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Федеральное государственное автономное
образовательное учреждение высшего образования
Методические указания и учебные задания
по профессионально-ориентированному чтению
Составители: О. В. Власова, С. А. Кудрина, М. В. Левченко, Е. В. Новицкая, М. Н. Павлова, Д. Р. Пинтверите, Г. О. Соколов, Е. В. Юдина
Под редакцией – М. В. Левченко
Рецензент – О. В. Злобина
Учебные задания составлены на основе аутентичных материалов профессиональных английских и американских изданий и Интернет-ресурсов
и предназначены для студентов 1 курса 6 факультета по направлению «Культурология».
Цель издания – научить чтению и понимаю оригинальной литературы,
способствовать формированию лингвистических навыков в данной отрасли
Подготовлены кафедрой иностранных языков и рекомендованы к изданию редакционно-издательским центром Санкт-Петербургского государственного университета аэрокосмического приборостроения.
Публикуется в авторской редакции.
Компьютерная верстка С. Б. Мацапуры
Сдано в набор 13.12.17. Подписано к печати 13.02.18.
Формат 60×84 1/16. Усл. печ. л. 2,56.
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© Санкт-Петербургский государственный
университет аэрокосмического
приборостроения, 2018
Lesson 1. The science of culture
I. Read and memorize the following words and word combinations:
notion – понятие, термин
to associate with – ассоциировать, связывать
research – исследование
to supersede – заменить, вытеснять
dissolution – роспуск, распад, ликвидация
to institutionalize – наделять законным статусом, учреждать
to borrow – заимствовать
to coincide – совпадать, соответствовать
approach – подход
II. Read and translate the following text.
Culturology or science of culture is a branch of social sciences concerned with
the scientific understanding, description, analysis, and prediction of cultures as
a whole.
Historically, the notion of «Kulturologia» may be traced to late 19th century
and early 20th century in Russia and is associated with the names of Mikhail
Bakhtin, Aleksei Losev, Sergey Averintsev, Georgy Gachev, Yuri Lotman,
Vyacheslav Ivanov, Vladimir Toporov, and others. During the Stalinist era, this
kind of research was superseded by Marxist social studies. After the dissolution
of the Soviet Union, however, culturology was institutionalized as a new
discipline in Russia and some other states of the former Soviet Bloc.
Defined as an integral study of human cultures as integral systems and
their influence on human behavior, it may be loosely compared to the Western
discipline of cultural studies, although it has a number of important distinctions.
In terms of contemporary social sciences, the word «culturology» is borrowed
from American anthropologist Leslie White who defined it as the field of science
which studies culture as cultural systems. Following White, Mario Bunge
defined culturology as the sociological, economic, political and historical study
of concrete cultural systems. When synchronic, culturology is said to coincide
with the anthropology, sociology, economics and politology of cultures. By
contrast, diachronic culturology is a component of history. Scientific culturology
also differs from traditional «cultural studies» in that the latter are too often the
work of idealist literary critics or pseudo-philosophers ignorant of the scientific
methodology and incompetent to the study of social facts and concrete social
systems. Bunge’s systemic and materialist approach to the study of culture has
given birth to a variety of new fields of research in the social sciences. Fabrice
Rivault, for instance, was the first scholar to propose international political
«culturology» as a subfield of international relations in order to understand the
global cultural system, as well as its numerous subsystems, and explain how
cultural variables interact with politics and economics to impact on world affairs.
This scientific approach differs radically from culturalism, constructivism and
cultural postmodernism in that it is based on logics, empiricism, systemism
and emergent materialism. While a similar approach ought to be adopted in the
emerging fields of political culturology or cultural economics, Rivault’s work
is presently been used by scholars around the world to study cultural factors in
international relations.
Mario Bunge (Spanish: [ˈbuŋxe]; born Sept. 21, 1919) is an Argentine phil
osopher, philosopher of science and physicist that has written more than 400
papers and 80 books, notably his monumental Treatise on Basic Philosophy in 8
volumes (1974–1989)
III. Give the Russian equivalents.
Influence on human behavior, field of science, social sciences, to give birth,
diachronic culturology, literary critics, global cultural system
IV. Give the English equivalents.
Область науки, международные отношения, дела мирового масштаба,
научный подход, ученый
V. Give a brief summary of the above text.
Lesson 2. What is culture?
I. Read and translate the following text.
Culture is the social behavior and norms found in human societies. Culture
is a central concept in anthropology, encompassing the range of phenomena that
are transmitted through social learning in human societies.
Some aspects of human behavior, social practices such as culture, expressive
forms such as art, music, dance, ritual, and religion, and technologies such as
tool usage, cooking, shelter, and clothing are said to be cultural universals,
found in all human societies. The concept of material culture covers the physical
expressions of culture, such as technology, architecture and art, whereas the
immaterial aspects of culture such as principles of social organization (including
practices of political organization and social institutions), mythology, philosophy,
literature (both written and oral), and science comprise the intangible cultural
heritage of a society.
