Official 17 Set 5

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Ancient Egyptian Calendar

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What is the lecture mainly about?
  • A. Differences between modern and ancient calendars

  • B. The importance of astronomy in Egyptian religion

  • C. The timekeeping systems of ancient Egypt

  • D. How to use agriculture as a method of timekeeping

显示答案 正确答案: C

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    NARRATOR:Listen to part of a lecture in a history class. The professor has been discussing ancient Egypt.

    FEMALE PROFESSOR:Ok, so one of the challenges that faced ancient civilizations like Egypt was timekeeping . . . calendars.When you have to grow food for whole cities of people, it’s important to plant your crops at the right time.And when you start having financial obligations—rents, taxes—you have to keep track of how often you pay.So today we’ll look at how the Egyptians addressed these problems.In fact, they ended up using two different calendars, one to keep track of the natural world, or their, uh, their agricultural concerns, and another one that was used to keep track of the business functions of the kingdom.

    So, let’s take a look at the hows and whys of one ancient Egyptian calendar system... starting with the Nile River.Why the Nile?Well, there’s no other way to put it: Egyptian life basically revolved around the mysterious rise and fall of the river.The success of their agricultural system, um, depended upon them knowing when the river would change.So naturally, their first calendar was divided up into three seasons, each based on the river’s changes: inundation, subsidence, and harvest.The first season was the flooding, or inundation, when the Nile Valley was essentially submerged in water for a few months or so.

    And afterwards, during the season of subsidence, the water would subside — or, recede — revealing a new layer of fertile black silt, and allowing for the planting of various crops.And finally, the time of the year would arrive when the valley would produce crops such as wheat, barley, fruit... all ready to harvest.

    OK? So it was very important to the ancient Egyptians to know when their Nile-based seasons would occur—their way of life depended upon it.Now, the way they used to count time was based on the phases of the moon—which regularly and predictably goes through a cycle starting with the new moon then to a full moon and back again to the new moon.Now, this cycle was then used to determine the length of their months.So, uh, one lunar cycle was one Egyptian month and about four of the months would constitute a season.

    Now, twelve of these months was an approximately 354-day year.So they had a 354-day agricultural calendar that was designed to help them determine, uh, when the Nile would inundate the land.Well, of course it had to be more complicated than that.The average amount of time between floodings wasn’t actually 354 days.I mean, although it varies, the average was clearly longer than 354 days.

    So how did they keep this shorter calendar in step with the actual flooding of the Nile?Well, their astronomers had discovered that, uh, at a certain time of year the brightest star,Sirius, would disappear—actually, it’d be hidden in the glare of the Sun.And then, uh, a couple of months later, one morning, in the eastern sky just before dawn, Sirius would reappear.And it happened regularly, uh, about every 365 days.Even more significantly, the reappearance of Sirius would occur, uh, around the same time as the Nile’s flooding.And this annual event—is called a heliacal rising . . .

    The heliacal rising was a fair indicator of when the Nile would flood.The next new Moon, uh, after the heliacal rising of Sirius, which happened in the last month of the calendar year, marked the New Year.And because the ancient Egyptians were using the lunar cycle in combination with this heliacal rising, some years ended up having twelve lunar months, while others had thirteen lunar months—if Sirius didn’t rise in the twelfth month.Even though the length of the agricultural calendar still fluctuated, with some years having twelve months and others having thirteen, it ended up being much more reliable than it was before.

    They continually adjusted to the heliacal rising of Sirius ensuring that they never got too far off in their seasons.This new calendar was ideal because, well, it worked well for agricultural purposes as well as for knowing when to have traditional religious festivals.So, that was their first calendar.

    But... was it any way to run a government? They didn’t think so.For administrative purposes it was very inconvenient to have years of different lengths.So another calendar was introduced—an administrative one, probably soon after 3000 B.C.They declared a 365-day year with twelve-months per year with exactly 30 days each month, with an extra 5 days at the end of each year.This administrative calendar existed alongside the earlier, agricultural and religious calendar, uh, that depended on the heliacal rising of Sirius.This administrative calendar was much easier to use for things like scheduling taxes and… and other things that had to be paid on time.Over time the calendar got out of step with seasons and the flooding of the Nile—but for bureaucratic purposes, they didn’t mind.

