There are seven monuments that are the famous seven wonders of the world and this include the pyramids in Egypt, the Hanging Gardens, the statue of Olympian Zeus, the Temple of Artemis, the Mausoleum at Harlicarnassus, the Colossus and the Pharos (Clayton, 1988) . These seven monuments became to be called the Seven Wonders of the World because of their beauty, their huge size and the fascinating way in which they were built. These buildings were the master pieces of their times and today they are the fragmentary relics of the world as six of these wonders are in pieces after their destruction and only one i.e. the pyramids in Egypt remains standing. Today they are tourists’ attraction sights earning their country quite a large number of revenue as they are sights to be marvelled at.

The temple of Artemis and The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus are among the seven wonders of the ancient word in that they have some peculiar or fascinating features that dazzle the world in some way or another. We greatly rely on the information that is given by historians such as Pliny the Elder to find information on the temple of Artemis and the Mausoleum. In this essay we are going to compare these two wonders in terms of their similarities and differences.

Comparison between the temple of Artemis and the Mausoleum

These two wonders of the world have common features that link them in terms of structure, location, period or architects or sculptors who contributed in the making of these marvellous wonders. In the same way they are some differences between them in terms of their purpose and so on. These two are therefore going to be compared in terms of their purpose for being built, the constructions in general and in details, what caused their destruction and the comments made on each of the building.

Comparison by the purpose of construction

The temple of Artemis, also called the Temple of Artemision, at Ephesus in antiquity was held in high esteem that it was put among the seven wonder s of the world.  The ancient Greeks believed that if they honoured their gods, their prayers will be answered and they will also be treated well. That is why the Greeks found ways of honouring gods by erecting statues and temples which were to be the sanctuaries of specific gods (Bruner, n.d) that had servants and people offerings and sacrifices to the specific god in the temple. Similarly, the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus was also built by the Greeks in honour of the goddess Artemis who was believed to be the god of fertility. She had to be kept satisfied by offerings and rituals so that Greek men and women would remain fertile and produce many children.

The Mausoleum in Harlicarnassus is also called the tomb of Mausolus It was the giant tomb of king Maussolus Satrap of Caria who came to power in 377 and died in 353 B.C (Brodersen, 1996). He had married his own sister called Artemisia who came to be the queen and his successor when he died. She was heart broken by her husband’s death and ordered the construction of a monument that was to be greater than all the others in Harlicarnassus.

Comparison by construction design

The Greeks developed two systems of architecture i.e. the ionic and Doric orders. Both the temple and the mausoleum were had the ionic order construction where the columns rest on a base, have a slender and fluted shaft and terminate in a capital with a round central element framed by volutes.(Vanderbilt, n.d)

The mausoleum at Halicarnassus the present day Bodrum, Turkey was as a result of the great works of Greek Architects Satyrus and Pythius, two well known Architects of their time selected by the queen Artemisia. They designed this great sepulchre in the middle of the forth century B.C (Dinsmoor, 1908).

Dinsmoor (1908) in his book the seven wonders of the ancient world, attempted to perceive the architectural design of the Mausoleum. He employed the probable dimensions and the proportions of the Ionic order as conceived by Pythius to be the design of the tomb. The four main features of the Mausoleum were; high basement, peripteros, the pyramid and the sculptured group surmounting the stepped pyramid (Dinsmoor, 1908). The construction of the included the pyramid supported above the tomb chamber by a vault which was similar to the one found in native Carian tumulus. In Pliny the Elder’s description, it had lofty basements. The presence of peripteros is evidenced by the presence of fragments of bases, shafts, and capitals of columns, the entablature and the beams discovered by Newton in the excavations of 1857 (Dinsmoor, 1908). This monument was built out of bricks but it was covered with white Proconnessian marble and was at least 41 meters high.

As a result of the construction came a huge unlike anything ever seen before in the world. Stone lions guarded the stairway up where the tomb was. The bottom third layer was made of marble and the middle third layer had Greek columns. The top third layer was found a pyramid. The topmost layer was a large stone sculpture that showed Mausolus and Atemisia standing side by side in a chariot (David White, 2002). This monument was built out of bricks but it was covered with white Proconnessian marble and was at least 41 meters high.

A roman Author called Pliny the Elder who lived in AD 23-79 said that the monument was almost square about 125 m bounded by 36 columns, the top forming a 24-step pyramid surmounted by a four-horse marble chariot. It was rectangular in plan. There was a stepped podium in which sides were decorated with statues. The burial chamber was said to be on the podium decorated with gold and surrounded by ironic columns (Bodrum pages, 2000).

The temple of Artemis was designed by an architect named Chersiphron (Ammaianus, 1997). It is the first temple to be entirely of marble and the largest temple ever built. Pliny the Elder reveals that it was constructed on a marshy ground so as to avoid the danger of earthquakes. The foundation was laid on a bed of packed charcoal and sheepskins, the column drums moved from the quarry by fitting them with large wheels (Ammianus, 1997).

The temple was decorated with bronze statues sculpted by Phidias, Polycleitus, Kresilas and Phradmon (Krystek, 2011). The roof was huge and was supported by over 120 curved columns and each column consisting of cylindrical blocks of marble (Brandon, n.d). In the temple there was also a room that housed the wonderful statue of Artemis.

Comparison by causes of destruction

In the temple of Artemis, one night of 21 July 356 B.C a man named Herostratus burnt the temple to the ground so that his name would be recognized and be put down in history (Brandon, n.d). This man was later tortured by the citizens and killed. After the arson, the temple was built again by Alexander the Great who had conquered Ephesus. After many years of standing, the temple was destroyed and looted by Goths and later flooded.

The Mausoleum remained in good condition for about 16 centuries until it came down as a result of heavy earthquake in 1304 AD. Earthquakes brought down most part of the Mausoleum and the Crusaders who lived in Harlicarnassus took parts of the building and used the parts in the construction in their own building.

The Mausoleum was destroyed by the Goths in A.D 263 and its ruins pillaged for building materials and its site lost because of this. It was later rediscovered in 1869 by John Turtle Wood through intelligent exploration skills and years of patients through collaboration of the British Museum (Cook, 1973). All the two wonders were destroyed at some point in time and today they only remain as treasured relics.

Comparison by comments from visitors

Philon of Byzantium said that he had seen the hanging gardens of the ancient Babylon, the statue of Olympian Zeus, the Colossus of Rhodes, the mighty work of the high pyramid and the tomb of Maulolus but when he saw the temple at Ephesus all other wonders were put in the shade (Krystek, 2010). He marvelled at the site of the temple and compared it to the rest of the seven wonders and saw that it was the best of them all.

Comparison by ancient location

These two wonders are both the wonderful architectural designs of the Greeks in the ancient times. The temple was built by the Greeks in Ephesus which is the modern day Turkey.

The city of Halicarnassus, where the temple was located, was the capital of a small kingdom along the Mediterranean coast of Asia Minor ruled by Mausolus with his queen Artemisia (Krystek, 2010)



The Temple of Artemis and the Mausoleum in Halicarnassus are very similar not only in construction but also in their origins since they are both built in Greece so are a Greek wonder. Surely they deserve to be called one of the wonders of the world given their beauty and their construction design. None of the present buildings can be compared with the two wonders. The two may be different in some ways but are similar in more ways than different. The similarity may largely be attributed to the fact that the same architect was involved in their construction one way or the other.



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