Accounts of the alleged Mesopotamian Hanging Gardens in Historical Records & etc.
Accounts By Reverse Chronological Order
Eusebius of Ceasaria 275–339 ad/ce (apx)
Megasthenes 350–290 bce (apx)
Abydenus 275–339 bce (apx)
about Nebuchadnezzar When, after a long while, Nebuchadnezzar was informed of his father's death, he settled and arranged affairs in the country of the Egyptians and in other lands. He entrusted the captives, Jews, Phoenicians, Syrians, and Egyptians, to some of his friends and ordered them to procede to Babylon with the heavily-armed troops. Meanwhile he himself [quickly] reached [the city] and found that his kingdom had been preserved by a certain one of the nobles. And so, [Nebuchadnezzar] ruled over his entire patrimonial state. He ordered that the captives be settled in goodly locales in the land of the Babylonians. Then he took booty from the war and adorned the temples of ³ Bel and the other gods with great abundance. He ² increased [the flow of] water to the city proper and to the suburbs and secured the place so that no besieger would be able to ² divert the river into the city. He added three walls to the exterior of the city, in addition to the three walls on the inside of the city building half of ³ baked brick and bitumen and half solely of brick. After enclosing the city with magnificent walls and splendidly decorating its gates, he constructed yet another palace near his father's palace whose size, beauty, and adornment one can hardly describe. Suffice it to say that it was a splendidly rare accomplishment, completely finished in ³ fifteen days.
'He also walled off the inundation of the Red Sea, ² and built the city Teredon ² at the place of the incursions of the Arabs. ³ His palace too he adorned with trees, and gave it the name of the Hanging Gardens.'
Strabo, c.62 bce - c.24 ce
and it is on this account that this and the Hanging Garden are called one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The garden is quadrangular in shape, and each side is four plethra in length. It consists of arched vaults, which are situated, one after another, on checkered, cube-like foundations. The checkered foundations, which are hollowed out, are covered so deep with earth that they admit of the largest of trees, having been constructed of baked brick and asphalt — the foundations themselves and the vaults and the arches. The ascent to the uppermost terrace-roofs is made by a stairway; and alongside these stairs there were screws, ² through which the water was continually conducted up into the garden from the Euphrates ² by those appointed for this purpose. ² For the river, a stadium in width, flows through the middle of the city; ² and the garden is on the bank of the river. ²
Sources : The Geography of Strabo - Loeb Classical Library (8 vols), 1932 Strabo: The Geography. In: LacusCurtius • Strabo's Geography. http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Strabo/home.html. Accessed 21 May 2020 @ https://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Strabo/16A*.html < extraction http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0239&redirect=true [presumably] Ultimate Sources :Strabo Unkown Anceint Authors
Flavius Josephus 37/38 - 100 ce
Alexander Polyhistor C1 bce
Berossus aka Bêl-re'ušunu fl 258–253 bce
Jewish Antiquities Book X CHAPTER 11.
CONCERNING NEBUCHADNEZZAR AND HIS SUCCESSORS AND HOW THEIR GOVERNMENT WAS DISSOLVED BY THE PERSIANS; AND WHAT THINGS BEFELL DANIEL IN MEDIA; AND WHAT PROPHECIES HE DELIVERED THERE.
1. NOW when king Nebuchadnezzar had reigned forty-three years, (21) he ended his life. He was an active man, and more fortunate than the kings that were before him. Now Berossus makes mention of his actions in the third book of his Chaldaic History, where he says thus: "When his father Nebuchodonosor [Nabopollassar] heard that the governor whom he had set over Egypt, and the places about Coelesyria and Phoenicia, had revolted from him, while he was not himself able any longer to undergo the hardships [of war], he committed to his son Nebuchadnezzar, who was still but a youth, some parts of his army, and sent them against him. So when Nebuchadnezzar had given battle, and fought with the rebel, he beat him, and reduced the country from under his subjection, and made it a branch of his own kingdom; but about that time it happened that his father Nebuchodonosor [Nabopollassar] fell ill, and ended his life in the city Babylon, when he had reigned twenty-one years; (22) and when he was made sensible, as he was in a little time, that his father Nebuchodonosor [Nabopollassar] was dead, and having settled the affairs of Egypt, and the other countries, as also those that concerned the captive Jews, and Phoenicians, and Syrians, and those of the Egyptian nations; and having committed the conveyance of them to Babylon to certain of his friends, together with the gross of his army, and the rest of their ammunition and provisions, he went himself hastily, accompanied with a few others, over the desert, and came to Babylon. So he took upon him the management of public affairs, and of the kingdom which had been kept for him by one that was the principal of the Chaldeans, and he received the entire dominions of his father, ³ and appointed, that when the captives came, they should be placed as colonies, in the most proper places of Babylonia; but then he adorned the temple of Belus, and the rest of the temples, in a magnificent manner, with the spoils he had taken in the war. He also added another city to that which was there of old, and rebuilt it, that such as would besiege it hereafter might no more turn the course of the river, and thereby attack the city itself. He therefore built three walls round about the inner city, and three others about that which was the outer, and this he did with burnt brick. And after he had, after a becoming manner, walled the city, and adorned its gates gloriously, he built another palace before his father's palace, but so that they joined to it; to describe whose vast height and immense riches it would perhaps be too much for me to attempt; yet as large and lofty as they were, they were completed in fifteen days. ³
—Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, bk X, ch 11, sctn 1
Nabuchodonosor, as soon as he had received intelligence of his father's death, set in order the affairs of Egypt and the other countries, and committed to some of his faithful officers the captives he had taken from the Jews, and Phœnicians, and Syrians, and the nations belonging to Egypt, that they might conduct them with that part of the forces which had heavy armour, together with the rest of his baggage, to Babylonia: in the mean time with a few attendants he hastily crossed the desert to Babylon. When he arrived there he found that his affairs had been faithfully conducted by the Chaldæans, and that the principal person among them had preserved the kingdom for him: and he acordingly obtained possession of all his father's dominions. And he distributed the captives in colonies in the most proper places of Babylonia: and adorned the temple of Belus, and the other temples, in a sumptuous and pious manner, out of the spoils which he had taken in this war. He also rebuilt the old city, and added another to it on the outside, and so far completed Babylon, that none, who might besiege it afterwards, should have it in their power to divert the river, so as to facilitate an entrance into it: and he effected this by building three walls about the inner city, and three about the outer. Some of these walls he built of burnt brick and bitumen, and some of brick only. When he had thus admirably fortified the city, and had magnificently adorned the gates, he added also a new palace to those in which his forefathers had dwelt, adjoining them, but exceeding them in height and splendor. Any attempt to describe it would be tedious: yet notwithstanding its prodigious size and magnificence it was finished within fifteen days³.
