Authors: Matthew Reilly
Matthew Reilly is the internationally best-selling author of
Contest, Ice Station, Temple, Area 7, Scarecrow
Hover Car Racer.
His novels have been translated into nineteen languages and are sold in over twenty countries. To date he has sold over two million books around the world. Matthew has also written several short stories, all of which are available for free at his website:
He lives in Sydney.
Also by Matthew Reilly
HOVER CAR RACER
HELL ISLAND (FOR BOOKS ALIVE, 2005)
This is a work of fiction. Characters, institutions and organisations mentioned in this novel are either the product of the author’s imagination or, if real, used fictitiously without any intent to describe actual conduct.
First published 2005 in Macmillan by Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Limited
This Macmillan edition published in 2006 by Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Limited
1 Market Street, Sydney
Copyright © Karanadon Entertainment Pty Ltd 2005
The author hereby asserts his moral rights.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher.
National Library of Australia
Reilly, Matthew, 1974–.
Seven ancient wonders.
ISBN-13: 978 1 4050 3705 1.
ISBN-10: 1 4050 3705 9.
1. Quests (Expeditions) – Fiction. I. Title.
Typeset in 11/14 pt Sabon by Post Pre-press Group
Printed in Australia by McPherson’s Printing Group
Cartographic art and illustrations by Laurie Whiddon, Map Illustrations
Papers used by Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Ltd are natural, recyclable products made from wood grown in sustainable forests. The manufacturing processes conform to the environmental regulations of the country of origin.
These electronic editions published in 2007 by Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Ltd
1 Market Street, Sydney 2000
The moral right of the author has been asserted.
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Seven Ancient Wonders
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In ancient times, at the peak of the Great
Pyramid at Giza, there stood a magnificent
capstone made of gold.
It disappeared in antiquity.
A COLLECTION OF WONDERS FROM
AROUND THE WORLD
TITLE OF A COLLECTION OF DOCUMENTS WRITTEN BY
CALLIMACHUS OF CYRENE, CHIEF LIBRARIAN OF THE
ALEXANDRIA MUSEION, LOST WHEN THE FAMOUS
LIBRARY WAS DESTROYED IN 48 BC.
COWER IN FEAR, CRY IN DESPAIR,
YOU WRETCHED MORTALS
FOR THAT WHICH GIVETH GREAT POWER
ALSO TAKES IT AWAY.
FOR LEST THE BENBEN BE PLACED AT SACRED SITE
ON SACRED GROUND, AT SACRED HEIGHT,
WITHIN SEVEN SUNSETS OF THE ARRIVAL OF RA’S
AT THE HIGH-POINT OF THE SEVENTH DAY,
THE FIRES OF RA’S IMPLACABLE DESTROYER WILL
DEVOUR US ALL.
4,500-YEAR-OLD HIEROGLYPHIC INSCRIPTION FOUND
ON THE SUMMIT OF THE GREAT PYRAMID AT GIZA IN
THE PLACE WHERE THE CAPSTONE ONCE STOOD.
I HAVE BOTH HELD AND BEHELD UNLIMITED
POWER AND OF IT I KNOW BUT ONE THING.
IT DRIVES MEN MAD.
ALEXANDER THE GREAT
14 MARCH, 2006
6 DAYS BEFORE TARTARUS
|THE GREATEST STATUE IN HISTORY|
It towered like a god above the mouth of Mandraki harbour, the main port of the island state of Rhodes, much like the Statue of Liberty does today in New York.
Finished in 282 BC after twelve years of construction, it was the tallest bronze statue ever built. At a stupendous 110 feet, it loomed above even the biggest ship that passed by.
It was crafted in the shape of the Greek Sun-god, Helios—muscled and strong, wearing a crown of olive leaves and a necklace of massive golden pendants, and holding a flaming torch aloft in his right hand.
Experts continue to argue whether the great statue stood astride the entrance to the harbour or at the end of the long breakwater that formed one of its shores. Either way, in its time, the Colossus would have been an awesome sight.
Curiously, while the Rhodians built it in celebration of their victory over the Antigonids (who had laid siege to the island of Rhodes for an entire year), the statue’s construction was paid for by Egypt—by two Egyptian Pharaohs in fact: Ptolemy I and his son, Ptolemy II.
But while it took Man twelve years to build the Colossus of Rhodes, it took Nature 56 years to ruin it.
When the great statue was badly damaged in an earthquake in 226 BC, it was again Egypt who offered to repair it: this time the
new Pharaoh, Ptolemy III. It was as if the Colossus meant more to the Egyptians than it did to the Rhodians.
Fearing the gods who had felled it, the people of Rhodes declined Ptolemy III’s offer to rebuild the Colossus and the remainder of the statue was left to lie in ruins for nearly 900 years—until 654 AD when the invading Arabs broke it up and sold it off in pieces.
One mysterious footnote remains.
A week after the Rhodians declined Ptolemy III’s offer to re-erect the Colossus, the
of the mammoth fallen statue—all sixteen feet of it—went missing.
The Rhodians always suspected that it was taken away on an Egyptian freighter-barge that had left Rhodes earlier that week.
The head of the Colossus of Rhodes was never seen again.
BASE OF THE ETHIOPIAN HIGHLANDS
KASSALA PROVINCE, EASTERN SUDAN
14 MARCH, 2006, 4:55 P.M.
6 DAYS BEFORE THE ARRIVAL OF TARTARUS