The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Organize the Sources by Date

These are the historical (or primary) sources I've identified, listed in date order, and equipped with notes to remind me of the basics.

Whenever a Hanging Gardens site author named a primary source, I made a web search to see if I could find the complete text of that source, plus any other useful information about it. This page links to my collections of those source texts.

  1. The Kuyunjik Relief, c.650 BC
    A carved stone plaque possibly showing an aqueduct or a hanging garden in Nineveh, Persia
    Kuyunjik was once called Nineveh;
    Persia is now called Iran, and was once called Media
  2. Herodotus, c.450 BC, Histories
    Greek historian who claims to have visited Babylon himself
  3. Ctesias of Cnidus, c.400 BC, History of the Persians (23 books)
    also referenced as Persica
    and as Assyrica (1st 6 books only)
    Greek physician who stayed at the Persian court, often said to give an eye-witness account Known through Diodorus (below) and Photius
  4. Clitarchus, c.310-301 BC, History of Alexander
    Greek historian (and son of a historian) who used eye-witness accounts, and may also have consulted his father's History of Persia which is also lost Known through Quintus Curtius (below)
  5. Megasthenes, c.310 BC
    Greek ambassador, geographer and traveller, whose work is lost Known through Abydenus, whose work is lost but known through Eusebius (below).
  6. Berossus, c.250 BC? History of the Babylonians
    Also referenced as Babylonaica
    Babylonian priest-historian who used Babylonian sources and wrote to refute Herodotus and/or the "Grecian Writers" because he considered them inaccurate Known through Josephus (via Alexander Polyhistor, whose work is lost) and Eusebius
  7. Philo of Byzantium, c.250 BC? c.150 BC? c.550 AD?? Concerning the Seven Wonders of the World
    Also referenced as Peri ton hepta theamaton
    A civil engineer whose dates and identity are extremely problematic
  8. Diodorus Siculus, c.50 BC, Historical Library
    Also referenced as Bibliotheca historica
    Greek historian (from Sicily) whose description relies heavily on Ctesias (above)
  9. Strabo, c.22 AD, Geographies
    Also referenced as Geographica
    Greek historian, geographer and traveller, whose account is based on the writings of Alexander the Great's admirals and military engineers and/or scholar-librarians
  10. Quintus Curtius Rufus, 31-41 AD, History of Alexander the Great of Macedonia
    Roman commoner, soldier and historian, whose description is based heavily on Clitarchus (above)
  11. Eusebius, 303–c.325 AD, Chronographies and Praeparatio Evengelica
    Bishop of Ceasaria and historian, whose description of Babylon amends Berossus with reference to Abydenus, whose own source was Megasthenes (above).