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远古的失落之城

  Lost Cities of the Ancients
  Pompeii:The Buried City 庞贝:被掩埋的城市
  In the blink[眨眼] of an eye, the once busy city of Pompeii, Italy, was turned into ash-covered ruins, forever frozen in time. It was a normal day in the year 79 A.D. for the residents[居民] of Pompeii. Suddenly, Mount Vesuvius erupted[爆发], covering the city in ashes and other debris[碎片,残骸]. Many residents were able to escape before the volcanic[火山的] waste landed. However, those 2,000 people who didn’t escape in time were trapped under the ashes.
  The ruins of Pompeii weren’t disturbed until they were discovered in 1748 and archaeologists[考古学家] began the excavation[挖掘] process[过程]. Archaeologists never expected the near-perfect preservation of the buildings and objects that had been buried for more than 1,500 years. They were even able to create molds[模子] of the people trapped underneath the debris. Though their bodies had long since turned to dust, the spaces where they were trapped still remained. Once filled with plaster[石膏], the molds allowed one to see the exact position the person was in when he or she died.
  一眨眼的工夫,庞贝这座曾经繁华的意大利城市,就化为废墟,被灰烬覆盖,永远定格在时间深处。对于庞贝居民而言,那只是公元79年普普通通的一天。突然,维苏威火山爆发,火山灰和其他碎屑覆盖了整座城市。许多居民都在火山喷发出来的废物降落之前成功逃离,但还有2000人未能及时逃生,被困在火山灰下。
  此后庞贝古城的遗址一直未受打扰,直到1748年才被人重新发现,随后考古学家开始对其进行挖掘。他们没有料到,这些已被掩埋了一千五百多年的建筑和物品,竟然保存得近乎完美。他们甚至还能制作出被困废墟下遇难者的模型。虽然遇难者的遗体早已化为尘土,但他们被困在那里时留下的空穴却保存了下来。给这些空穴注入石膏而制作出来的模型,可以让我们清楚看到这个人在遇难那一刻的姿态。
  El Dorado:The lmaginary City 埃尔多拉多(黄金城):想象中的城市
  The pursuit[寻求] of wealth has long encouraged treasure-seekers to play the lottery[彩票] and search for pots of gold at the end of the rainbow. However, few legends make people go as crazy as that of El Dorado, the famed (and almost definitely imaginary[想象的]) city of riches that has been hunted by explorers for centuries.
  The origin[起源] of El Dorado, which is Spanish for“The Gilded[镀金的] One,” dates back to the 16th or 17th century, when European explorers in South America first heard tales about a wealthy American Indian chief who was covered in gold dust. The city was said to be full of precious[宝贵的] gems[宝石] and gold. Thousands of explorers have tried to locate[找到位置] this city of riches, but many of them have died in the process.
  One of the most famous cases involves[涉及] Percy Harrison Fawcett, a British explorer who set out in 1925 to find El Dorado, which he named the City of Z. Fawcett and his team entered the jungles of the Amazon, never to be heard from again. Still more explorers have tried to find Fawcett’s group but have repeatedly turned up dead or empty-handed. Given this track record[记录], even Indiana Jones注 might encourage El Dorado seekers to buy a lottery ticket instead of risking their lives.   对财富的追求一直鼓舞着寻宝者们孜孜不倦地赌运气、寻找藏在彩虹尽头的一桶桶黄金。但很少有哪个传说像埃尔多拉多那样让人们如此疯狂―数百年来,无数探险家们一直在寻找这座据说(几乎可以肯定是虚构的)埋藏着巨额财富的城市。
  “埃尔多拉多”在西班牙语中意为“镀过金的”,其历史可以追溯到16或17世纪。当时,欧洲的探险家在南美洲第一次听到关于一个浑身覆盖着金粉的富有美洲印第安酋长的故事。据说这座城市到处都是珍贵的黄金宝石。成千上万的探险家都试图找到这座财富之城,但很多人都在寻找的过程中丧命。
  其中一个最著名的例子是珀西・哈里森・福西特。1925年,这位英国探险家出发寻找黄金城,他把这座城市叫做Z城。福西特和他的探险队进入亚马逊河丛林后就音讯全无。其他探险家试图寻找福西特那队人,但每次不是丢掉性命就是空手而回。鉴于这种历史记录,可能连印第安纳・琼斯都会劝那些想寻找黄金城的人还是去买彩票算了,不要拿生命去冒险。
  Troy:the Legendary City 特洛伊:传说中的城市
  Few epic[史诗] tales are studied more than The Odyssey or The Iliad, which was written by Homer around 800 B.C. and described the Trojan War. The city of Troy was located in what is now modern-day Turkey. Homer’s epic poems describe how Helen, the beautiful wife of Sparta’s King Menelaus, was said to have run off with a Trojan prince named Paris. This affair[风流韵事], according to legend, caused the Trojan War. Menelaus launched a huge attack against Troy, resulting in the war that may have involved the Trojan Horse, Achilles and a number of other famous tales.
