi-divine female Assyrian ruler thought.

by the Greeks to have extensively rebuilt Babylon in the 9th century BCE. Herodotus, the 5th-century BCE Greek historian,

describes the impressive irrigation system of Babylon and the walls but does not mention any gardens specifically .

(although the Great Sphinx is also curiously missing from his description of Giza).

The first mention in an ancient source of the gardens is by Berossus of Kos.

actually, a priest named Bel-Usru from Babylon who relocated to the Greek island. Writing c.

290 BCE, Berossus’ work survives only as quoted excerpts in that of later writers.

but many of his descriptions of Babylon have been corroborated by archaeology.

The Seven Wonders

Some of the monuments of the ancient world so impressed visitors from far and wide with their beauty.

artistic and architectural ambition, and sheer scale that their reputation grew as must-see (themata) sights for the ancient traveller and pilgrim.

Seven such monuments became the original

‘bucket list’ when ancient writers such as Herodotus.

Callimachus of Cyrene, Antipater of Sidon, and Philo of Byzantium compiled shortlists of the most wonderful sights of the ancient world.

Hanging Gardens of Babylon

ancient garden, Babylon, Mesopotamia

Hanging Gardens of Babylon, ancient gardens considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World and thought to have been located near the royal palace in Babylon.

By the beginning of the 21st century, the site of the Hanging Gardens had not yet been conclusively established.

Nevertheless, many theories persisted regarding the structure and location of the gardens. Some researchers proposed that these were rooftop gardens.

Leonard Woolley

Another theory, popularized by the writings of British archaeologist Sir Leonard Woolley, suggested that the gardens were built within the walls of the royal palace at Babylon.

the capital of Babylonia (now in southern Iraq), and did not actually “hang” but were instead “up in the air”; that is, they were roof gardens laid out on a series of ziggurat terraces that were irrigated by pumps from the Euphrates River.

Traditionally, they were thought to be the work either of the semilegendary queen Sammu-ramat (Greek Semiramis, mother of the Assyrian king Adad-nirari III.

who reigned from 810 to 783 bce) or of King Nebuchadrezzar II (reigned c. 605–c. 561 bce), who built them to console his Median wife, Amytis, because she missed the mountains and greenery of her homeland.

The Hanging Gardens were described in detail

The Hanging Gardens were described in detail by a number of Classical authors.

Though some sources disagreed on who built them, a number of descriptions concurred .

that the gardens were located near the royal palace and were set upon vaulted terraces.

They were also described as having been watered by an exceptional system of irrigation and roofed with stone balconies on which were layered various materials.

such as reeds, bitumen, and lead, so that the irrigation water would not seep through the terraces.

Although no certain traces of the Hanging Gardens have been found, a German archaeologist.

Robert Koldewey, did uncover an unusual series of foundation chambers and vaults in the northeastern corner of the palace at Babylon.

A well in one of the vaults may have been used in conjunction with a chain pump .

and thus was thought perhaps to be part of the substructure of the once towering Hanging Gardens.

in the late 20th and early 21st centuries

Research in the late 20th and early 21st centuries suggested that popular theories holding .

that the Hanging Gardens had once thrived in Babylon atop a rooftop or terraced ziggurat were perhaps misconceptions.

Instead, a later theory postulated that, owing to confusion among Classical sources.

the Hanging Gardens might well have been those constructed by Sennacherib.

(705/704–681 bce) at Nineveh. This research suggested that the gardens were laid out on a sloping construct designed to imitate a natural mountain landscape.

and were watered by a novel system of irrigation.

perhaps making early use of what would eventually be known as the Archimedes screw.

hanging gardens of babylon today pictures

Hanging Gardens of Babylon

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World listed by Hellenic culture.

They were described as a remarkable feat of engineering with an ascending series of tiered gardens containing a wide variety of trees.

shrubs, and vines, resembling a large green mountain constructed of mud bricks.

It was said to have been built in the ancient city of Babylon, near present-day Hillah, Babil province, in Iraq.

Descriptions in classical literature

There are five principal writers whose descriptions of Babylon exist in some form today. These writers concern themselves with the size of the Hanging Gardens, their overall design and means of irrigation, and why they were built.

Josephus (c. 37–100 AD) quotes a description of the gardens by Berossus, a Babylonian priest of Marduk. whose writing c. 290 BC is the earliest known mention of the gardens.

Berossus described the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II and is the only source to credit that king with the construction of the Hanging Gardens.

resource: wikipedia

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