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royal pleasure-parties regaled themselves at their ease.

Across the Euphrates from the principal palace stood another of smaller proportions.

Around it, in the usual manner, was drawn a three-fold rampart, the outer wall measuring

about three and one-half miles in circumference. These ramparts and the walls of the

palace itself were covered with representations of hunting scenes and battles, drawn with

considerable skill on the surface of enameled bricks. As in the case of the larger palace,

not much is known of the appearance of the smaller structure. Within the halls and courts

were set bronze statues, representing the 'gods and the great kings of Babylon. Here were

seen the mythical Nitius and Semiramis, surrounded by princes of old Chaldsen renown.

The Walls of Babylon are associated in history and tradition with the Hanging Gardens as

one of the Seven Wonders of the world.^ These walls were, perhaps, the most marvelous

structures of the sort ever erected. Their true dimensions, however, have never been

determined. The Greek historians who visited Babylon have left contradictory accounts of

the breadth and height of the vast ramparts surrounding the city. Nor is it likely that

positive measurements would have been much more satisfactory, for these being made at

different times would have represented the walls in various degrees of dilapidation

resulting from the havoc wrought by besiegers and the slower ravages of time. Herodotus

states the breadth of the walls at eighty-five feet, and the height at three hundred and

thirty-five feet. Ctesias, without giving the breadth, puts the height at three hundred

feet. Pliny gives the two dimensions as sixty and two hundred and thirty-five feet

respectively. The lowest estimates of all are those given by Clitarchus and Strabo, who

place the breadth at thirty-two feet and the height at seventy-five feet; but these


I The Seven Wonders of the ancient world were: the Pyramids of Egypt, the Pharos or Light-

house of Alexandria, the Colossus of Rhodes, the Walls and Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the

Tomb of King Mausolus, the Temple of Diana at Ephesus, 'and the statue of Jupiter


must either have greatly underestimated the dimensions or else given measures of the

ruined rampart rather than of the original walls. Perhaps a fair average approximation

would be seventy-five feet for the thickness and two hundred and fifty feet for the

height-measurements sufficiently vast to shock if not confound the credulity of modern

times. The length of these stupendous battlements has already been given as being more

than forty miles.

On the top of the great wall of the city were two hundred and fifty towers. These were

arranged in pairs on the outer and inner edges of the rampart, and so broad was the space

that a four-horse chariot could be turned between them. The towers were square, and looked

down, the outer row. upon the surrounding country, and the inner, upon the city. So vast

was the mass of masonry in these walls, so great their height and thickness, that they

were an impregnable bulwark against any enginery of the times. They could be neither

undermined nor surmounted.

Such was the famous capital of the Babylonian kings. In splendor and opulence and power it

far surpassed any other city of ancient times. Through her magnificent streets swept the

chariots of princes and monarchs. Out of her splendid gates poured the bronzed cohorts of

well-nigh invincible soldiers, going forth to conquest. Into these same gates were driven

the captives from a hundred vanquished provinces. Over her palaces and temples the

oriental sun rose in unclouded glory. In the might of her power and renown she saw her

rivals one by one expire, and in her triumph she arrogated to herself the rank and title

of mistress of the world. But in the slow processes of destiny her own time came to suffer

humiliation and downfall. No other city, reared by the genius and pride of man, has

suffered a more complete extinction. Babylon is literally in the dust. Only scattered

mounds, which the rolling years have covered with grass and shrubs, remain of the once

mighty metropolis of the Babylonians. All else rests in the slumber of everlasting

oblivion. Journeying down the river from Baghdad