Official 43 Passage 1


The Empire of Alexander the Great


The word “declining” in the passage is closest in meaning to

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  • A
    at its best
  • B
    rapidly expanding
  • C
    first being formed
  • D
正确答案: D

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  • In 334 B.C. Alexander the Great took his Greek armies to the east and in only a few years completed his creation of an empire out of much of southwest Asia. In the new empire, barriers to trade and the movement of peoples were removed; markets were put in touch with one another. In the next generation thousands of Greek traders and artisans would enter this wider world to seek their fortunes. Alexander's actions had several important consequences for the region occupied by the empire.

    The first of these was the expansion of Greek civilization throughout the Middle East. Greek became the great international language. Towns and cities were established not only as garrisons (military posts) but as centers for the diffusion of Greek language, literature, and thought, particularly through libraries, as at Antioch (in modern Turkey) and the most famous of all, at Alexandria in Egypt, which would be the finest in the world for the next thousand years.

    Second, this internationalism spelled the end of the classical Greek city-state -- the unit of government in ancient Greece -- and everything it stood for. Most city-states had been quite small in terms of citizenry, and this was considered to be a good thing. The focus of life was the agora, the open marketplace where assemblies could be held and where issues of the day, as well as more fundamental topics such as the purpose of government or the relationship between law and freedom, could be discussed and decisions made by individuals in person. The philosopher Plato (428–348 B.C.), felt that the ideal city-state should have about 5,000 citizens, because to the Greeks it was important that everyone in the community should know each other. In decision making, the whole body of citizens together would have the necessary knowledge in order generally to reach the right decision, even though the individual might not be particularly qualified to decide. The philosopher Aristotle (384–322 B.C.), who lived at a time when the city-state system was declining, believed that a political entity of 100,000 simply would not be able to govern itself.

    This implied that the city-state was based on the idea that citizens were not specialists but had multiple interests and talents -- each a so-called jack-of-all-trades who could engage in many areas of life and politics. It implied a respect for the wholeness of life and a consequent dislike of specialization. It implied economic and military self-sufficiency. But with the development of trade and commerce in Alexander's empire came the growth of cities; it was no longer possible to be a jack-of-all-trades. One now had to specialize, and with specialization came professionalism. There were getting to be too many persons to know; an easily observable community of interests was being replaced by a multiplicity of interests. The city-state was simply too "small-time."

    Third, Greek philosophy was opened up to the philosophy and religion of the East. At the peak of the Greek city-state, religion played an important part. Its gods -- such as Zeus, father of the gods, and his wife Hera -- were thought of very much as being like human beings but with superhuman abilities. Their worship was linked to the rituals connected with one's progress through life -- birth, marriage, and death -- and with invoking protection against danger, making prophecies, and promoting healing, rather than to any code of behavior. Nor was there much of a theory of afterlife.

    Even before Alexander's time, a life spent in the service of their city-state no longer seemed ideal to Greeks. The Athenian philosopher Socrates (470–399 B.C.) was the first person in Greece to propose a morality based on individual conscience rather than the demands of the state, and for this he was accused of not believing in the city's gods and so corrupting the youth, and he was condemned to death. Greek philosophy -- or even a focus on conscience -- might complement religion but was no substitute for it, and this made Greeks receptive to the religious systems of the Middle East, even if they never adopted them completely. The combination of the religious instinct of Asia with the philosophic spirit of Greece spread across the world in the era after Alexander's death, blending the culture of the Middle East with the culture of Greece.

  • 公元前334年,亚力山大大帝带领希腊军队来到东方,在短短几年里,他就建立了一个包括亚洲西南大部分的帝国。 在新帝国中,阻止贸易和人口流动的壁垒被移除,互通有无的市场建立了。在下一代,成千上万的希腊商人和工匠将进入这个更广阔的世界去寻求财富。 亚力山大建立的帝国对所在的地区有几个重要的影响。

    首先是希腊文明在整个中东地区的扩张。 希腊语成为了重要的国际语言。 城镇和城市建立起来,不仅成为驻军之地(军事哨所),也成为传播希腊语言、文学、思想的中心,这种传播尤其是在图书馆进行,比如在安提阿(今土耳其)的图书馆以及最为著名的埃及亚历山大的图书馆,该图书馆在接下来的一千年里都是世界一流的。

    其次,这种国际主义使古典希腊城邦(古希腊的政府单位)以及它所代表的一切走向了结束。 大多数城邦在市民数量上来说都很小,这在当时被认为是一件好事。 市民们生活的中心是市集,市集是一个开放的市场,市民们可以在那集会,讨论当下的各种问题,以及如政府的目的或法律与自由的关系这类的基本问题,并且每个人都做出自己的决定。 哲学家柏拉图(公元前428-348)认为一个理想的城邦应该有大约5000名公民,因为对希腊人来说,社区的每个人要互相认识是很重要的。 在做决策的过程中,全体公民都得掌握必要的知识以做出正确的决定,即使这个人并非特别有资格做决定。 生活在城邦制度衰落时期的哲学家亚里士多德(公元前384-322)认为一个政治实体若是有100000人,那根本就无法自治。

    这意味着城邦是基于公民虽然不是专家但有着广泛的兴趣和才能这一理念的,每个人都是可以参与到生活和政治的许多领域的多面手。 这意味着对人生的完整性的尊重和随之而来的对专业化的厌恶。 这也隐含经济和军事上的自给自足。 但随着亚力山大帝国的贸易和商业的发展,城市也发展起来;人们不再可能是多面手。 每个人都要专门化,随着专门化而来的是专业度。 由于有太多的人,根本认不过来,原来显而易见的利益社群被复杂的利益群体取代。 城邦实在是太“小”了。

    第三,希腊哲学对东方的哲学和宗教开放。 在希腊城邦的繁盛时期,宗教发挥了重要的作用。 其神如众神之父宙斯和他的妻子赫拉通常认为很像人类,但具有超能力。 对他们的信仰联系着生命历程(出生、结婚、死亡)相关的仪式,联系着祈求远离危险、做出预言、提高治愈能力的仪式,而不是联系着行为规范。 对他们的信仰中也不存在一个来世的理论。

    即使在亚力山大之前的时代,希腊的城邦生活也不是理想的。 雅典哲学家苏格拉底(公元前470-399)是希腊第一个提出道德要基于个人良心而不是国家要求的人,为此他被指控亵渎神明和腐蚀青年,所以被判了死刑。 希腊哲学——抑或甚至仅是对良心的关注——可能会成为宗教的补充,但不能替代宗教,这让希腊人接受了中东的宗教系统,即使希腊人从未全盘采纳。 亚洲的宗教本能与希腊的哲学精神这种结合在在亚历山大死后传遍了世界,将亚洲文化和希腊的文化融合在一起。
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    原文定位:句子所在句The philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), who lived at a time when the city-state system was declining believed that a political entity of 100,000 simply would not be able to govern itself.”即“生活在城邦制度衰落时期的哲学家亚里士多德(公元前384-322)认为一个政治实体若是有100000人,那根本就无法自治。declining:“衰落”。

    选项分析:at its best:处在最好的状态;rapidly expanding:快速发展;first being formed:首次形成;weakening:衰减,减弱。因此,选项D符合题干词意。