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托福阅读原文之美索不达米亚和古埃及城市的对比

2014-02-27 13:55     供稿单位: 新航道    

出国英语考试有哪些 雅思6.5是什么水平 雅思阅读评分标准 托福阅读评分标准 雅思和托福的区别

阅读真题:TOPIC Mesopotamian and Egyptian City Structure
  文章比较了美索不达米亚(M)和古埃及(E)的城市形态,包括农业、贸易等。
  解析:本文文章结构清晰明白,属于对比类文章,也是托福文章中较简单的类型。文章涉及的美索不达米亚和古埃及这两个地区都是托福常考地点,话题并不陌生。
  Egypt and Mesopotamia Compared
  The development of two great early civilizations in the Middle East and
  North Africa encourages a first effort at comparative analysis. Because of
  different geography, different degrees of exposure to outside invasion and
  influence, and different prior beliefs, Egypt and Mesopotamia were in contrast
  to one another in many ways. Egypt emphasized strong central authority, while
  Mesopotamian politics shifted more frequently over a substructure of regional
  city-states. Mesopotamian art focused on less monumental structures, while
  embracing a pronounced literary element that Egyptian art lacked.
  These cultural differences can be explained partly by geography:
  Mesopotamians lacked access to the great stones that Egyptians could import
  for their monuments. The differences also owed something to different
  politics, for Egyptian ability to organize masses of laborers followed from
  its centralized government structures and strong bureaucracy. The differences
  owed something, finally, to different beliefs, for the Mesopotamians lacked
  the Egyptian concern for preparations for the afterlife, which so motivated
  the great tombs and pyramids that have made Egypt and some of the pharaohs
  live on in human memory.
  Both societies traded extensively, but there was a difference in economic
  tone. Mesopotamia was more productive of technological improvements, because
  their environment was more difficult to manage than the Nile valley. Trade
  contacts were more extensive, and the Mesopotamians gave attention to a
  merchant class and commercial law.
  Social differences were less obvious because it is difficult to obtain
  information on daily life for early civilizations. It is probable, though,
  that the status of women was greater in Egypt than in Mesopotamia (where
  women's position seems to have deteriorated after Sumer). Egyptians paid great
  respect to women at least in the upper classes, in part because marriage
  alliances were vital to the preservation and stability of the monarchy. Also,
  Egyptian religion included more pronounced deference to goddesses as sources
  of creativity.
  Comparisons in politics, culture, economics, and society suggest
  civilizations that varied substantially because of largely separate origins
  and environments. The distinction in overall tone was striking, with Egypt
  being more stable and cheerful than Mesopotamia not only in beliefs about gods
  and the afterlife but in the colorful and lively pictures the Egyptians
  emphasized in their decorative art. Also striking was the distinction in
  internal history, with Egyptian civilization far less marked by disruption
  than its Mesopotamian counterpart.
  Comparison must also note important similarities, some of them
  characteristic of early civilizations. Both Egypt and Mesopotamia emphasized
  social stratification, with a noble, landowning class on top and masses of
  peasants and slaves at the bottom. A powerful priestly group also figured in
  the elite. While specific achievements in science differed, there was a common
  emphasis on astronomy and related mathematics, which produced durable findings about units of time and measurement. Both Mesopotamia and Egypt changed only slowly by the standards of more modern societies. Details of change have not been preserved, but it is true that having developed successful political and economic systems there was a strong tendency toward conservation. Change, when it came, was usually brought by outside forces - natural disasters or invasions. Both civilizations demonstrated extraordinary durability in the basics. Egyptian civilization and a fundamental Mesopotamian culture lasted far longer than the civilizations that came later, in part because of relative isolation within each respective region and because of the deliberate effort to maintain what had been achieved, rather than experiment widely.
  Both civilizations, finally, left an important heritage in their region and adjacent territories. A number of smaller civilization centers were launched under the impetus of Mesopotamia and Egypt, and some would produce important innovations of their own by about 1000 B.C.
 
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