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                      雙語+MP3|美國學生世界歷史49 世界末日

                      所屬教程:希利爾:美國學生文史經典套裝

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                      2018年10月21日

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                      49
                      The End of the World
                      世界末日

                           WHAT would you do if you knew the world was coming to an end next week, or even next year?
                           The people who lived in the tenth century thought the Bible said something that meant that the world was coming to an end in the Year 1000-which was called the millennium from the Latin word meaning a thousand years.
                           Some people were glad that the world was coming to an end. They were so poor and miserable and unhappy here that they were anxious to go to heaven, where everything would be fine and lovely-if they had been good here. They were particularly good and did everything they could to earn a place for themselves in heaven when this old world should end.
                           Others were not so anxious to have the world come to an end. But, they thought, if it were coming to an end so soon, they might as well hurry up and enjoy themselves here while they still had a chance.
                           Well, the Year 1000 came, and nothing happened. At first people simply thought that a mistake had been made in counting the years-that there had not really been one thousand years since Christ's birth. The years went by, and still people waited for the end. They reread their Bibles and thought perhaps it meant a thousand years after Christ's death, instead of his birth. As time went on, without any change, they began to think the end was delayed for some reason they could not explain. It was not for many years after the millennium that most people came at last to realize that the world was not going to stop after all.
                           Every once in a while someone who thinks he knows more than others says the end of the world is not far off, but we may be quite sure that the world will keep on going long after we have all grown up and died and our children have done the same.
                           At this time, when people were looking for the end of the world, there was in the north of Europe a people who did not become Christians until around the year 1000 and cared nothing about what the Bible said as to the end of the world. They belonged to the same family as the Danes who had come to England in the time of Alfred. They were called Norsemen or Vikings. They were bold seafaring men, as hardy and unafraid as the Phoenician sailors of old. Their boats were painted black and had prows carved with figures of sea monsters or dragons. They sailed the northern seas and went farther westward toward the setting sun than any other sailors that we know about had ever gone. They had discovered Iceland and Greenland, and at last under their chief who was named Leif Ericson they reached the shores of America. About the same year that the Christians in Europe were expecting the end of the world-the Year 1000-the Vikings had gone to what some people thought was the end of the world.
                           The Vikings called this new place Vineland or Wineland because they found grapes, from which wine is made, growing there. They told stories called sagas about their voyages to Vineland, and we can still read these stories. In the sagas, Vineland is described as a beautiful country, rich with grass and timber and wild wheat, with abundant animals and fish, and mild in winter. The Vikings met people living there whom we now call Native Americans.
                           We're not sure exactly where these adventurous people went. We know that they reached Newfoundland, Canada and they may have gone as far south as Cape Cod in Massachusetts. The Vikings did not stay for very long in America, although they continued to sail the North Atlantic. We can only wonder if Columbus knew about the Vineland sagas and their stories about the land across the Atlantic, west of Europe.






                           如果你知道下周或是明年,這個世界就要走到盡頭,你會怎么做呢?
                           生活在10世紀的人們認為,《圣經》上說的有些話(啟示錄:20)意味著,世界會在公元1000年的時候終結--拉丁文稱為"千禧年",就是一千年的意思。
                           有些人對世界即將結束感到很高興,他們在這個世界窮困潦倒,痛苦不堪,巴不得趕緊去天堂,那里所有的一切都是美好而迷人的--如果他們在這個世界老老實實的。他們規規矩矩,盡可能做好事,為了在這個舊世界結束后,能在天堂贏得自己的一席之地。
                           而另一些人并不急于讓這個世界結束。但是,他們覺得如果這個世界真的很快就要結束了,倒不如趁現在還有機會趕緊玩個痛快吧。
                           好了,公元1000年到了,什么都沒有發生。最初,人們只是以為在計算年份時出了錯--還沒有真正到耶穌誕生后一千年。一些年過去了,還有人在等待世界末日的到來。他們又重讀了圣經,覺得圣經所指的大概是耶穌"死"后的一千年,而不是他誕生后一千年。隨著時間流逝,世界還是沒有任何變化,人們開始猜測世界末日是因為某種未知的原因而推遲了。在千禧年過去沒有許多年,大多數人最終意識到,世界末日根本就不會來了。
                           偶爾,某個自以為比別人高明的人會說,距離世界末日那天不遠了,但是,我們可以相當肯定的是,世界在我們長大成人和死后,直到我們的孩子們成年和死后都會始終存在。
                           就在人們探尋世界末日的時候,在北歐有一個民族,他們在大約公元1000年以前,還沒有成為基督徒,對圣經里所說的世界末日一點也不感興趣。他們和在阿爾弗烈德時期遷移到英國的丹麥人屬于同一個種族,叫做挪威人或維京人。他們是勇敢的以航海為業的人,和古時的腓尼基水手一樣吃苦耐勞,無所畏懼。他們的船漆成黑色,船頭刻著海怪和龍的圖案。他們在北方海域航行,還向西朝著日落的方向行進,走得比我們所知道的以往任何水手都要遠。他們發現了冰島和格陵蘭島。最后,在名叫利夫·埃里克松的首領率領下,他們到達了美洲的海岸。在歐洲的基督徒期待世界末日的同一年--公元1000年--維京人到達了有些人認為是世界盡頭的地方。
                           維京人把這個新地方叫做"葡萄地",因為他們發現那兒生長著可以釀酒的葡萄。他們講述了他們在到"葡萄地"的途中發生的故事,這些故事叫"薩迦",我們現在還可以讀到這些故事。在"薩迦"中,"葡萄地"被描述為一個美麗的地方,那里青草、樹木和野小麥生長繁茂,還有很多飛禽走獸和魚類,而且冬天氣候溫暖。維京人還遇到了生活在那里的當地人,現在我們稱這些人為美洲印第安人。
                           我們不能確切知道這些愛冒險的人都去了哪些地方,我們知道他們到了紐芬蘭島、加拿大,可能還向南遠至馬薩諸塞州的科德角半島。維京人在美洲并沒有待很久,不過他們繼續在大西洋北部航行。我們很想知道哥倫布是否知道有關"葡萄地"的"薩迦"和維京人在歐洲之西、大西洋對岸那片土地上的故事。


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