The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon: An Elusive World Wonder Traced

Paperback | March 31, 2015

byStephanie Dalley

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The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon is an exciting story of detection involving legends, expert decipherment of ancient texts, and a vivid description of a little-known civilization. Recognized in ancient times as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the legendary Hanging Garden ofBabylon and its location have long been steeped in mystery and puzzling myths. In this remarkable volume Stephanie Dalley, a world expert on ancient Babylonian language, exposes new evidence and clarifies all the known material about this enigmatic World Wonder. Placing the Garden within a tradition of royal patronage, Dalley describes how the decipherment of an original textand its link to sculpture in the British Museum has enabled her to pin down where and by which king the Garden was laid out, and to describe in detail what it looked like. Through this dramatic and fascinating reconstruction of the Garden, Dalley also follows its influence on later garden design. Unscrambling layer by layer the many stories that have built up around the Garden, including the parts played by Semiramis and Nebuchadnezzar, Dalley shows why this Garden deserves its place alongside the Pyramids and the Colossus of Rhodes as one of the most astonishing technical achievements ofthe ancient world.

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From the Publisher

The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon is an exciting story of detection involving legends, expert decipherment of ancient texts, and a vivid description of a little-known civilization. Recognized in ancient times as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the legendary Hanging Garden ofBabylon and its location have long been stee...

Stephanie Dalley is an Honorary Research Fellow at Somerville College, Oxford, a Member of Wolfson College, Oxford, and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. With degrees in Assyriology from the Universities of Cambridge and London, her academic career has specialized in the study of ancient cuneiform texts and she has wor...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 8.5 × 5.31 × 0.01 inPublished:March 31, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198728840

ISBN - 13:9780198728849

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Customer Reviews of The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon: An Elusive World Wonder Traced

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Scholarly Work This book was not at all what I was expecting. On the inside of the dust cover, the book is described as “an exciting story of detection involving legends, expert decipherment of ancient texts, and a vivid description of a little-known civilization”. As an ancient history/archaeology enthusiast I could hardly wait to read this promising book. Unfortunately, I was awfully disappointed. I found that the above quotation was accurate with the exception of the word “exciting”. I found the prose to be rather dry, even boring at times and resembling a scholarly treatise aimed at other professional scholars. There are a great many detailed descriptions of various things (locations, artifacts, genealogies, ruins, frescos, landscapes, etc.), one after another such that I found myself losing my understanding of the relevance to the main theme. Perhaps a specialist would find this book exciting - perhaps even a very serious enthusiast. On the positive side, I did find a few passages interesting and there were many fascinating figures and photographs. Also, the ultimate location of where the Hanging Garden had been came as a total surprise to me. Despite my disappointing experience in reading this book, I gave it the above score simply because it does contain a wealth of very detailed information that could be useful to more serious and knowledgeable readers and to professional scholars; my own shortcomings in this field are insufficient reason, in my view, to give this book a poor rating.
Date published: 2013-12-01

Extra Content

Table of Contents

DedicationAcknowledgementsList of Colour PlatesList of FiguresTime-lineGeneral MapIntroduction1. Drawing a Blank in Babylon2. Classical Writers and their Testimony3. Three Pictures, and Archimedes4. Sennacherib's Great Invention5. Engineering for Water Management6. Confusion of Names7. The Unrivalled Palace, the Queen and the Garden8. Symbolism and Imitators9. Defeat and Revival: Nineveh after 612 BCConclusionAppendix: The Section of Prism Inscription Describing the Palace and GardenNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Dalley's obvious passion for the book shines through in the book, as does a wealth of knowledge and her commitment to provide the evidence to prove her case The writing is fluid and interesting, suiting specialist and non-specialist alike ... I whole-heartedly recommend this book." --Stephen Harmer, Garden Design Journal