Hanging Gardens of babylon

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World were the most revered and awesome structures in all history. Philo of Byzantium made the first list of Seven Wonders for travelers of the Hellenistic Era, which included only man-made structures: the Pyramids at Giza or sculptures like the Colossus of Rhodes and so on. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon is one of the most interesting Wonders. Philo highlighted the various qualities that the gardens were worth to be inn the list of Wonders in the 3rd century B.C. These gardens showed the majesty of the Babylonian culture and the technology of its people. It was a terraced garden that showed many beautiful plants and held many fountains. Nebuchadnezzar II ordered this Wonder to be built during his reign of 43 years between the years of 604-562 BC. He built it to pick up the mood of his homesick wife, Amyitis, who was from Media. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon awed annd astonished many travelers and historians in ancient times. Although they no longer exist, the idea of such a magnificent feat of engineering still attracts people today.
Nebuchadnezzar, the builder of the gardens, was the most important ruler of his dynasty. He

e was the son of Nabopolassar, and lived from 604-562 B.C. As a military commander, he followed in the footsteps of his predecessors, conquering many Cities. He marched through Palestine and surrounded Jerusalem twice. Nebuchadnezzar was also one of the most famous builders in the Near East, making Babylon the most beautiful city in the region. Around his city, he built walls, which formed a square. The walls were 9 miles long. Beyond the wall was a deep moat, which kept the city safe from invasion. Herodotus tells that the wall was 80 feet thick, 320 feet high, with 250 watchtowers, and 100 bronze gates. Nebuchadnezzar also built the Ishtar Gate. It was covered with blue bricks and animal sculptures. When visitors came upon this gate thhey would be in awe. In addition to the Ishtar gate Nebuchadnezzar built a magnificent palace for himself. Travelers wonder at the walls decorated with colorful friezes of blue and yellow enameled bricks. Nebuchadnezzar paved the street sidewalks with small red stone slabs. Along the edge of each stone were carved, “I am Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, who made this,” demonstrating Nebuchadnezzar’s absolute power and influence on Babylon . Nebuchadnezzar used these works as a means of self-promotion and self-confidence, not un
nlike other kings of that time. “Although Nebuchadnezzar suffered from insanity at some point during his 43-year reign, he transformed his city into an urban wonder”, states Herodotus . Nebuchadnezzar died as a great architect and the conqueror of the world.
Nebuchadnezzar built the Hanging Gardens, breaking natural law by creating a botanical wonder, an “impulse deriving from the love of a woman” . He wished to please his homesick Median wife Amyitis, whom he had married to make an alliance between Media and Babylonia. She was raised in a green and mountainous land. Amyitis found Mesopotamia depressing, as it is a flat and sun-baked environment. Nebuchadnezzar decided to build a “recreated homeland” which was an artificial mountain with gardens. What made it special was that it was a man-made paradise, and it “defied nature.” In a barren region, Nebuchadnezzar succeeded where nature had failed. Nebuchadnezzar had man made hills covered with many different types of trees, which satisfied his wife’s passion for mountainous surroundings. The gardens were sloped down like a hillside, and were also terraced into different flowerbeds. The beautiful landscape of the Hanging Gardens helped make it a special structure, and transformed the desert-like environment into a countryside.
The ga
ardens had exotic wonderful plants. These plants were planted above ground level. Nebuchadnezzar imported the plants from foreign lands. The plants may have included “cedar, cypress, myrtle, juniper, almond, date palm, ebony, olive, oak, terebinth, nuts, ash, firs, nightshade, willow, pomegranate, plum, pear, quince, fig, and grapevine.” The plants were suspended over the heads of observers on terraces, they draped over the terraced walls. Arches were underneath these terraces. The brilliantly colored trees and flowers that hanged from the walls created a lush and magical environment.
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were an impressive example of architecture. The gardens formed a quadrilateral shape. There were stairways that led to the uppermost terraced roofs. The plants hung over terraces that were supported by stone columns. There were arched vaults, which were located on cubed fountains. The fountains created a moisture that helped keep the area cool. The shade from the trees also helped keep the gardens cool. The garden ascended in closely planted levels to form a man-made of mountain greenery. The gardens were supported by a confusing structure of stone pillars, brick walls, and palm tree trunk beams. These trunks were made watertight. “Palm beams were laid over with mats of
f reed and bitumen as well as two layers of baked mud brick.” All of this was covered in a layer of lead. There were fourteen vaulted rooms and underground crypts. The entire structure measured 400 feet by 400 feet. The gardens were as tall as the city walls, which were 320 feet high. Other sources report that the walls were 80 feet high, a less remarkable, but still majestic height. The architecture of the Hanging Gardens demonstrates the majesty of Babylonian structural design.
The technology of the Babylon Gardens’ was as good as their architectural triumph. The technique of hydro engineering demonstrated their knowledge of irrigation. Since Babylon rarely received rain, the gardens had to be irrigated. Streams of water were flowing from elevated sources and flowed down the channels. This kept the whole area wet and thus the grass was always green. Historians have questioned whether the Hanging Gardens used hydroponics as a way of growing plants. Hydroponics means that nutrients are added to the water swirling around the plants roots. No soil is used in a hydroponic system. An elaborate tunnel has been found and pulley system that brought ground water to the top terrace. The water was spread by means of a chain pump. A chain pump consists of two large wheels, like a ski lift, with one wheel at the top and one at the bottom. Buckets hanging from the chain were continuously hanged into the reservoir at the base of the gardens. By turning handles slaves provided the power to turn the wheels. The source of the gardens’ water was from the Euphrates River. The water from the pool at the top of the gardens could be released from gates into channels. The channels were as artificial streams, designed to water the garden. This chain pump showed the technological ingenuity of Babylonia and helped to base the Hanging Gardens.

