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The Mausoleum Essay

1254 words - 5 pages

The mausoleum at Halicarnassus was the very great mausoleum tombstone of one Maussollos, the ruler of Caria, one of the provinces of the vast Persian Empire, who also served as a Governor or Satrap of the King of the Persian Empire between 377 and 353 BC (Peter and Mark, 1988). This great tomb monument was so gigantic in size going by the ancient building standards and extremely lavish were the various sculptured adornments or decorations that in next to no time the building was being recognised in the Ancient World as one of the Seven Wonders of these Ancient times (Peter and Mark, 1988). Ever since the Roman times the word mausoleum, has always been a generic term used in reference to any vast or gigantic tomb monument (Juan, 2005). In today’s world this is what most people would consider as a large-scale house built of marble meant to house a deceased person’s remains (Juan, 2005).
Maussollos farther was Hekatomnos a native of Mylasa, who had died earlier (in 377 BC) and left control of the kingdom to him (Claire, n.d). It was at a certain time during Maussollos’ reign that he decided to move the Kingdom’s capital from its location to Halicarnassus, a city located on the coastline of the Kingdom. Maussollos later married Artemisia, his sister (Claire, n.d). It’s his sister Artemisia, who most of the early writers give credit for the erection of the mausoleum at Halicarnassus for Maussollos, her brother and husband (Robin, 2006).
After the death of Maussollos, a distraught Artemisia made sure that the building of her brother/husband's Greek motivated tomb monument (which most probably started during Maussollos lifetime) was successfully completed without sparing any expense (Robin, 2006). Artemisia sought the services of some of the most prominent sculptors, who were mostly of Greek origin, such as Timotheus and Bryaxis to craft incredible reliefs. Moreover she enlisted the services of sculptor Scopas and a professional architect, also Greek, to supervise the construction of the tomb, and enlisted hundreds of labourers to complete the construction of the tomb (Peter and Mark, 1988).
After completion the great tomb monument stood at a towering height of approximately one hundred and thirty feet (Peter and Mark, 1988). The tomb was sixty-three feet long to the northern and southern sides whereas its facades were shorter. Moreover it had a colonnade (circumference) of four hundred and forty feet (Peter and Mark, 1988). Scopas curved the various sculptures on the eastern side of the tomb whereas Leochares, Timotheus, and Bryaxis curved the sculptures on the western, southern, and northern sides respectively (Peter and Mark, 1988).
The mausoleum has time and again been dated within a period of two years, i.e. between Maussollos death and Artemisia’s death. That is between 353 and 351 BC (Robin, 2006). This is because from the vastness of the tomb it is very apparent that it was too huge to have been designed, planned and constructed to...

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