When Roses Just Won't Do
Queen Amytis was homesick. Around 600 B.C., she had married King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon for political reasons. But the Babylonian landscape (in modern-day Iraq) was arid and dull, and she missed her native Media, a lush, mountainous land. So Nebuchadnezzar commissioned the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, a series of spectacular planted terraces that seemed to float in midair. The gardens were hailed as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Though a number of ancient sources describe the gardens, modern academics aren’t completely sure they really existed. Other scholars, perhaps romantics at heart, haven’t given up hope.