Quintus Curtius Rufus, d.53 ce
Clitarchus, 310-301 bce
The City WallsAnd with justification. Founded by Semiramis [...], its wall is constructed of small baked bricks and is cemented together with bitumen. The wall is ten meters wide and it is said that two chariots meeting on it can safely pass each other. Its height is twenty-five meters and its towers stand three meters higher again. The circumference of the whole work is 365 stades, each stade, according to the traditional account, being completed in a single day.
The buildings of the city are not contiguous to the walls but are about thirty meter's width from them, and even the city area is not completely built up - the inhabited sector covers only 275 hectares - nor do the buildings form a continuous mass, presumably because scattering them in different locations seemed safer. The rest of the land is sown and cultivated so that, in the event of attack from outside, the besieged could be supplied with produce from the soil of the city itself.
The RiverThe Euphrates passes through the city, its flow confined by great embankments. Large as these structures are, behind all of them are huge pits sunk deep in the ground to take water of the river when in spate, for when its level has exceeded the top of the embankment, the flood would sweep away city buildings if there were no drain-shafts and cisterns to siphon it off. These are constructed of baked brick, the entire work cemented with bitumen.
The BridgeThe two parts of the city are connected by a stone bridge over the river, and this is also reckoned among the wonders of the East. For the Euphrates carries along with it a thick layer of mud and, even after digging this out to a great depth to lay the foundations, one can hardly find a solid base for a supporting structure. Moreover, there is a continuous build-up of sand which gathers around the piles supporting the bridge, impeding the flow of water, and this constriction makes the river smash against the bridge with greater violence than if it had an unimpeded passage.
Antipater of Thessalonica 50 bce - 50ce
Diodorus Siculus c.50 bce
Ctesias of Cnidus : c.400 bce
Antipater of Sidon 2nd Century bce (apx)
Philo of Byzantium c. 200 bce (apx)
The garden which is called the Hanging Garden suspends its plants in the air, having shoots which are supported away from the ground. The tree roots which hang above the ground, assuredly cover the earth and take the place of a floor. Here is a description of this work. * First of all stone columns are supported on a general foundation and made firm. This is done in such a way that the engraved bases of the columns cover the whole area given over to the garden.
Then beams made from palm trees are set down in different places, separated from one another by only a small space. For palm is absolutely the only kind of wood which does not rot. It is moistened so that it will bend back after being pressed upwards by weights. Moreover it feeds the fibres and tendrils of the roots which mix with the matter in its own cells and sinews.
A vast and deep mass of earth is poured over the beams; trees are planted with their broad leaves nearly touching to help foster the Garden. There are all kinds of varieties of flowers, and, so that it will be enjoyed by all, whatever is the most delightful, agreeable and pleasant to the eyes is there. The whole of the place is ploughed like a normal field and it is no less fertile than other ground. Yet it is done in such a way that the land can be ploughed above the heads of those walking amongst the supporting columns.
Whilst the upper layer of soil is trodden on underfoot, in places the deep, lower layers remain untouched, and that which lies at the bottom remains virgin ground. The waters gush forth from lofty fountains and sink right down through the ground and are then forced up high in twists and spirals, rushing and swirling through the circuits of the pipes of certain mechanical devices. And so the water having been collected on high in numerous ample containers irrigates the whole garden and, with its bountiful moisture, it bathes the roots of the trees which are pressed into the top layer of the ground and thus keeps the soil perpetually moist.
Here grow grasses which are perennially green, and trees whose leaves move in the breeze. The branches are made soft by constant moisture and so the leaves grow more densely. The roots, which are never removed, exude water continuously, and this circulates through the pores of the roots which are buried and pressed into the ground, keeping the trees naturally firm and thick. And so the cultivator, in his many ways, has created strength through nature; this certainly is a work of regal splendour giving much pleasure suspended above the heads of onlookers.