HANGING GARDENS. The hanging gardens of Babylon were anciently feckoned among the wonders of the world. Their construction is variously ascribed to queen Semiramis, and to Nebuchadnezzar—seven centuries later, but still more than five centuries "i.e.—who is said to have made them for the gratification of his Median queen, .Amytis, because the Babylonian plain seemed dreary to her in compariSon with the varied and romantic scenery of her native land. Diodorus and Strabo have given par ticular descriptions of them; and although it is remarkable that they are not mentioned by Herodotus, whilst Quintius Curtius speaks of them as " fabulous wonders of the Greeks"—an opinion which some of the learned in modern times have adopted, denying their very existence—yet the probability seems to be in favor of the general accuracy of the descriptions, and even that the ruins of this celebrated structure are to be recog nized among the mounds which mark the site of Babylon. See BABYLON. The hang
ing gardens arc said to have formed a square, with an area of nearly four acres; but rising in terraces curiously constructed with stone pillars, across which were placed stones, covered with reeds and bitumen, and again with bricks united by cement; above these, sheets of lead, to prevent moisture from flowing down, and finally a sufficient layer of earth; the summit being elevated three hundred feet above the base, so that at a distance the whole presented the appearance of a pyramidal wooded hill. There was a large reservoir at, the summit, which was filled with water by pumping from the Euphrates, for the irrigation of the gardens, and the supply of their numerous fountains. Fountains and banqueting rooms were distributed throughout the numerous terraces; groves and avenues of trees, as well as parterres of flowers; diversified the scene; whilst the view of the city and neighborhood was extensive and magnificent.