The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon

The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon

Author: Stephanie Dalley (Newnham 1962)

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Recognised since ancient times as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the legendary Hanging Garden of Babylon and its location have long remained a mystery. It was on the “must see” list of Greek and Roman travellers centuries after its supposed existence, yet no trace could be found by excavation or in Babylonian inscriptions. So what did it look like? Who made it? How did the tradition arise?

Stephanie Dalley, a world expert on ancient Middle Eastern languages, deciphered a crucial text that helped to pave the way for a new line of enquiry: a panel of Assyrian sculpture and a nineteenth century drawing of a sculpture that has not survived, now in the British Museum. Her painstaking detective work has uncovered clues leading to the true location of this world wonder and its design, revealing the breath-taking technological achievements that made it possible. Sennacherib and Nebuchadnezzar, Ezekiel, Alexander the Great, Archimedes, Herod and Nero, even the poet Milton, all have their place in this wonderful story.

Publication date: 
Thursday 23 May 2013

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