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WHISPERS FROM ABOVE

时间:2005-06-07 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:幽幽草   字体: [ ]
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¡¡The story of how we have systematically1 observed the heavens begins in the days before recorded time. For primitive2 man, the sun reigned3 supreme4. Its recurring5 cycles of light and darkness formed the basis for the first organizing principle of our natural world: Day and Night. In fact, the Egyptians explained the sun's daily cycles through the goddess 1)Newt. Her arched body was said to cover the whole earth. Every night she swallowed the sun. It then trailed through her body to rise again the following morning. The sun also provided the most basic natural daily clock. Most primitive people noticed a relationship between time and shadows. And it was in ancient Egypt that the first recorded 2)sundials were found.

    But trying to make sense of the heavens gave us more than the natural cycle of day and night.

    Ancient man also noticed how the five planets visible to the naked eye twinkled in the night sky. With the sun and the moon, that made seven imposing6 celestial7 bodies that would serve as the inspiration for the next basic division of the natural order, the seven-day week. Even today, the influence of the heavens on the days of the week is unmistakable. Sunday is the most straightforward8 and the first day of the week on many calendars. Monday, or moon day, is also quite simple. But the role played by the heavens in formalizing the days of the week doesn't stop there. Ancient 3)Nordics named their days after seven 4)celestial gods, and the ancient 5)legacy is also clear throughout the Latin based languages of western civilizations. Wednesday is 6)Mercury day, Mecrede in French, Mercoles in Spanish, Mercolade in Italian. Tuesday, 7)Mars day, is Marde in French and Martes in Spanish. In English, in addition to Sun-day and Moon-day, Saturn-day also reveals its ancient roots.

     As our ancestors struggled to find explanations in the heavens for the natural events on Earth, after days and weeks, they found the solution to their next challenge, not in the sun but in another heavenly body. From the earliest days of recorded time, we know most people had calculated the cycles of the moon at between twenty-nine and thirty days. Today, the moon's cycle is merely an 8)adornment to the modern clock. Yet, even the word we use to describe a thirty-day period, a month or moon-th, instantly reveals its celestial inspiration. Towering over all these cycles of days, weeks and months is the year, the seasonal9 year that gave life to crops. Derived10 from the sun, the greatest of our heavenly bodies, the sun offers the fundamental organizing principle of the modern world. We calculate everything, from our own age to the eras of great civilizations, in this one basic division of time. For most civilizations through the ages, the sun was considered the life giving force to all earthly creatures. And by its cycle, we have ordered and structured our lives. 

星际秘语

 

   在有书面记录之前,人类就开始对天空进行系统的观测。对古人来说,太阳是至高无上的。以它带来的光与暗的循环交替为基础,形成了自然界最基本的组织原则:日与夜。实际上,埃及人认为太阳的日循环是通过女神来完成的。他们认为女神弯弓般的身体笼罩着整个地球。每个夜晚她就会吞下太阳。太阳在她体内慢慢穿行,第二天早上再升起来。太阳还提供了最简易的自然日钟。许多远古人都注意到了时间和影的关系。最早的日晷是在古埃及发现的。

   探究天空的欲望告诉我们的还不止日夜的自然更替。

   古代的人们看到肉眼可见的五大行星在夜幕中闪烁。它们和太阳、月亮一起,形成了天空最美丽的七座天体,也是第二则自然规律的形成基础:七天为一星期。即使今天也不会有人弄错天体对一周内的七天的影响。许多日历上,星期天是最直接的,也是一星期的第一天。星期一,或"月亮日",也是相当直接。但天体对星期的形成所起的作用可并不止这些。古代北欧人用七个天神来为这七天命名,这珍贵的古代遗产在以拉丁文为基础的西方文明中一直流传了下来。星期三是墨丘利神之日,在法语中是“Mecrede”,西班牙语是“Mercoles”,意大利语是“Mercolade”。星期二是战神之日,在法语中是“Marde”,西班牙语则是“Martes”。英语中,除了星期日和星期一,从“星期六”这个词也可看出古代的渊源。