  With a history so rooted[(使)扎根] in legend, it’s no wonder that historians were unsure whether Troy actually existed. It’s evident[显然的] that Troy was abandoned[遗弃] following the Trojan War, from 1100 to 700 B.C. It was then resettled[重新定居] before it was taken by the Romans in 85 B.C. Soon after, the civilization died out and was left in ruins until its discovery in 1822. Archaeologists have since found many layers of cities built on top of each other. The stone walls and fortresses in the sixth and seventh oldest layers are now believed to be the Troy described in Homer’s epics, and the legend of the Trojan War is now widely accepted, although its cause is still uncertain.
  由荷马在大约公元前800年创作的《奥德赛》和《伊利亚特》是少数被研究最多的史诗,这两部作品讲述了特洛伊战争的故事。特洛伊城位于今天的土耳其。荷马在史诗里描述了斯巴达国王墨涅拉俄斯美丽的妻子海伦与特洛伊王子帕里斯私奔的故事。根据传说,就是这件事引发了特洛伊战争。墨涅拉俄斯发动了对特洛伊的猛攻。特洛伊木马、阿喀琉斯和其他一些有名的故事都与这场战争有关。
  这段历史与传说的关系如此密切,也难怪历史学家们难以确定特洛伊是否真的存在。但显而易见的是,在特洛伊战争之后,从公元前1100年至公元前700年间,特洛伊城都处于被遗弃的状态。该城重建之后,于公元前85年又落入罗马人之手。不久,这个文明覆灭,只留下一片废墟,直到1822年才重见天日。此后,考古学家发现遗址包含了许多层彼此层叠的城市。人们相信,目前所发现的最古老的第六和第七层石墙和堡垒,就是荷马史诗中所描述的特洛伊城。而特洛伊战争的传说如今已被广泛接受,虽然其起因仍是未解之谜。
  Atlantis:The Utopian City 亚特兰蒂斯:乌托邦的城市
  According to the Greek philosopher[哲学家] Plato, Atlantis was a healthy society, filled with wealthy and happy people. While Plato’s colorful descriptions of Atlantis are widely believed to be fictional[虚构的], some historians think the city really existed. Plato noted that the island of Atlantis disappeared 9,000 years before he wrote about it, but some scholars think this number was incorrect[错误的] because 900 seems more possible. Some archaeologists believe that Atlantis was located in the Greek Islands and was sunk by a volcanic eruption. Still others think its location is underwater near the Caribbean, Ireland, South America or even Antarctica.   Whether or not Atlantis actually existed, the mere idea of this utopian city has led to the creation of numerous[无数的] books, movies and documentaries[纪录片], hoping to solve the mystery[神秘的事物] of its disappearance.
  据希腊哲学家柏拉图所说,亚特兰蒂斯是一个运作良好的社会,到处是富裕和幸福的人。虽然人们普遍认为柏拉图对亚特兰蒂斯丰富多彩的描绘只是虚构,但一些历史学家认为这座城市确实存在。柏拉图说,亚特兰蒂斯岛在他写它前的九千年前就已经消失,但也有学者认为这个数字并不准确,九百年似乎比较有可能。有些考古学家认为亚特兰蒂斯位于希腊群岛,因火山喷发而沉入水底。还有些人认为它位于加勒比海、爱尔兰、南美洲甚至南极洲的水下。
  不管亚特兰蒂斯是否真实存在,单是关于这座乌托邦城市的概念,就已经激发人们创作了无数相关的书籍、电影和纪录片,以期解开它的消失之谜。
  Rnow More
  荷马(约前9世纪―前8世纪),相传为古希腊的游吟诗人,生于小亚细亚,失明,创作了史诗《伊利亚特》和《奥德赛》,两者统称《荷马史诗》。历史上究竟有无荷马这个人?这两部史诗真是他写的吗?这些问题在西方学术界争论已久。所以也有人认为他是传说中被构造出来的人物。而关于《荷马史诗》,大多数学者认为是当时经过几个世纪口头流传的诗作的结晶。
  《伊利亚特》的故事背景设在特洛伊战争,这是一场希腊城邦之间的冲突,军队对特洛伊城围困了十年之久,故事讲述了国王阿伽门农与英雄阿喀琉斯之间的争执。
  《奥德赛》延续了《伊利亚特》的故事情节,主要讲述了希腊英雄奥德修斯在特洛伊陷落后返乡的故事。十年特洛伊战争结束后,奥德修斯又漂泊了十年才回到了故乡伊萨卡。人们认为他已经死去,而他的妻子珀涅罗珀和儿子忒勒玛科斯必须面对一群放肆的求婚者,这些人相互竞争,以求与珀涅罗珀成婚。
  柏拉图(约公元前427―前347)是著名的古希腊哲学家,雅典人,创办了著名的雅典学院,他的著作大多以对话录形式记录。柏拉图是苏格拉底的学生,也是亚里士多德的老师,他们三人被认为是西方哲学的奠基者,史称“西方三圣贤”。
  注:印第安纳・琼斯是《夺宝奇兵》系列电影的主角,其典型形象特征为哈里森・福特所扮演的头戴牛仔帽、腰挂长鞭的探险家装扮。


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