Off the coast of Greece lies the small island of Rhodes. An important port city, Rhodes was a highly desirable island controlled by various parties until it's eventual occupation by Alexander the Great in 332BC. Upon Alexander's early death, three of his generals - Ptolemy, Seleucus, and Antigonus - desired to gain control of Rhodes. The Rhodians placed their support behind Ptolemy, who would eventually rule Egypt. This support did not sit well with Antigonus and he subsequently ordered his son, Demetrius, to lay siege to the island in 305BC. Demetrius's army, many times bigger than the entire population of Rhodes, would have easily claimed victory if it weren't for the large walls surrounding the capital city and the forces sent by Ptolemy to assist the outnumbered Rhodians.
Since I was a kid I have been fascinated by history. The people…the places. The lessons we’ve learned; or haven’t as is often the case. I first developed an interest in the Seven Wonders about twenty years ago. It was amazing to me that such early and “uncivilized” cultures were able to produce monuments of such grandeur and importance.
Aside from their enormity, what made these particular monuments so impressive that they deserved special designation on this exclusive list? The truth is far less romantic than one might hope. Because of the vast area of the world conquered by the ancient Greeks, travelers now had the opportunity to visit places that had been mostly unreachable. The generally accepted list of wonders was compiled by Philo of Byzantium in the 1st or 2nd centuries AD in an attempt to create, in essence, a travel guide. It was not intended to offer special significance to these monuments but rather offer sight-seeing tips to would-be tourists.