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巴比倫的空中花園

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  The approach to the Garden sloped like a hillside and the several parts of the structure rose from one another tier on tier……On all this, the earth had been piled……and was thickly planted with trees of every kind that, by their great size and other charm, gave pleasure to the beholder……The water machines(raised) the water in great abundance from the river, although no one outside could see it. ——Diodorus Siculus ruits and flowers…… Waterfalls…… Gardens hanging from the palace terraces…… Exotic animals……This is the picture of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon in most people's minds.It may be surprising to know that they might have never existed except in the minds of Greek poets and historians!

  Location

  On the east bank of the River Euphrates, about 50 km south of Baghdad, Iraq.

  History

  The Babylonian kingdom flourished under the rule of the famous King, Hammurabi (1792-1750 BC).It was not until the reign of the Neo-Babylonian dynasty that the Mesopotamian civilization reached its ultimate glory.Nebuchadnezzar II (604-562 BC) is credited for building the legendary Hanging Gardens.It is said that the Gardens were built by Nebuchadnezzar to please his wife or concubinewho had been "brought up in Media and had a passion for mountain surroundings".

  While the most descriptive accounts of the Gardens come from Greek historians such as Berossus and Diodorus Siculus,Babylonian records stay silent on the matter.Tablets from the time of Nebuchadnezzar do not have a single reference to the Hanging Gardens,although descriptions of his palace, the city of Babylon, and the walls are found.Even the historians who give detailed descriptions of the Hanging Gardens never saw them.Modern historians argue that when Alexander 's soldiers reached the fertile land of Mesopotamia and saw Babylon, they were impressed.When they later returned to their rugged homeland, they had stories to tell about the amazing gardens and palm trees at Mesopotamia……About the palace of Nebuchadnezzar…… About the Tower of Babel and the ziggurats.And it was the imagination of poets and ancient historians that blended all these elements together to produce one of the World Wonders.

  It wasn't until the twentieth century that some of the mysteries surrounding the Hanging Gardens were revealed.Archaeologists are still struggling to gather enough evidence before reaching the final conclusions about the location of the Gardens, their irrigation system, and their true appearance.

  注釋:

  1.Babylon:古代西亞兩河流域的最大城市,古巴比倫王國與新巴比倫王國的首都。位于幼發拉底河中游,距今巴格達南約89公里。“空中花園”位于新巴比倫王國的都城中。

  2.Hammurabi:漢謨拉比(公元前1792~1750)古巴比倫王國第六代國王。他在位其間,重新統一了兩河流域。實行中央集權統治,興修水利,發展經濟。頒布有名的《漢謨拉比法典》。

  3.BC:BC是“公元前”、AD是“公元后”。你知道為什么有公元前和公元后之分嗎?其實公元記年是由后來的一位知識淵博的大主教發明的,以基督(Christ)的出生為分界線來劃分。BC 就是Before Christ;而AD來自拉丁文anno Domini(=Since Christ was born)。

  4.It was not until……:這個句子看起來挺讓人迷惑,其實這是……not ……unitil……(直到……才……)的強調句型。It is ……that……是英語的情調句型。比如:It's man that counts.(出自《實用英語語法》)起作用的是人。強調……not ……unitil……時,是把not和 until引導的從句放在that 前。

  5.Mesopotamian:美索不達米亞,西亞一古地區,地處幼發拉底河和底格里斯河之間,是世界文明發祥地之一。公元前4000年蘇美爾人在南美索不達尼亞建立起世界最早的文明,約公元前2340年,阿卡帝國首次興起,此后巴比倫和亞述兩帝國相繼崛起。

  6.NebuPage: 1 chadnezzar II:尼布甲尼撒二世(前605~前562),新巴比倫王國國王。即位后,大舉進攻腓尼基和巴勒斯坦,與埃及爭奪勢力范圍。公元前586年攻陷耶路撒冷,滅猶太王國,俘虜大批猶太居民。前567年遠征埃及,并掠奪大量財富,是為新巴比倫王國鼎盛時期。

  7.Media:米底,西亞古國,在今伊朗西部和阿塞拜疆東部地區。

  8.lexander the Great:亞歷山大大帝(前356~前323)馬其頓國王。前334年以無敵之師大舉東進,入小亞細亞,轉埃及,建立亞歷山大城,挺進兩河流域,入侵中亞細亞,南下印度。后因氣候不適,士兵厭戰而退兵巴比倫。前324年,建立了以亞歷山大城為中心的東起印度河、西至尼羅河與巴爾干半島領域的古代大帝國——亞歷山大帝國。

  9.the Tower of Babel:巴別塔,據《圣經·舊約》,諾亞在巴比倫的子孫想建造一座“塔頂通天”的塔以揚名,同時反抗上帝。上帝便變亂他們原來統一的語言,使之互不相通,結果塔未能建成,而人類分散到世界各地。

  巴比倫的空中花園

  通往花園的道路象山坡一樣傾斜著,建筑物的幾個部分一層一層地向上交錯排列著……泥土在這些上面堆積著……并且濃密地種植著各種各樣的樹木,它們以其巨大的身軀和其他一些魅力,令觀賞者賞心悅目……抽水的機器把大量的水從河中(提升到)上面,盡管沒有人從外面能看到它。 ——Diodorus Siculus

  水果與鮮花……、瀑布……、花園高懸在宮殿的陽臺上……、奇異的動物……,這是大多數人想象中的巴比倫空中花園。讓人吃驚的是空中花園除了在希臘的詩人和歷史學家的頭腦中出現過外,可能從來就沒有存在過。

  位置:

  位于幼發拉底河的東岸,距伊拉克的首都巴格達南約50公里。

  歷史:

  古巴比倫王國在著名的國王漢謨拉比(公元前1792~1750)的統治下曾經繁榮一時。但是直到新巴比倫王朝,美索不達米亞文明才達到了它的鼎盛時期。人們相信傳說中的空中花園是由尼布甲尼撒二世(公元前604年~562年)建造的。據傳,尼布甲尼撒為了取悅于其在米底亞長大并對山景懷有深厚感情的王后或者是妃子而建造了空中花園。

  雖然對花園最詳盡的記述是出自Berossus 和 Diodorus Siculus等希臘歷史學家筆下, 但巴比倫的歷史記錄卻對此事只字未提。盡管在尼布甲尼撒時期存留下的各種書寫板上發現了對他的宮殿、巴比倫城以及巴比倫的城墻的種種描述,但這些書寫板上卻沒有一處提到過空中花園。甚至那些對空中花園進行過詳細描述的歷史學家們也從沒有親眼目睹過它們。現代歷史學家爭論說:當亞力山大的士兵們到達了富饒的美索不達米亞地區并看到了巴比倫時,他們深為(眼前的美景)所震撼。當他們后來回到崎嶇不平的家鄉時,帶回了有關美索不達米亞的令人驚嘆的花園和椰子樹……、有關尼布甲尼撒的宮殿……以及有關巴別塔和金字型神塔的各種故事。是詩人和古代歷史學家的想象力把這所有的元素混合在一起制造出了世界奇觀之一。

  直到二十世紀,圍繞著空中花園的一些不解之迷才被揭示出來。在得到關于花園的地理位置、灌溉系統,和真正面目的最終結論之前,考古學家們仍在努力地收集足夠的證據。


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