Official 40 Passage 3

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Ancient Athens

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Paragraph 1 supports which of the following statements about the Greek city-states?

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  • A
    Most city-states followed the model provided by Athens.
  • B
    Most city-states were based on aristocratic rule.
  • C
    Different types of government and organization were used by different city-states.
  • D
    By 500 B.C. the city-states were no longer powerful.
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正确答案: C

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  • 译文
  • One of the most important changes in Greece during the period from 800 B.C.to 500 B.C.was the rise of the polis, or city-state, and each polis developed a system of government that was appropriate to its circumstances. The problems that were faced and solved in Athens were the sharing of political power between the established aristocracy and the emerging other classes, and the adjustment of aristocratic ways of life to the ways of life of the new polis. It was the harmonious blending of all of these elements that was to produce the classical culture of Athens.



    Entering the polis age, Athens had the traditional institutions of other Greek protodemocratic states: an assembly of adult males, an aristocratic council, and annually elected officials. Within this traditional framework the Athenians, between 600 B.C.and 450 B.C.,evolved what Greeks regarded as a fully fledged democratic constitution, though the right to vote was given to fewer groups of people than is seen in modern times.



    The first steps toward change were taken by Solon in 594 B.C., when he broke the aristocracy's stranglehold on elected offices by establishing wealth rather than birth as the basis of office holding, abolishing the economic obligations of ordinary Athenians to the aristocracy, and allowing the assembly (of which all citizens were equal members) to overrule the decisions of local courts in certain cases. The strength of the Athenian aristocracy was further weakened during the rest of the century by the rise of a type of government known as a tyranny, which is a form of interim rule by a popular strongman (not rule by a ruthless dictator as the modern use of the term suggests to us). The Peisistratids, as the succession of tyrants were called (after the founder of the dynasty, Peisistratos), strengthened Athenian central administration at the expense of the aristocracy by appointing judges throughout the region, producing Athens' first national coinage, and adding and embellishing festivals that tended to focus attention on Athens rather than on local villages of the surrounding region. By the end of the century, the time was ripe for more change: the tyrants were driven out, and in 508 B.C. a new reformer, Cleisthenes, gave final form to the developments reducing aristocratic control already under way.



    Cleisthenes' principal contribution to the creation of democracy at Athens was to complete the long process of weakening family and clan structures, especially among the aristocrats, and to set in their place locality-based corporations called demes, which became the point of entry for all civic and most religious life in Athens. Out of the demes were created 10 artificial tribes of roughly equal population. From the demes, by either election or selection, came 500 members of a new council, 6,000 jurors for the courts, 10 generals, and hundreds of commissioners. The assembly was sovereign in all matters but in practice delegated its power to subordinate bodies such as the council, which prepared the agenda for the meetings of the assembly, and the courts, which took care of most judicial matters. Various committees acted as an executive branch, implementing policies of the assembly and supervising, for instance, the food and water supplies and public buildings. This wide-scale participation by the citizenry in the government distinguished the democratic form of the Athenian polis from other, less liberal forms.



    The effect of Cleisthenes' reforms was to establish the superiority of the Athenian community as a whole over local institutions without destroying them. National politics rather than local or deme politics became the focal point. At the same time, entry into national politics began at the deme level and gave local loyalty a new focus: Athens itself. Over the next two centuries the implications of Cleisthenes' reforms were fully exploited.



    During the fifth century B.C.the council of 500 was extremely influential in shaping policy. In the next century, however, it was the mature assembly that took on decision-making responsibility. By any measure other than that of the aristocrats, who had been upstaged by the supposedly inferior "people," the Athenian democracy was a stunning success. Never before, or since, have so many people been involved in the serious business of self-governance. It was precisely this opportunity to participate in public life that provided a stimulus for the brilliant unfolding of classical Greek culture.


  • 从公元前800年到公元前500年,希腊最重要的变化之一,就是城邦的兴起,并且每个城邦发展啦适合自己情况的政府制度。 雅典面对和解决的问题是:现存的贵族和新兴的其他阶层之间的政治权力的分享,以及贵族们针对新城邦的生活方式的调整。 正是所有这些元素和谐的融合创造了雅典的古典文化。

    进入城邦时代,雅典有着其他希腊典型民主政府的传统机构:一个由成年男性组成的议会,一个贵族委员会,每年选出的官员。 在这个传统的框架里面,在公元前600年到450年之间,雅典人发展出了希腊人所认为的一个完全成熟的民主制度,尽管相比于现代,投票权赋予了更少的人群。

    改变的第一步是由梭伦在公元前594年实现的,他打破了贵族对选举职位的束缚:他建立财富作为任职的基础条件,而不是出身;废除普通雅典人对于贵族的经济义务;在某些情况下,允许议会(其中所有的公民都是平等的成员)驳回地方法院的决定。 雅典贵族的权利在这个世纪余下的时间中进一步削弱了,这是由于一种被称为专制政府的兴起,这是由一个由受欢迎的强人临时统治的一种形式(这个术语和现代我们所知道的意思不同,并不是指由一个残酷的独裁者来统治)。 Peisistratids,统治者继承人的统一称呼(王朝的创始人庇西特拉图之后),通过牺牲贵族利益加强中央政府,任命各个地区的法官,制定国家第一个货币制度,加入并强化节日,这些节日往往聚焦于雅典,而不是周边地区的本地村庄。 到本世纪末,进行更多变化的时间成熟了:专制统治者被驱逐,而在公元前508年,一个新的改革者,克利斯提尼,对已经衰弱的贵族统治给予最后一击。

    克利斯提尼在雅典创造民主方面的主要贡献是:完成弱化家族结构的漫长过程,尤其是在贵族当中。他在贵族的传统领地设置行政单位,被称为demes的地方化的人民公社,这成为雅典所有公民生活和大多数宗教生活的切入点。 在人民公社之上,他创建了10个人口大致相等的人工部落。 从人民公社中,通过选举或挑选,成立了500名成员组成的新委员会,6000名法庭陪审员,10位将军,数百名委员。 议会在所有问题上都是至高无上的,但在实践中把它的权力下放给了附属机构,如理事会,负责为议会和法庭的会议准备会议议程,而法院是处理大多数司法事务的。 各委员会作为执行部门,负责执行议会的政策,监督食品和水的供应,以及公共建筑。 这种公民大规模参与的政府将雅典城邦的民主制度和其他的缺少自由的管理方式区分开来。

    克利斯提尼改革的作用就是要建立作为整体的雅典社会高于地方机构的优越性,但不摧毁地方机构。 国家政治而不是局部或群政治成为焦点。 同时,进入国家政治开始于人民公社,本地化的忠诚也有了新的焦点:雅典本身。 在接下来的两个世纪,克利斯提尼改革的意义被充分利用。

    在公元前第五世纪,500个委员会在制定政策时极有影响。 然而,在下个世纪,承担决策责任的是成熟的议会。 通过贵族以外的任何措施,贵族们已经被所谓的下等人抢去风头,雅典民主政治是一个惊人的成功。 从来没有,或自那以后,有这么多的人参与了自治管理这件严肃的事情。 正是这个参与到公共生活中的机会,为古典希腊文化的精彩演变提供了一个刺激。
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    题型分类:事实信息题

    选项分析:根据原文and each polis developed a system of government that was appropriate to its circumstances.可知每一个城邦都发展了一套适用于自己的政府系统,其中,each polis对应C选项中的different city-states; was appropriate to its circumstances 对应C选项中的different types of government and organization所以C选项正确。


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