Hanging Gardens of Babylon


Hanging Gardens of Babylon, or, more correctly, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were built by King Nebuchadnezzar II (605-562 BC) for one of his wives, or Amuhea Amytis. They appeared in antiquity among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. After an ancient legend, especially prevalent in Greek writers, would have a much earlier origin: they were built by city founder King Ninus Nineveh and Babylon, for his wife Semiramis (or Semiramis). As historian Diodorus of Sicily information, huge gardens occupying an area of 15,000 hectares and rises in four terraces to 77 feet tall. On the terraces were planted trees of various species, some of them 24 feet tall. They were wet cylindrical pump, whose secret is not yet known. Under terraces, supported on multiple columns, the royal family found a cool room. By some accounts, it appears that the famous gardens were destroyed by the Persians, during the occupation of Babylon, also when it was demolished and the Tower of Babel.

Geographical and historical evolution

Construction of Hanging Gardens of Babylon must be assessed in terms of their employment environment: hot and dry climate, barren landscape and customs of ancient inhabitants of Mesopotamia. The ancient Oriental peoples, the concept of the garden was connected with the idea of supreme happiness of man. This mentality has made ​​the ancient Persians to nominate their gardens "heavens. "

Situated on the River Euphrates, ancient Babylon loses its origins in the mists of time. After the old legends, it would have been founded either by the legendary Nimrod, Baal is the god or the king Ninus husband mythical queen Semiramis. After a tumultuous period marked by rivalries and wars with Syria, Babylon succeeds in late seventh century BC to consolidate its hegemony. Head of State was elected Nabopalassar (626-605 BC), founder of the Chaldean dynasty. His son and successor, Nebuchadnezzar II (605-562 BC), rebuilt the city, building fortifications and building palaces, they fortified themselves. Given the structure of the Babylonian religion, the dominant role they had priests, giving the state a theocratic regime.

Hanging Gardens in the writings of ancient authors

Description corresponds Babylon by Herodotus, with some adjustments, with the result excavations. The city had more walls to the enclosure, arranged concentrically. The city itself was contained within the first chamber, which had side approx. 1700 meters, and had two blocks, one which included the royal palace, the temple of the god Enlil and the other (or Bel, where the Semitic name), both on the left bank of the Euphrates.

In the northeastern corner of the palace, near the gate of the goddess Ishtar, were suspended gardens. As Diodorus of Sicily says - perhaps repeating the words of Ctesias whose work has been lost - the gardens were built by Nebuchadnezzar for one of his wives, Amytis, daughter of King Cyaxares Medes regrets mountainous landscape, rich vegetation of the region home. Award gardens is Queen Semiramis likely the legend. The qualifier "suspended", which accompanies the name of these gardens, is reportedly due to the grace or Latin languages. In Greek the word "kremastos (κρεμαστος) and the Latin word" pensilis "have a double meaning: an object or a building that hangs (suspended), or a building supported by columns and arches, a terrace, a general object held at a certain height.

The most complete description of the gardens is due by Diodorus of Sicily, which shows that they consisted of terraces in the storied amphitheater, with a side of approx. 123 m. terraces supported by stone walls were built at a distance of three meters from each other. The spaces between the walls was covered with arches made of stone blocks. On these blocks was placed in a layer of asphalt impregnated cane, cane above the double row of bricks from a burned, tied together with plaster mortar, covered with sheets of lead to the isolation of water-repellent finish. Over sheets of lead was a layer of soil, sufficient thickness that can catch the biggest tree roots. Diodorus says: "... The terraces were filled with plants of all sorts, able to delight to the size and beauty."

The thickness of the terraces were arranged galleries and rooms, the light receiving side, on one side, so that the galleries and rooms at the front had a certain level view of gardens, terraces which rest on the lower level.

Be used for watering gardens hydraulic machines, which they got water from the Euphrates to the different levels. Under the plant roots were a number of channels that constantly moist soil. Due to continued maintenance opportunities humidity, the terraces were able to grow not just rich side of flowers and trees, some species of Tamarix, palm trees.

Archaeological Research

The first modern archaeological excavations were conducted by a French mission led by Fulgence Fresnel in the years 1852 - 1855, exploration was made ​​complete by a German mission led by Robert Koldewey in the years 1899-1914. Excavations in the hill He Kashrut (in Arabic: "castle" or "citadel") discovered the ruins of the great palace of Nebuchadnezzar, the main gate of the city and the temple of the goddess Nin-Mach. In the north-east of the palace have revealed building foundations which supported the Hanging Gardens probably. It was discovered and a central corridor, which has seven rooms on both sides, generally corresponding descriptions of Diodorus. In addition to heading the ruins of the construction and size, which correspond with what is known

from ancient authors descrerile, there is convincing evidence that indeed they are the ruins of the former suspended Gardens: Robert Koldewey found three wells located nearby, in series, one central square, oval cross-section between the other two, which suggests the existence of a hydraulic machine, which probably operate on the same principle as a device with buckets of chains. This device can give a continuous flow of water.

In ancient Babylon, the land is now a desert, almost totally devoid of vegetation. Terraced gardens are long gone, the splendor of yesteryear in place, the desert gives an impression of sadness. On top of a hill there is an ancient tree, a atleth, considered by some as a last nostalgic relic of the famous gardens.



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