Did The Hanging Gardens of Babylon Truly Exist?
The story is quite fascinating in case you haven’t heard it before. King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon was said to have constructed the luxurious gardens as a gift to his wife, Amytis, in the 6th century BC. She was homesick for the beautiful vegetation and mountains. It is said that these were just fabled gardens; one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World. One of the only wonders whose existence, historians dispute. Scholars agree that the idea of cultivating these gardens purely for pleasure, originated in the Fertile Cresent and spread throughout the ancient Mediterranean. These gardens were not just about the flowers. Architectural, sculptural, and water features were added. These gardens became a desired feature. Fresco painters, such as Pompeii, would cover entire walls of the villas which gave the illusion of entering a garden when you entered a room. These pleasant places owed their existence to The Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
Some scholars believe that the Babylonian gardens idea is a mixup and that it was Nineveh who actually had this fabled wonder. There is actual evidence, archeological and textual, of the gardens of Nineveh, and is sometimes referred as ‘old Babylon’. Visitors were impressed with the monuments of the ancient world, that they became a must see for the ancient travelers and pilgrims. Author P. Jordan suggested that these gardens made it on the list of The Seven wonders of the ancient World because “they appealed for sheer luxurious and romantic perversity of endeavor. ” Excavations in 1899 CE, began in ancient Babylon, and although ancient structures such as the double walls and the Ishtar Gate have been found, there seems to be no trace of the legendary gardens.
What are your thoughts? Even if the gardens haven’t been found, the idea that something so beautiful existed, is inspiration enough for me.
I hope you enjoyed and find inspiration in whatever art form you choose.