The list of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World was originally compiled around the second century BC, although Herodotus wrote about the idea as long ago as the 5th century BC. The final list of the Seven Wonders was compiled during the Middle Ages. The list comprised the seven most impressive monuments of the Ancient World, some of which barely survived to the Middle Ages. I am proud to mention that two out of the seven, were in Egypt; one (the Pharos lighthouse, which no longer exists)…and the other; the Pyramids, which are still a wonder and still exist. However, if we look at the monuments in Luxor, Aswan and elsewhere in Egypt, I would suggest more than two!
1) The Great Pyramids of Giza
2) Hanging Gardens of Babylon
3) Statue of Zeus at Olympia
5) Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
6) Colossus of Rhodes
7) Pharos of Alexandria
(One of the Seven Wonders of the World)
“Sostratus, the son of Dexiphanes, the Cnidian, dedicated this to the Saviour Gods, on behalf of those who sail the seas.”Dedicatory inscription on Pharos Lighthouse of Alexandria.
Almost everyone has heard of Pharos at Alexandria – one of the Seven Wonders of the World. There is no question about its existence, but we are still not entirely sure of the years when it was built. The best estimate is that it was constructed sometime after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC. Its great size would have meant that it took possibly twenty years to construct. It is fairly certain to have been completed by 270 BC. The city of Alexandria was still new when the building of Pharos began. The death of Alexander the Great gave Emperor Ptolemy a new financial, as well as political freedom. Released from the obligation to send taxes to Byzantium, he embarked upon a spending spree, expanding his new city with vigour. He decided upon a massive new project to build a lighthouse and commissioned an architect called Sostratus to design it. The lighthouse was to be built on an island in the Bay of Alexandria and linked to the shore by a narrow isthmus.
Whether the lighthouse was called Pharos because of the name of the island on which it was built, or whether the name of the island arose because of the Pharos being built there is not knowen for sure. Pharos was the Greek word for lighthouse, but we have no precise knowledge of its entry into the language. Lightstructures had been in existence for a thousand years so, at the time of the building of the Pharos, the existing Greek word was applied to it and the island on which it stood. Meaning of a practical use in addition to its architectural elegance Pharos - The Lighthouse of Alexandria: For sailors, it ensured a safe return to the Great Harbor. For architects, it meant even more: it was the tallest building on Earth (117m). And for scientists, it was the mysterious mirror that fascinated them most. The mirror which reflection could be seen more than 50 km off-shore.