What Are The Seven Wonders Of The World?

What Are The Seven Wonders Of The World?

These have mesmerized travelers since the second century.
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The "Seven Wonders of the World" are a popular topic in art history. They represent the most mystifying and grand man-made classical antiquity structures in the Ancient World. Its original and commonly accepted list dates back to sightseeing books in Greece during the Hellenic era. Antipater of Sidon is credited with the feature, which originated in the second century B.C. but was considered finalized in the Middle Ages.

Debate has arisen over classification, but it is important to consider the bias of the list makers. All of the wonders were beloved by travelers. Geographically, they were in places along the Eastern Mediterranean area, easily accessible to Greeks. Speculation has extended to question whether all seven actually existed. It certainly put history under the spotlight, showing how flimsy recovered artifacts can be if the creator is questionable.

History would take its toll. All but one location have survived destruction from human civilization, although efforts have been raised to restore the structures to their once glorious status. Like most of what Ancient Greeks did in their productive civilizations, this too has been referenced and replicated in modern society. From the Statue of Liberty to the internet itself, lists have sought to continue a tradition.

1. The Great Pyramid of Giza


This is the only one of the Seven Wonders to remain intact, allowing us to see what the Ancient Greeks fell in love with. It is one of three pyramids and at 479 feet tall remained the world's tallest structure until the Eiffel Tower in 1889. Man-made, it stands as a testament to what humans could do and the planning needed to reach its literal and theoretical heights.

Using two million blocks perfectly seamed together, it baffles observers. No known plans were left behind, enhancing its mysterious allure. Theories have ranged from there being wooden ramps to hydraulic power. One thing is for sure, resources and strength were needed from across the lands of present-day Cairo.

This is not a solid shape, but rather, habitable. Built for ruler Pharaoh Khufu, it has royal chambers and tomb sections. To present day, historians are constantly learning more about the pyramids. In just 2017 a void was discovered, causing more search and speculation.

2. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon


This is the aforementioned structure historians have questioned the existence of. While even the most destroyed pieces have left traces behind, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon have not left a trace for archeologists. Efforts have been strong, with a German team dedicating two decades of searching. Some have concluded it was all just a false image and speculation passed down like wildfire.

Others are not so sure that the effort dedicated to the Hanging Gardens was an error. Scholars have suggested it was built elsewhere and misattributed to Babylon due to shaky geographical territories. The earlier centuries were marked by constant conquests.

The 75-foot tall structure evokes a natural sense. With its dangling vegetation, it mixes architecture and green delights. Its free-flowing waterwheels supply water from the nearby river, requiring engineering methods. It is depicted in Greek and Roman art, but there are no first handwritten accounts. Rather, there are second-hand writings after its alleged desolation. Initially, it was said to be made by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II for his wife Amytis.

3. The Statue of Zeus at Olympia

Around 40 feet tall, it was located in the Temple of Zeus. At the time in Ancient Greece, cities were competing with each other. Art was a tool to show advancement and technique. Greeks believed the better dedicated and more temples, the more the Gods would adore them and grant wishes. This was very political in nature and used to establish status.

Its sizing was meant to show the Greek Olympian God of the universe in grandiose power. However, the proportions are interesting. Should he theoretically stand up from the throne, Zeus could not fit in a temple dedicated to him and what is supposed to be his home. This was more about image than functionality.

4. The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus


Built on the edges of the Greek world, its large stature and position showed those off-shore the glory of everything Greece was achieving. The temple was another example of dedication, this time to the hunt and moon Goddess Artemis. Mixing Greek and Eastern designs were common to its civilization.

Inside the temple, there are depictions of the Amazons. Those were powerful women reeking havoc on Greek civilization, causing trouble for heroes and Gods. The Amazons would be defeated, and like Medusa and the Centaurs, featured for Greek visitors on a platter. This was propagandistic, basking in the rich history of conquest and Greeks retaining balance in the world.

Greeks showed interest in the likes of Egypt and would even adopt mythical creatures such as sphinxes. The Temple of Artemis has a rather rough history. It was destroyed by a blaze, but later rebuilt, only to be destroyed again. Only ruins are visible on a trip to the city.

5. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus


Mausoleums are large tombs and this one was specifically ordered by Artemisia for her husband king Maussollos. The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus has all the hallmarking of a classical Greek building. However, this was made in the Roman era. Romans used Greek life as a reference point for their art, which would be continued with the Roman Empire being used in the Medieval Ages.

