Today on Discovery Enterprise we join Egyptologist John Romer for the first episode of a wonderful documentary that will take us on a grand tour of the Seven Wonders of antiquity.
The Seven Wonders of the World (or the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) refers to remarkable constructions of classical antiquity listed by various authors in guidebooks popular among the ancient Hellenic tourists, particularly in the first and second centuries BC. The most prominent of these, the versions by Antipater of Sidon and an observer identified as Philo of Byzantium, comprise seven works located around the eastern Mediterranean rim. The original list inspired innumerable versions through the ages, often listing seven entries. Of the original Seven Wonders, only one, the Great Pyramid of Giza, the oldest of the ancient wonders remains relatively intact.
|The Lighthouse of Alexandria|
Antiquities scholar John Romer tells viewers from the start that the Seven Wonders of the ancient world are not about "stones and bones, but about archaeological wonder." It is this gentle enthusiasm of writer/narrator Romer that keeps this tape from the folks at The Learning Channel from stalling in the intellectual quagmire of seated professors speaking to cameras. In fact, there is nary a talking head in the entire 86 minutes. Romer visits the remnants or sites of the four wonders located near the shores of the Mediterranean: the Colossus of Rhodes, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Pharos of Alexandria, and the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. Computer animation re-creates them as described in ancients texts, while Romer travels the Mediterranean by boat and on foot, sharing not only locations, but related structures (others still standing near Alexandria) and plenty of history, mythology, and the stories of the destruction of each. Volume 2 similarly examines the remaining three wonders of the world. ~ Kimberly Heinrichs
John Romer's The Seven Wonders of the World is available from Amazon.com along with the companion book of the series.