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Part I  The Ancient World

 

The ruins of the Athenian Acropolis today stand under a smog-laden sky and overlook the trees and buildings of a bustling modern city sprawled beneath.  These ruins are striking symbols of a great civilization whose principal center was Athens.

 

第一部分  古代世界

 

今天,雅典卫城废墟矗立在雾气笼罩的天空下,俯瞰着脚下慵懒地铺展开的这座喧嚣的现代城市的树木和建筑。这些废墟是以雅典为主要中心的一个伟大文明的显著象征。

 

 

In the fifth century B.C.Ethe temples and statues of the Acropolis were new and gleaming, fresh from the hands of confident architects and sculptors. Five hundred years later, when Greece was a province of the Roman Empire, they still expressed the writer Plutarch:

 

公元前5世纪,刚刚出自信心百倍的建筑家和雕塑师之手的卫城神庙和雕像,清新而辉煌。五百年后,当希腊成为罗马帝国的一个行省时,它们仍然给作家普鲁塔克留下深刻印象:

 

 

The works…are wonderful; they were quickly created and they have lasted for ages. In beauty each one appeared venerable as soon as it was finished, but in freshness and vigor it looks even now new and lately built. They bloom with an eternal freshness that seems untouched by time, as though they had been inspired by an unfading spirit of youth.

 

这些作品……美仑美奂;被快速建成的它们,已经历尽岁月沧桑;就美感而言,每一件作品在刚刚完成时就显得古朴而庄严;但就清新和活力而论,即使现在看来又新得如同刚刚建成。似乎一股未经时光触碰的永恒的清新令它们生机勃发,好似一种永不消退的青春气息在激励着它们。

 

 

Today the Acropolis no longer appears to be “untouched by time”; yet for us no less than for Plutarch, ancient Athens and the civilization that were centered there has retained an “eternal freshness.” Greece’s accomplishments were to prove enduring. Its magnificent intellectual and artistic legacy would provide much of the cultural heritage of Western civilization.  And when we look at the Greek experience as a whole—political, economic, social, religious, and cultural—we can see the great impact of the ancient Greek on the development of civilization in the West.

 

今天,卫城再也显不出“未经时光的触碰”;然而我们同普鲁塔克的感觉一样,古代雅典及以此为中心的文明仍然保持着“永恒的清新”。希腊的成就证明是持久永恒的。西方文明文化遗产中的很多东西都来自希腊辉煌的知识和艺术传统。当我们从政治、经济,社会、宗教和文化角度把希腊的经历作为一个整体进行审视时,我们能够看出古代希腊对西方文明发展所产生的巨大影响。

 

 

    
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