Monday, June 22, 2020

The Hanging Gardens of ... Nineveh?

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Hanging Gardens of Babylon … in Assyrian Nineveh. Sennacherib’s garden without a rival (Noah Wiener).

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon are one of the Seven Wonders of the World. But the archaeological excavation of ancient Babylon failed to find any trace of them. They would be hard to miss!

Instead, it seems that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon are a prominent feature of what I like to call Greek Fantasy Babylon, the legendary and often imaginary version of Babylon transmitted by Greek writers. Berossus mentions the Hanging Gardens, as does Ctesias before him and various Greek and Latin writers after them. But they didn't exist. At least in Babylon.

As this BHD essay indicates, Stephanie Dalley has argued that the Hanging Gardens known by the Greek writers were in Nineveh, the capital city of ancient Assyria, not Babylon. Evidently the Greek writers got their ancient Mesopotamian capitals mixed up. For more on her case, see here.

For some past posts touching on Greek Fantasy Babylon, see here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

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