The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: Monumental Power, Politics, and Pride

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: Monumental Power, Politics, and Pride

January 12, 2022
8:00 PM

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: Monumental Power, Politics, and Pride

Wednesday, January 12, 2022, at 8 PM EST via Zoom
Jennifer Tobin, the University of Illinois at Chicago

Although most people today are aware of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, few can name all seven.  Perhaps fewer still realize that throughout much of its history the list was never static.  From the time of its creation in the 3rd century BCE until the Renaissance when the list finally became canonized, “wonders” were added and removed from the list according to such factors as political expediency, religious affiliation, and personal taste.

This lecture will examine the various monuments that earned “wonder” status, exploring the reasons for each one’s construction and why each was deemed marvelous.  In the process, we will note how each of these monuments served to enhance the status of the person or community that created it.

In a similar way, by reviewing the cultural climate in which the list was initially created together with the historical circumstances that motivated changes to the list, this lecture will investigate how the list of the Seven Wonders has promoted notions of cultural, political, and religious supremacy from antiquity to the present.

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