The Mausoleum of Maussollos
(or Mausoleum of Halicarnassus) was
a tomb built between 353 and 350 B.C.E.
at Halicarnassus (present Bodrum,
Turkey) for Maussollos, a governor
in the Persian Empire, and Artemisia
II of Caria, his wife and sister.
The structure was designed by the
Greek architects Satyrus and Pythis.
It stood approximately 135 feet in
height, and each of the four sides
was adorned with sculptural reliefs
created by four famous Greek sculptors—Bryaxis,
Leochares, Scopas, and Timotheus.
The finished structure
was considered to be such an aesthetic
triumph that the ancient historian
Antipater of Sidon identified it as
one of his Seven Wonders of the Ancient
World. The word mausoleum has since
come to be used generically for any
grand tomb, though "Mausol—eion"
originally meant "dedicated to
Modern buildings inspired
by the mausoleum include Grant's Tomb
in New York City; the Los Angeles
City Hall; the Shrine of Remembrance
in Melbourne, Australia; and the Scottish
Rite House of the Temple on 16th Street
in Washington, D.C.
of Maussollos and Artemisia
Formal reconstructed image of the mausoleumIn
377 B.C.E. Halicarnassus was the capital
of a small region and kingdom on the
coast of Anatolia. In that year the
ruler of the region, Hecatomnus of Milas,
died and left the control of the kingdom
to his son, Maussollos. Hecatomnus,
a local governor under the Persians,
took control of several of the neighboring
cities and districts. After Maussollos
and Artemisia, he had several other
sons and daughters: Ada (adopted mother
of Alexander the Great), Idrieus, and
Pixodarus. Maussollos extended its territory
as far as the southwest coast of Anatolia.
Maussollos and Artemisia
ruled from Halicarnassus over the surrounding
territory for 24 years. Maussollos,
although descended from local people,
spoke Greek and admired the Greek way
of life and government. He founded many
cities of Greek design along the coast
and encouraged Greek democratic traditions.
Maussollos decided to
build a new capital, a city as safe
from capture and as magnificent as any
to be seen. He chose the city of Halicarnassus
and began to make it a capital fit for
a warrior prince. At its port, if Maussollos's
ships blocked a small channel, they
would be able keep all enemy warships
out. His workmen deepened the city's
harbor and used the dredged sand to
make protecting breakwaters in front
of the channel. On land, they paved
squares, built streets and houses for
ordinary citizens, and on one side of
the harbor they built a massive fortress-palace
for Maussollos. From this palace, with
clear views out to sea and inland to
the hills, an enemy's advances would
be clearly seen.
On land, the workmen also
built walls and watchtowers, a Greek-style
theater and a temple to Ares, the Greek
god of war.
Maussollos and Artemisia
spent huge amounts of tax money to embellish
the city. They commissioned statues,
temples, and buildings of gleaming marble.
In the center of the city, Maussollos
planned to place a resting place for
his body after he was dead. It would
be a tomb that would forever commemorate
his glory and that of his wife, who
was also his sister and queen.
The death of
Scale model of the Mausoleum, at Miniatürk,
IstanbulIn 353 B.C.E. Maussollos died,
leaving Artemisia broken-hearted. It
was the custom in Caria for rulers to
marry their sisters. Such incestuous
marriages kept the power and the wealth
in the family. As a tribute to him,
Artemisia decided to make the tomb he
had planned truly splendid, a structure
so famous that Maussollos' name is now
the eponym for all stately tombs, in
the word mausoleum. The construction
was also so beautiful and unique it
became known as one of the Seven Wonders
of the Ancient World.
Soon after construction
of the tomb began, Artemisia found herself
in a crisis. Rhodes, a Greek island
at the Aegean Sea, had been conquered
by Maussollos. When the Rhodians heard
about his death, they rebelled and sent
a fleet of ships to capture the city
of Halicarnassus. Knowing that the Rhodian
fleet was on the way, Artemisia hid
her own ships at a secret location at
the east end of the city's harbor. After
troops from the Rhodian fleet disembarked
to attack, Artemisia's fleet made a
surprise raid, captured the Rhodian
fleet and towed it out to sea.
Artemisia put her own
soldiers on the invading ships and sailed
them back to Rhodes. Fooled into thinking
that the returning ships were their
own victorious navy, the Rhodians failed
to put up a defense and the city was
easily captured, quelling the rebellion.
Artemisia lived for only
two years after the death of her husband.
The urns with their ashes were placed
in the yet unfinished tomb. The bodies
of a large number of sacrificed animals
were placed on the stairs leading to
the tomb, and then the stairs were filled
with stones and rubble, sealing the