Conclusions
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon lasted through the time of Alexander the Great. This great masterpiece, with its keen architectural style, cleverness in hydro engineering, lush, flourishing plants and well-constructed landscape belongs to the list of the Wonders of the World. Nebuchadnezzar was great in many ways and better than all other rulers of his dynasty. The elegance of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon demonstrate his leadership a strong esthetic sense and great architectural and engineering foresight. Even if Amyitis could never avoid her homesickness, Nebuchadnezzar and the people of the ancient world who experienced the gardens all benefited by the artificial nature.

Bibliograpy:
“Ancient Wonders: Gardens of Babylon.” Online. Http://tqjunior.thinkquest.org/5983/pages/gardens.htm. 6 April. 2004.
Ashmawy, Alaa K. “The Hanging Gardens of Babylon.” Online. Http://www.wonderclub.com/WorldWonders/GardenHistory.html. 6 April. 2004.
Ashmawy, Alaa K. “The Hanging Gardens of Babylon.” Online. Http://ce.eng.usf.edu/pharos/wonders/gardens.html. 7 April. 2004.
Baird, Rodney R. “The Hanging Gardens of Babylon.” Online. Http://www.ancientroute.com/Monument/7wonders/gardens.htm. 7 April. 2004.
Clayton, Peter & Price, Martin. The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.London: Routledge, 1988.
“Hanging Gardens of Babylon.” Online Http://www.hydrogarden.com/class1/babylon.htm. 7 April. 2004.
Harris, Stephen L. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Wonders of the World. 1998 ed.
Krytek, Lee. “The Hanging Gardens of Babylon.” 1998. Online. Http://www.unmuseum.org/hangg.htm. 7 April. 2004.

Vocabulary:

1. Revere – garbinti
2. Awesome – stulbinantis
3. Majesty – didybė
4. Invasion – įsiveržimas
5. March – žygiuoti
6. Thick – storis
7. Moat – griovys
8. Frieze – bordiūras
9. Influence – įtaka, poveikis
10. Self-promotion – savęs aukštinimas
11. Pomegranate – granatmedis
12. Cedar – kedras
13. Myrtle – mirta
14. Juniper – kadagys
15. Ebony – juodmedis
16. Quince – svarainis
17. Grapevine – vynmedis
18. Hydroponics – hidroponika
19. Recreate – atgaivinti
20. Irrigation – drėkinimas
21. Greenery – žaluma
22. Bitumen – asfaltas
23. Swirling – sūkiotis (dkt. sūkūrys)
24. Lush – sodrus, vešlus
25. Slab – plokščias akmens luitas
26. Depressing – slegiantis, liūdnas
27. Watertight – sandarus (nepraleidžiantis vandens)
28. Artificial – dirbtinis
29. Masterpiece – šedevras
30. Flowerbed – gėlių lysvė

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