What are the Hanging Gardens of Babylon?

” The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, a term given to it by ancient Hellenic culture. The Hanging Gardens were described as a remarkable feat of engineering with an ascending series of tiered gardens containing a wide variety of trees, shrubs, and vines. The gardens were said to have looked like a large green mountain constructed of mud bricks.

The Hanging Gardens is the only one of the seven ancient wonders for which the location has not been definitively established. Traditionally they were said to have been built in the ancient city of Babylon, near present-day Hillah, Babil province, in Iraq. The Babylonian priest Berossus, writing in about 290 BC and quoted later by Josephus, attributed the gardens to Neo-Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II, who ruled between 605 and 562 BC. There are no extant Babylonian texts which mention the gardens, and no definitive archaeological evidence has been found in Babylon.

Because no physical evidence for the Hanging Gardens has been found at Babylon, two theories have been suggested. One is that they were purely mythical, and the descriptions found in ancient Greek and Roman writers including Strabo, Diodorus Siculus and Quintus Curtius Rufus represent a romantic ideal of an eastern garden. If it did indeed exist, it was destroyed sometime after the first century AD. The other theory is that they were actually in the city of Nineveh, constructed by the Assyrian king Sennacherib.

According to one legend, Nebuchadnezzar II built the Hanging Gardens for his Median wife, Queen Amytis, because she missed the green hills and valleys of her homeland. He also built a grand palace that came to be known as “The Marvel of the Mankind”. Stephanie Dalley suggests that the original garden may have been a well-documented one that Assyrian King Sennacherib (704–681 BC) built in his capital city of Nineveh on the River Tigris, near the modern city of Mosul.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanging_Gardens_of_Babylon

 

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