Quick, name the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. And no cheating with Wikipedia!
Chances are you could get about three, maybe four: the Great Pyramid at Giza and a couple more. One of the ones you’re likely to have forgetten is the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. You’ll remember from yesterday’s blog that we said modern day Bodrum was ancient Halicarnassus. That means the site of this 1 of the 7 wonders is right in the middle of Bodrum, a couple of blocks up from the yacht harbor and safely nestled amongst stone houses, souvenir shops (where we got some nifty stuff for our progeny), and Turkish barbers (a hint on tomorrow’s blog).
You might also remember that the only surviving of the 7 wonders is the Great Pyramid, meaning, unfortunately, that what we found in Bodrum were the ruins of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. Mausoleums, of course, are buildings built to bury people in, and this one was built to impress: 150 feet tall (15 stories) with 36 huge columns and friezes depicting the greatness of its intended recipient, a guy named Mausolus.
Mausolus was a Persion king (of sorts) in the 4th century BC. Culturally he was Hellenic (talked like a Greek, walked like a Greek), which is not surprising given how much closer he was to Greece than to Persia. He managed some token military actions, but is largely the Rodney Dangerfield (without respect) when it comes to ancient Persian kings. If it weren’t for a loving sister (who also happened to be his wife) who insisted on constructing the massive building to house his body for posterity, Mausolus would hardly merit a historical footnote. The word “mausoleum”, by the way, derives from his name, meaning literally “building to put Mausolus in”, so the posterity notions of his wife-sister were achieved in a way totally different than she had originally intended.
- The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
- The Great Pyramid at Giza
- The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
- The Statue of Zeus at Olympia
- The Colosus of Rhodes
- The Lighthouse of Alexandria
- The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
We can cross one off the list!