William Sterling

Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

This course ran at the City Lit and the British Museum on Saturday 15th October 2016.  I also ran it as a three day course between Saturday 3rd and Saturday 17th November 2018.

It is also suitable for cruises especially those in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The following documents refer to the 2018 course.

The course outline said:-

“The Seven Wonders fascinate us, but what were they and why were they wonders? Using art, literature and archaeology we’ll explore possible answers. Each day will conclude with a visit to the British Museum.”

“The famous seven wonders of the ancient world: the Pyramids, the Alexandrian Lighthouse, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Colossus of Rhodes and the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus.”

“The origin of the list and the changes to it over the centuries. The history of each of the original wonders and where possible, who created them, for what purpose, when and how long did they survive, what was their fate, what remains of them today, how archaeologists uncovered some of the surviving fragments and how the quest continues to find other remains. Day 1 will cover the origins of the idea of seven wonders and look in detail at the Great Pyramid and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon as well as associated monuments such as other pyramids, the sphinx, and the walls and gates of Babylon. Day 2 will cover the statue of Zeus at Olympia and the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus along with other associated monuments such as the temple of Zeus itself and its importance as regards the Olympic Games, Phidias’s other masterpieces at Athens and elsewhere, and the other Artemisiums. Day 3 will cover the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes and the Pharos Lighthouse with other associated monuments such as the Nereid Monument, other Amazonomachies, other colossal statues and lighthouses.”

Day 1 covered the Introduction, the Pyramids and Babylon’s Hanging Gardens and other wonders

This is the script I used

Day 1

These are the slides

Introduction slides in printable version

Pyramids Slides in printable version

Babylon slides in printable version

Day 2 covered the Statue of Zeus at Olympia and the associated games and the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus

This is the script I used

Day 2

These are the slides I used

Zeus slides in printable version

Ephesus slides in printable version

Day 3 covered the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes and the Pharos Lighthouse at Alexandria

This is the script I used

Day 3

These are the slides I used

Mausoleum slides in printable version

Rhodes slides in printable version

Pharos slides in printable version

The following were handouts during the course or other information that might be of interest.

Seven Wonders List

Bede 7 wonders handout

Herodotus wonders

philo of byzantium

antipater and gregory

Table of Wonders

Pliny on the Temple of Artemis and the Statue of Zeus

Olympia map

Olympia Map

Olympia pediments

seven at british museum

Strabo C1st BC

The New Colossus

Pliny C1st AD

Mausoleum Influences

These documents refer to the 2016 course. This handout was available at the class.

seven-wonders-list

We also looked at a series of slides.  These are now available as printable handouts below.

pyramids-handout

babylon-handout

ephesus-handouts

zeus-handouts

mausoleum-handouts

rhodes-handouts

pharos-handouts

Below is a copy of the script I worked from for the talks.

seven-wonders-of-the-world-script

Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time Babylon

The Library of Nineveh

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