   当我们的祖先努力寻求天体的规律以解释地球上的自然事件时,在日和星期之后他们又发现了另一个奥秘,不在于太阳,而是另一个天体。从早期记载开始,我们知道,许多民族都计算出月亮29至30天的盈亏规律。今天,月循环只是现代时钟的一种装饰。但是,我们用来计算30天周期的用词都是“月”,无时不刻显示着它的天体渊源。日循环、星期循环和月循环之后最高的循环就是年循环了,一年有四季,作物才会生长。现代世界最基本的运作原则源自太阳--我们最伟大的天体。任何时间的计算,从人的年龄到伟大的文明的纪元,都是以一种最基本的时间的分割法为基准。历来多数文明显示,太阳被看作是赋予地球所有生物力量的一种生命。根据它的循环规律,我们形成并构建了自身的生活规律。

 

1) Newt.

2) sundial   n.(通过太阳知道时间的)日晷,日规

3) Nordic   n. 北欧人,日耳曼民族

4) celestial   a. 天上的

5) legacy  n. 遗赠物,(祖先传下的)遗产

6) Mercury  n. 墨利丘神(罗马神化中众神的信使,并掌管商业、道路,工匠、盗贼等的保护神)

7) Mars   n. 马尔斯(古罗马战神)

8) adornment   n. 装饰品

 


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 systematically 7qhwn     
adv.有系统地
参考例句:
  • This government has systematically run down public services since it took office.这一屆政府自上台以来系统地削减了公共服务。
  • The rainforest is being systematically destroyed.雨林正被系统地毀灭。
2 primitive vSwz0     
adj.原始的;简单的;n.原(始)人,原始事物
参考例句:
  • It is a primitive instinct to flee a place of danger.逃离危险的地方是一种原始本能。
  • His book describes the march of the civilization of a primitive society.他的著作描述了一个原始社会的开化过程。
3 reigned d99f19ecce82a94e1b24a320d3629de5     
vi.当政,统治(reign的过去式形式)
参考例句:
  • Silence reigned in the hall. 全场肃静。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • Night was deep and dead silence reigned everywhere. 夜深人静,一片死寂。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
4 supreme PHqzc     
adj.极度的,最重要的;至高的,最高的
参考例句:
  • It was the supreme moment in his life.那是他一生中最重要的时刻。
  • He handed up the indictment to the supreme court.他把起诉书送交最高法院。
5 recurring 8kLzK8     
adj.往复的,再次发生的
参考例句:
  • This kind of problem is recurring often. 这类问题经常发生。
  • For our own country, it has been a time for recurring trial. 就我们国家而言,它经过了一个反复考验的时期。
6 imposing 8q9zcB     
adj.使人难忘的,壮丽的,堂皇的,雄伟的
参考例句:
  • The fortress is an imposing building.这座城堡是一座宏伟的建筑。
  • He has lost his imposing appearance.他已失去堂堂仪表。
7 celestial 4rUz8     
adj.天体的;天上的
参考例句:
  • The rosy light yet beamed like a celestial dawn.玫瑰色的红光依然象天上的朝霞一样绚丽。
  • Gravity governs the motions of celestial bodies.万有引力控制着天体的运动。
8 straightforward fFfyA     
adj.正直的,坦率的;易懂的,简单的
参考例句:
  • A straightforward talk is better than a flowery speech.巧言不如直说。
  • I must insist on your giving me a straightforward answer.我一定要你给我一个直截了当的回答。
9 seasonal LZ1xE     
adj.季节的,季节性的
参考例句:
  • The town relies on the seasonal tourist industry for jobs.这个城镇依靠季节性旅游业提供就业机会。
  • The hors d'oeuvre is seasonal vegetables.餐前小吃是应时蔬菜。
10 derived 6cddb7353e699051a384686b6b3ff1e2     
vi.起源;由来;衍生;导出v.得到( derive的过去式和过去分词 );(从…中)得到获得;源于;(从…中)提取
参考例句:
  • Many English words are derived from Latin and Greek. 英语很多词源出于拉丁文和希腊文。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He derived his enthusiasm for literature from his father. 他对文学的爱好是受他父亲的影响。 来自《简明英汉词典》
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