  • 旁白:听一段历史课,教授一直在讨论古埃及。

    教授:所以,像埃及这样的古老文明所面临的挑战之一就是计时...日历。当你不得不为整个城市的人种植食物时,在适当的时候播种是很重要的。当你开始承担经济责任时,租金,税收,你必须记录你支付的频率。今天我们来看看埃及人是如何解决这些问题的。事实上,他们最终使用了两种不同的日历,一种是用来记录自然世界的,或者是他们的农业问题,还有一个用来追踪王国的商业职能的。

    所以,让我们看看古埃及人是怎么和为什么看日历系统从尼罗河开始。为什么呢好吧,没有别的办法了:埃及的生活基本上是围绕着神秘的河流的涨落而展开的。他们农业系统的成功,嗯,取决于他们知道河流什么时候会改变。自然地,他们的第一个历法被划分为三个季节,每一个季节都基于河流的变化:淹水、下沉和收获。第一个季节是淹没,在这个时间里尼罗河的谷底会被水淹没几个月。

    然后,在下沉的季节,水会退去,露出新一层肥沃的黑色淤泥,允许种植各种作物。并且最后一年的时间到了,山谷将生产小麦、大麦、水果等农作物…准备好收割。

    好吗?所以古埃及人知道他们的Nile季节将会发生是非常重要的—他们的生活依赖于它。现在,他们用来计算时间的方法是以月球的相位为基础的,定期和可预见的经历一个周期,从新月开始,然后到满月,再回到新月。现在,这个周期被用来确定它们的月份长度。所以一个月的周期是埃及的一个月,大约四个月将构成一个季节。

    现在,十二个这样的月份大约354天的一年。所以他们有一个354天的农业日历,目的是帮助他们确定,什么时候尼罗河会泛滥。当然,它必须比那更复杂。洪水间的平均时间并不是354天。我的意思是,尽管它不同,平均时间明显长于354天。

    那么,他们是如何把这张更短的日历与尼罗河实际的洪水同步的呢?嗯,他们的天文学家们发现,呃,在某年的某个时候,最亮的恒星,天狼星,会消失的,它会隐藏在耀眼的阳光下。然后,嗯,几个月以后,一天早上,黎明前的东方天空,天狼星会重现。而且经常发生,嗯,大约每365天。更显著,天狼星的再现将发生在尼罗河洪水泛滥的同一时期。这个一年一度的活动叫做偕日升。..

    偕日升是尼罗河何时泛滥的一个公平指标。下一个新月,呃,在天狼星偕日升之后,发生在历年的最后一个月,标志着新的一年。因为古埃及人使用月亮循环和偕日升结合,有些年过了十二个月,而另一些则有十三个太阴月—如果天狼星在第十二个月内没有升起。尽管农业日历的长度仍在波动,有的年有十二个月,有的有十三个月,结果比以前更可靠了。

    他们不断的调整以天狼星升起确保他们在季节中不会走得太远。这个新日历很理想,因为,嗯,它对农业目的以及知道什么时候举行传统的宗教节日很有效。那是他们的第一个日历。

    但…它是管理政府的任何方式吗?他们不这么认为。出于行政目的,年份的不同长度是非常不方便的。于是又引入了一个行政日历,可能在公元前3000年后不久。他们宣布365天为一年。每年十二个月,每个月正好30天,每年年底额外5天。这一行政日历与早期的农业和宗教日历同时存在,嗯,这取决于天狼星升起。这个行政日历是更容易使用的东西,如安排税收和… 还有其他必须按时支付的东西。随着时间的推移,日历与季节和尼罗河洪水泛滥的步伐不一致。出于官僚目的,他们并不介意。

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    题型分类:主旨题

    音频定位: So, let’s take a look at the hows and whys of one ancient Egyptian calendar system...

    选项分析:So后接全文主旨,整篇文章围绕这个主旨来讲,对应选项C


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Ancient Egyptian Calendar

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