The phrase mausoleum is these days outlined as “a particular constructing made to carry the useless physique of an essential individual or the deceased our bodies of a household”. This phrase is derived from the identify Mausolus, for whom the unique ‘Mausoleum’ was constructed. Situated in modern-day Bodrum, Turkey, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus is without doubt one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Historic World’. Attributable to this standing, the Mausoleum is without doubt one of the most well-known buildings within the historic world. After the Nice Pyramid of Giza, this was the longest surviving Marvel, standing for greater than a millennium and a half, till its eventual destruction.
Who was Mausolus?
The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus was constructed for Mausolus, the second ruler of Caria from the Hecatomnid dynasty (and nominally a Persian satrap) who died in 353 BC. As the person who re-founded Halicarnassus, Mausolus was entitled to obtain cultic honors and a tomb on the central sq. of his metropolis, in accordance with Greek customized. The individual in control of this venture was Mausolus’ grieving widow, Artemisia II, who, by the way, was additionally his sister.
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Statue of Mausolus on the British Museum, 2012. (shako/ CC BY-SA 3.0 )
Who Designed the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus?
The design of the Mausoleum is alleged to have taken its inspiration from the early 4th century BC Nereid Monument of Lycian Xanthos, albeit on a a lot grander scale. The Greek architects Satyros and Pytheos had been mentioned to have been invited by Artemisia from Greece to design the general form of the Mausoleum, while the sculptors Byraxis, Leocharis, Timotheus, and Scopas of Paros had been in control of the decorations of the monument. Working underneath them had been lots of of different workmen and craftsmen. The top outcome was a surprise constructed within the kinds of three totally different cultures – Greek, Lycian and Egyptian.
A partial reconstruction of the Nereid Monument at Xanthos in Lycia ( Public Domain )
Maybe for max visibility, the Mausoleum was constructed on high of a hill overlooking town. A stone platform was first constructed, and was enclosed with a courtyard. The highest of this platform was reached by a flight of stairs flanked by stone lions. Alongside the outer partitions of the courtyard had been statues of varied gods and goddesses, while mounted stone warriors had been stationed at every nook. On the middle of the platform was the Mausoleum itself. While the constructing was constructed of bricks, it was coated with white Proconnesian marble, giving it a splendid look.
Element of the Amazon Frieze from the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus: combats between Amazons and Greeks. 2012 by Carole Raddato. (Carole Raddato/ CC BY-SA 2.0 )
The primary 1/3 of the Mausoleum was a sq., tapering block coated with reduction sculptures. These reliefs included commonplace photos from the Greek repertoire, together with the Centauromachy (the battle between the Lapiths and centaurs) and the Amazonomachy (the battle between the Greeks and Amazons). The subsequent 1/3 of the monument consisted of a set of 36 ionic columns. Between every column was a statue, and a strong block was constructed behind the columns to bear the burden of the construction’s roof. This roof, which coated the ultimate 1/3 of the constructing, was a step pyramid with 24 ranges, topped with a sculpture of Mausolus and Artemisia using a four-horsed chariot.
Optical Illusions and Artistry: The Ingenious Design of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
The development of the Mausoleum was a exceptional feat of engineering and craftsmanship. It’s mentioned that the Greek architect Pytheos, who was concerned within the design, included varied modern architectural parts into the construction. One notable characteristic was using optical illusions to create a way of grandeur and magnificence. For instance, the columns on the center part of the Mausoleum weren’t evenly spaced however regularly decreased in distance in the direction of the highest. This optical trick, often called entasis, gave the phantasm that the columns had been straight and never tapering.
The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus was not solely a grand tomb but in addition a powerful murals that showcased the talents and craftsmanship of the traditional world. Its design, incorporating parts from totally different cultures, and its immense measurement made it probably the most spectacular buildings of its time.
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Destruction of the Mausoleum
While the conquest of Alexander the Nice a number of many years later introduced the Hecatomnid dynasty to an finish, the Mausoleum outlived the dynasty for over a millennium. Through the thirteenth century, a collection of earthquakes destroyed the columns, and introduced the stone chariot crashing to the bottom. By the early fifteenth century, solely the bottom of the construction was recognizable. By the top of the identical century, and once more in 1522, following rumors of a Turkish invasion, the Knights of St. John used the stones from the Mausoleum to fortify the partitions of their fort in Bodrum. Moreover, a lot of the remaining sculptures had been floor into lime for plaster, although a number of the finest works had been salvaged and mounted in Bodrum fort . A number of of those statues had been later acquired by the British ambassador for the British Museum .
Photographs of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus website, 2013. (I, Sailko/ CC BY-SA 3.0 )
The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus Right now
The situation of the Mausoleum was subsequently misplaced, and was solely rediscovered through the nineteenth century by Charles Thomas Newton, who was working for the British Museum. Newton was profitable in his quest, and managed to find some partitions, a staircase, and three of the corners of the muse. As well as, Newton additionally found sections of reliefs that adorned the wall of the constructing, parts of the stepped roof, a damaged chariot wheel from the sculpture on the roof, and two statues believed to have been in that chariot. These objects had been then taken to London, the place they’re nonetheless on show within the British Museum, although the Turkish authorities are seeking to have them repatriated . They’re the final remnants of a as soon as spectacular monument that had the traditional world in awe.
In 2017, it was introduced that the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus will probably be revived by The Danish Halikarnassos Project. Whereas no dates have been offered but for the restoration of the Mausoleum, when the traditional construction is restored it means there will probably be not less than two of the traditional wonders of the world obtainable for contemporary eyes to gaze upon as soon as once more.
In the meantime, the Tradition and Tourism Ministry of Turkey set plans in movement to create an open air museum on the website and launched this initiative on July 14, 2018.
High picture: Picture of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, illustration of how it will have appeared. Supply: Civilization. Wiki / CC BY-SA )