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托福阅读背景知识:埃及变迁

2014-08-25 15:59

来源:新东方网

作者:富亦聪

  在2014年8月23日的托福阅读考试中有这样一道题:埃及变迁。针对这道托福考题,新东方富亦聪老师来为大家普及一下关于埃及变迁的背景知识,这样有助于考生在面对这类题目时方便作答。新东方富亦聪老师指出:古文明是被最多的反复考察的题材之一,往往还与农业,考古,甚至政治有所交集。但由于历史类文章切入点不同会产生不同的行文方式,因此可能与考生预期不同。所以对于这类背景,应该去了解但不能过于依赖。

  埃及变迁

  题材解读:

  古文明是被最多的反复考察的题材之一,往往还与农业,考古,甚至政治有所交集。但由于历史类文章切入点不同会产生不同的行文方式,因此可能与考生预期不同。所以对于这类背景,应该去了解但不能过于依赖。

  2013.2.2NA埃及尼罗河文明——疑似重复2013.5.26ML

  第一个:关于埃及的尼罗河文明,提到公元前5000~3000年前,北非地区一片绿洲,后来气候突然变化了(有考点),导致仅剩尼罗河流域的土地肥沃,有绿色植被,适于居住,所以人们都聚集到这个地区,形成古埃及文明。然后说为了造金字塔,需要强有力的社会统治结构,所以“嫡长子继承制”(primogeniture有考点)被法老们(Pharaoh)建立起来。此外,尼罗河上游(在南面)的阿斯旺水坝地区(有地图有考点)有用于建造金字塔的石料等东西,需要通过各种季风(春夏和秋冬不同,有考点)将运输船吹到下游(注意尼罗河的下游是在北面)。还有就是因为尼罗河流域周边都被撒哈拉沙漠包围,后来即使被什么其他文明入侵征服,但是文明一直都没有断掉,社会稳定(有考点)。

  背景信息:

  Prehistory and Ancient Egypt

  Main articles: Prehistoric Egypt and Ancient Egypt

  There is evidence of rock carvings along the Nile terraces and in desert oases. In the 10th millennium BC, a culture of hunter-gatherers and fishers was replaced by a grain-grinding culture. Climate changes or overgrazing around 8000 BC began to desiccate the pastoral lands of Egypt, forming the Sahara. Early tribal peoples migrated to the Nile River where they developed a settled agricultural economy and more centralised society.

  By about 6000 BC, a Neolithic culture rooted in the Nile Valley. During the Neolithic era, several predynastic cultures developed independently in Upper and Lower Egypt. The Badarian culture and the successor Naqada series are generally regarded as precursors to dynastic Egypt. The earliest known Lower Egyptian site, Merimda, predates the Badarian by about seven hundred years. Contemporaneous Lower Egyptian communities coexisted with their southern counterparts for more than two thousand years, remaining culturally distinct, but maintaining frequent contact through trade. The earliest known evidence of Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions appeared during the predynastic period on Naqada III pottery vessels, dated to about 3200 BC.

  The Great Sphinx and the pyramids of Giza, built during the Old Kingdom.

  A unified kingdom was founded c. 3150 BC by King Menes, leading to a series of dynasties that ruled Egypt for the next three millennia. Egyptian culture flourished during this long period and remained distinctively Egyptian in its religion, arts, language and customs. The first two ruling dynasties of a unified Egypt set the stage for the Old Kingdom period, c. 2700–2200 BC., which constructed many pyramids, most notably the Third Dynasty pyramid of Djoser and the Fourth Dynasty Giza pyramids.

  The First Intermediate Period ushered in a time of political upheaval for about 150 years. Stronger Nile floods and stabilisation of government, however, brought back renewed prosperity for the country in the Middle Kingdom c. 2040 BC, reaching a peak during the reign of Pharaoh Amenemhat III. A second period of disunity heralded the arrival of the first foreign ruling dynasty in Egypt, that of the Semitic Hyksos. The Hyksos invaders took over much of Lower Egypt around 1650 BC and founded a new capital at Avaris. They were driven out by an Upper Egyptian force led by Ahmose I, who founded the Eighteenth Dynasty and relocated the capital from Memphis to Thebes.

  The New Kingdom c. 1550–1070 BC began with the Eighteenth Dynasty, marking the rise of Egypt as an international power that expanded during its greatest extension to an empire as far south as Tombos in Nubia, and included parts of the Levant in the east. This period is noted for some of the most well known Pharaohs, including Hatshepsut, Thutmose III, Akhenaten and his wife Nefertiti, Tutankhamun and Ramesses II. The first historically attested expression of monotheism came during this period as Atenism. Frequent contacts with other nations brought new ideas to the New Kingdom. The country was later invaded and conquered by Libyans, Nubians and Assyrians, but native Egyptians eventually drove them out and regained control of their country.

  The Thirtieth Dynasty was the last native ruling dynasty during the Pharaonic epoch. It fell to the Persians in 343 BC after the last native Pharaoh, King Nectanebo II, was defeated in battle.

  Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt

  The Greek Ptolemaic queen Cleopatra VII and her son by Julius Caesar, Caesarion at the Temple of Dendera.

  Main articles: History of Ptolemaic Egypt and Egypt (Roman province)

  The Ptolemaic Kingdom was a powerful Hellenistic state, extending from southern Syria in the east, to Cyrene to the west, and south to the frontier with Nubia. Alexandria became the capital city and a center of Greek culture and trade. To gain recognition by the native Egyptian populace, they named themselves as the successors to the Pharaohs. The later Ptolemies took on Egyptian traditions, had themselves portrayed on public monuments in Egyptian style and dress, and participated in Egyptian religious life.

  The last ruler from the Ptolemaic line was Cleopatra VII, who committed suicide following the burial of her lover Mark Antony who had died in her arms (from a self-inflicted stab wound), after Octavian had captured Alexandria and her mercenary forces had fled. The Ptolemies faced rebellions of native Egyptians often caused by an unwanted regime and were involved in foreign and civil wars that led to the decline of the kingdom and its annexation by Rome. Nevertheless Hellenistic culture continued to thrive in Egypt well after the Muslim conquest.

  Christianity was brought to Egypt by Saint Mark the Evangelist in the 1st century. Diocletian's reign marked the transition from the Roman to the Byzantine era in Egypt, when a great number of Egyptian Christians were persecuted. The New Testament had by then been translated into Egyptian. After the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451, a distinct Egyptian Coptic Church was firmly established.

  ------------------

  Primogeniture is the right, by law or custom, of the firstborn male child to inherit the family estate, in preference to siblings (compare to ultimogeniture). In the absence of children, inheritance passed to collateral relatives, usually males, in order of seniority of their lines of descent. The eligible descendants of deceased elder siblings take precedence over living younger siblings, such that inheritance is settled in the manner of a depth-first search.

  The principle has applied in history to inheritance of real property (land) as well as inherited titles and offices, most notably monarchies, continuing until modified or abolished.

  Variations on primogeniture modify the right of the firstborn son to the entirety of a family's inheritance (see appanage) or, in the West since World War II with the wider promotion of feminism, eliminate the preference for males over females. Most monarchies in Europe have eliminated male preference in succession: Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. The United Kingdom passed legislation to establish gender-blind succession in 2013 but delayed implementation until the 15 other countries which share the same monarch effect similar changes in their succession laws.

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