As greatest mausoleums constructed in the ancient
As humans we possess an enormous amount of unacquainted ignorance when it comes to the knowledge and history behind common everyday words and sayings. The honest truth is that it’s easier to have a mindset such as this when thinking of the words we use daily. A great deal of knowledge can be discovered by looking into the etymology of words. For instance in the previous three sentences, I don’t know the origin behind why any word means what it does but I used them anyways.
The enormous amount of hidden knowledge within a series of words is easy to see when looked at in this approach.Take for example the word Assassin which is defined by Webster as “One who murders by surprise attack, especially one who carries out a plot to kill a prominent person” (Marriam Webster). The word originated during the time of the Crusades. Members of a secret Muslim sect engaged others in order to terrorize their Christian enemies by performing murders as a religious duty. These acts were carried out under the influence of hashish, and so the killers became known as hashshashin, meaning eaters or smokers of hashish.Hashshashin evolved into the word assassin (Harper, 2010).
Every word has an etymology behind it and many of which date back hundreds or even thousands of years ago. Before having my paper topic assigned to me I was exactly like most humans and never thought about the origins of a word. A mausoleum as defined by Webster is “a large burial chamber, usually above ground” (Marriam Webster). I have known the definition of what a mausoleum is since elementary school but not until recently did I know how it came to be called as it is.Now, after doing significant research into my topic, I know that mausoleum evolved from the Tomb of Mausolus built in 350 BC.
The tomb was so magnificent that word of its grandeur spread throughout the ancient world and it became denoted as the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (Fergusson, 1862). The mausoleum is arguably one of the first and greatest mausoleums constructed in the ancient world. This is evident because of the mausoleums sheer size and design along with the influences and popularity it held in the ancient world.As with many of the rulers in ancient times, it was their desire to rule over as much land as possible. The same can be said about Mausolus when he served as the satrap of Caria after Hecatomnus, his father, died.
Mausolus ruled over the region with his Queen and sister Artemisia for 24 years from 377BC till his death in 353BC (Association, 1923). While ruling Mausolus decided it was best to build a new capital for the region he ruled. He chose the town of Halicarnassus which had port access on one side and high land access the other.
Mausolus and Artemisia put significant amounts of money into the city in order to make it one of the most glorious cities in those times. The final contribution the two of them would make to the city would be their Tomb located near the center of the city overlooking the harbor (Association, 1923). It is still not sure if Mausolus or Artemisia had played the most significant role in the planning and building of the Mausoleum. Many accounts lay credit to Artemisia as the driving force behind the construction of the tomb.It is said that after her husband died in 353 BC she planned an epic funeral, mausoleum, and burial for him (Fergusson, 1862). The myth of Artemisia was likely conceived as a story passed along through the generations to show everyone how much she loved her husband. While she most likely did love her husband dearly, she only lived for two years following his death which couldn’t have given her enough time to plan and construct something as outstanding as this project was.
It is more probable that Mausolus planned the mausoleum to be built in the city from the very beginning of the city’s construction.It was common for many Roman emperors to plan and build their own mausoleums while they were still alive as a type of commemorative symbol to them (Xu). If this is true, Mausolus had everything planned for the mausoleum and started construction of it prior to his death. His wife then saw to the completion of the build in his honor.
The Mausoleum shows influences from many different famous sculptors of that time including Timotheus, Bryaxis, Leochares, and Skopas (Spivey, 1997).It has been said that each sculptor was given a side of the mausoleum and a competition formed between them to see who could sculpt the most impressive side. From the remains of the mausoleum, it is impossible to truly identify which sculptors were responsible for the discovered artifacts.
It is obvious that they were all highly skilled and known as some of the best of their time. The physical architectural design was said to be completed by Satyros and Pythios with a solid core and a temple appearance in the final product (Spivey, 1997).Atop the mausoleum there was a four horse chariot with a single rider.
It is still unclear who the chariot rider was but it has been claimed to be Mausolus himself, Helios the god of the sun, or Herakles who Mausolus admired. The four houses were made of complete bronze and can still be seen today in Venice (vorbehalten, 2000). The chariot sits above a frieze which depicted the Greeks fighting against Centaurs.
Below the frieze lies the building’s roof which resembled a pyramid with twenty-four steps. At the base of the steps lions were said to be patrolling and protecting the chariot high above.The massive roof was supported by thirty-six columns around the outside of the structure with ten per side, and each corner sharing a column.
Residing between the columns statues could be found. The statues may have portrayed famous gods and goddesses or could have been ancestors of Mausolus and Artemisia (Association, 1923). Found behind the columns and statues was a solid block that bore the main weight of the roof and showed another frieze of chariot racing. Another frieze can be found below the columns that illustrate the Greeks fighting with the Amazons.This frieze is still well preserved and can be found on display in a British Museum (vorbehalten, 2000). All of this sits upon a rectangular stone base with a tomb below it. Within the tomb resided the ashes of Mausolus or Artemisia in urns.
The underground tomb and mausoleum that sit atop of it were all encircled within a courtyard. The courtyard consisted of a stairway to the mausoleum lined with stone lions each measuring over 5 feet in length. On each corner of the courtyard stood large stone warriors mounted on horseback said to be on guard of the mausoleum protecting it.A great deal is known about the appearance of the mausoleum from ancient authors but many details have been lost in history. The dimensions of the mausoleum were all surprisingly accurate to the ruins found and place the structure with a circumference of 411 feet and 140 feet high (Association, 1923). Being built in 350 BC, the mausoleum will stand in its original form for approximately another 1800 years.
The Tomb of Mausolus was identified as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world by Antipater of Sidon in 140 BC. I have set eyes on the wall of lofty Babylon on which is a road for chariots, and the statue of Zeus by the Alpheus, and the hanging gardens, and the Colossus of the Sun, and the huge labour of the high pyramids, and the vast tomb of Mausolus; but when I saw the house of Artemis…” (Clayton & Price, 1988) The above insert from the Greek Anthology IX. 58 lists what were considered the greatest of the great in that time of history. To even be considered for this list is a huge honor and helps portray how remarkable the Mausoleum must have been when it was constructed.While the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus may not be as extravagant or famous as the Castel Sant’ Angelo or the Taj Mahal, that are around in present day, it can still be considered one of the greatest mausoleums constructed in the ancient world.
While the Taj Mahal and the Castel Sant’ Angelo didn’t use the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus as an architectural baseline many other buildings have. Some of the more famous buildings based upon the Mausoleum include 26 Broadway Office Building in New York City, Los Angeles City Hall, Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, and Ulysses S. Grant’s Tomb (Xu).
Mausolus had a great deal of knowledge and this was evident when the mausoleum was constructed. He brought in many different styles of Carian, Greek, and Egyptian civilizations into the project (Spivey, 1997). Mausolus combined these three cultures within his Mausoleum because they were all important parts of the life that he lived. Each sculpture on the mausoleum had its significance and story behind it. The region on Carian clearly had a large amount of contact with the Greeks and Egyptians. Because of this contact between cultures Halicarnassus can be described as a melting pot of these civilizations.The mausoleum was truly a manifestation of architectural brilliance that showed a balanced portrayal of the world they lived in.
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