Nov 28, 2013

Wonders of the Ancient World: What You Don't Know Might Surprise You

Photo of the Great Pyramid of Giza, the last o...
Photo of the Great Pyramid of Giza (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As many readers already know, there exists an "official" list of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.  But, how much do you really know about the Seven Wonders?  Do you know why we have a list, and why there are only seven items listed on it?  Is there an "Eighth Wonder?" Did they all actually exist?  Take the fun five-part quiz below and see how much you know about the "wonders of the world."

Question No. 1:  Can you name all seven wonders without looking at the list below?  Give it a try.


1.  Great Pyramid at Giza
2.  Hanging Gardens of Babylon
3.  Statue of Zeus (Jupiter) at Olympia
4.  Temple of Artemis (Diana) at Ephesus
5.  Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
6.  Colossus of Rhodes
7.  Lighthouse at Alexandria

If you guessed all of these, give yourself a pat on the back.  Next question; this one's a bit tougher, even for us history enthusiasts.

Question No. 2:  When, why and by whom was the "official" list of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World compiled?


The "official" list of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World - i.e., the list that most agree upon - was compiled by Antipator of Sidon and Philon of Byzantium.  It was compiled after the conquests of Alexander the Great, and for the purpose of directing Greek tourists to places of interest in the Mediterranean World.  That's right - the "official" list of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World was, in all likelihood, the world's first tour guide reference!

Question 3:  Why are there only seven items on the list?


The answer to this question is not known for certain.  However, it is believed that the number is related to the ancient belief in good fortune being associated with the number 7.

Question 4:  Is there an "Eighth Wonder of the World?"


There is no agreed-upon "Eighth Wonder of the World;" the term refers to attempts to broaden the "official" list of seven named above.  Attempts have been made to broaden the list to include other ancient structures (e.g., Angkor Wat in Cambodia), structures from other time periods (e.g., Taj Mahal, Great Wall of China), and even natural structures (e.g., Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland)

Question 5:  Of the Seven Wonders, which one (if any) is not known to have actually existed?


We know the Great Pyramid exists because, of the Seven Wonders, it is the only one still relatively intact.  Five of the others have been confirmed either through discovery or adequate records or accounts.  Only one is an exception:  the Hanging Gardens at Babylon.  While certainly marvelous, it is not yet known whether this supposed wonder is fact or fiction.

However, very recently, one expert claims to have discovered the elusive Hanging Gardens.  Read our our forthcoming article to find out more about this amazing new development.

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