Sitting on a hill, Maussollos' tomb watched over his people and was a reference point to citizens. It was lavish in style and the best Greek artists were commissioned to make sculptures. The effort and power behind the tomb show how beloved the person was.

6. The Colossus of Rhodes


Greek cities usually had a God they worshiped and believed protected them. Athens had Athena, whereas the island of Rhodes had Helios. 110 feet tall, the statue stood firmly with a torch in hand. The Statue of Liberty in New York is simpler for modern reference. Greeting visitors at the entrance could see it.

But little information is known about the giant structure that lasted a mere 50 years. An earthquake caused it to break and it was decided not to rebuild it for luck. Hoping to refuel the Greek economy and make new jobs, plans have been proposed to rebuild the monument.

7. The Lighthouse (Pharos) of Alexandria

Built at Pharos, it was designed to assist sailors along Alexandria's busy routes. Its prime location allowed light to be seen from 35 miles away according to legend. Its 400-foot height – one of the world's tallest at the time – certainly helped. A fire was lit every evening and in the daytime, a mirror reflected the sun's light.

Built with white marble and reinforced with molten lead, it was defensive against the rapid sea waves. However, it was no match for other natural events. It endured numerous earthquakes before collapsing in the 1400s, with little rumble to be found. Its popularity has not be lost and even found Greek poet fanfare. Italian, French and Spanish use the word "Pharos" to mean lighthouse because of this structure.

Cover Image Credit: paweesit / Flickr

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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5 Reasons Why The Saints Are Inbound To Win The Super Bowl

With the Saints rolling this year, there are 5 crucial reasons why they have a great chance to make the Superbowl.

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When you're reading this is February, you're gonna ask yourself, "How did he know?" I'm a wizard; that's why I know the Saints are going to the Superbowl this year. I'm just kidding, but in all seriousness, I can say with confidence that the Saints have one of the better chances in the NFL to make it to the Superbowl. Below are 5 reasons why they'll make the Superbowl in February 2019.

1. Breesus Christ

The Saints have Drew "freaking" Brees. I literally do not need to say more, but I will anyway.

Drew Brees is the best quarterback in the league period. He will break the record for most passing yards in a career this season, and he has the record for highest completion percentage. To all the people that say Tom Brady is better, you're wrong. Tom Brady has always had a defense to rely on when he needed; Drew Brees hasn't.

Whenever the Saints need Brees, he's always there. The Saints rely on him to get them out of big holes and us Saints fans know that he's the best QB in the league and will lead us to another Superbowl this year.

2. Lighting and Thunder

Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram being the best running back duo in the league isn't new news. We saw all of last season that Ingram was a bruiser and Kamara was a shifty back. They form a lighting and thunder duo. This season, Ingram has been suspended for the first four games and the Saints were still able to go 3-1. Just imagine how great the Saints are going to be when Ingram comes back this week. It's going to be SCARY.

How do defenses stop Kamara, Ingram, Brees, and Thomas? Defenses beware because the Saints are marching in.

3. Can't Guard Mike

Michael Thomas has been unstoppable this year. No one can guard him. In my opinion he's the best receiver in the league, and while others disagree, they can't deny the impact Thomas has had for the Saints. With the best QB in the league, Thomas is in a prime position to lead a major push to the Superbowl for the Saints. When the offense is rolling, no one can stop the Saints. Cornerbacks can prepare as hard as they need, but they can't guard Mike.

4. Boonk Gang

The Saints defense made major strides last year and helped propel them to many wins. If not for a freak play that resulted in the Saints losing in the divisional round, I believe the Saints would have moved on to the Superbowl. While the defense has been pretty bad at the beginning of the season, in week three, the Saints defense showed what they are capable of. With Ingram coming back and controlling the pace of the offense, watch for the defense to get much better through the season.

5. "Put me in Coach Payton"

Sean Payton may be the second best coach in the league after Bill Belichick.

Coach Payton has had the Saints offense in the top 10 offenses every single year since he became head coach in 2006. With his offensive creativity and his ability to use players such as backup QB Taysom Hill in positions where no other coach would dare to use them, Coach Payton will be the driving force in leading the Saints to the Superbowl.

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