In the humanities, one sense of culture as an attribute of the individual has
been the degree to which they have cultivated a particular level of sophistication
in the arts, sciences, education, or manners. The level of cultural sophistication
has also sometimes been seen to distinguish civilizations from less complex
societies. Such hierarchical perspectives on culture are also found in class-based
distinctions between a high culture of the social elite and a low culture, popular
culture, or folk culture of the lower classes, distinguished by the stratified access
to cultural capital. In common parlance, culture is often used to refer specifically
to the symbolic markers used by ethnic groups to distinguish themselves visibly
from each other such as body modification, clothing or jewelry. Mass culture
refers to the mass-produced and mass mediated forms of consumer culture that
emerged in the 20th century.
Some schools of philosophy, such as Marxism and critical theory, have argued
that culture is often used politically as a tool of the elites to manipulate the lower
classes and create a false consciousness, and such perspectives are common in
the discipline of cultural studies. In the wider social sciences, the theoretical
perspective of cultural materialism holds that human symbolic culture arises from
the material conditions of human life, as humans create the conditions for physical
survival, and that the basis of culture is found in evolved biological dispositions.
When used as a count noun, «a culture» is the set of customs, traditions, and
values of a society or community, such as an ethnic group or nation. Culture
is the set of knowledge acquired over time. In this sense, multiculturalism
values the peaceful coexistence and mutual respect between different cultures
inhabiting the same planet. Sometimes «culture» is also used to describe specific
practices within a subgroup of a society, a subculture, or a counterculture. Within
cultural anthropology, the ideology and analytical stance of cultural relativism
holds that cultures cannot easily be objectively ranked or evaluated because any
evaluation is necessarily situated within the value system of a given culture. Yet
within philosophy, this stance of cultural relativism is undermined and made
inapplicable since such value judgment is itself a product of a given culture.
II. Read and translate the following texts.
Characteristics of Culture
Culture is cumulative and dynamic. The culture of any particular group is
constantly evolving and undergoing slow changes. Each generation brings along
a new set of changes and developments in the culture of that society. Moreover,
long-term exposure to different cultures leads to the exchange of certain cultural
Culture is learned from the people surrounding us, our parents, guardians,
relatives, etc. The distinct set of beliefs, values, traditions and behavior is passed
down through generations. It is a collective phenomenon, and cannot exist in
isolation in a single individual. It is shared at various levels, namely national,
regional, gender, generation, corporate, social class, etc., but is also rich in diversity.
Residents of a nation share certain aspects, whereas different regions within the
nation have their own unique blend of beliefs, values and styles, and so on.
Significance of Culture
The knowledge necessary for survival, and adaptation to our natural and
social environment, is acquired through culture. Culture is what imbibes into
us the knowledge of good and bad, acceptable and non-acceptable, socializing,
etc. Knowingly or unknowingly, it plays a major role in shaping our personality
and behavior. Each individual has a distinct and unique personality. However,
within a group, there exist certain regularities in behavior. This can be attributed
to the culture in which they grow up. In addition, culture also influences our
perception of reality and worldly concepts. Our interpretations of the actions and
events around us are molded by our culture. It forms the basic foundation of our
life and behavior.
III. Discuss the following.
1. Culture is what makes you a stranger when you’re away from home. –
Philip Bock
2. Culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art,
morals, law, customs and other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a
member of society. – Edward Tylor
3. Characteristics of Culture.
4. Significance of Culture.
Lesson 1. Primitive Societies
I. Read and memorize the following words and word combinations:
social anthropology – социальная антропология
primarily – прежде всего, в первую очередь, первоначально
trait – особенность, характерная черта
illiteracy – неграмотность
society – общество
technology – технология, техника
tribe – племя, клан
totem – тотем
theology – богословие, теология
akin tо – сродни
missionary – миссионер, проповедник
gradually – постепенно, понемногу
advent – пришествие, наступление, приход
II. Read and translate the following text.
The primary object of social anthropology is to understand primitive people,
the cultures they have created and the social systems in which they live and
act. Thus social anthropology primarily concentrates on the study of primitive
societies. When anthropologists use the notion «primitive society» they do so in
reference to those societies which are small in a scale with regard to numbers,
territory and range of social contacts, and which have a simple technology and
economy and little specialization of social function.
There are some definite characteristic features of primitive societies:
1. The primary trait of primitive societies is illiteracy and the absence of
writing or literature.
2. The primitive societies have social organization based upon small groups
such as clans, tribes or totems, etc.
3. The technological level of development is very low.
4. The social relationships based upon locality and blood relationships are the
most important.
5. There is generally an absence of economic specialization and too much
division of labour.
Thus the primitive societies are little communities. Robert Redfield has
called it, «the folk society». According to him the absence of systematic art,
science and theology is also characteristics of primitive societies.
The above mentioned traits of the primitive societies are rather relative and
not absolute. For example, in some primitive societies in West Africa, members
are literate. Again some societies have a fairly organized political structure in
spite of lower technological level. Therefore, the above traits are not necessary
characteristics of every primitive society.
The studies of primitive societies gradually demonstrated that they were not
strange but akin to civilized societies.
In the 18th century during the period of industrial revolution the Europeans
travelled around the world in search of new markets. They were closely followed
by Christian missionaries.
They discovered several interesting primitive societies. This interest
gradually took the form of anthropological studies.
In 1859, a new chapter in the study of primitive societies was opened with
the advent of Darwin’s Origin of Species. Herbert Spencer presented his theory
of social evolution on the basis of the biological evolution theory of Charles
Darwin. According to him human societies have passed through different stages
of evolution before arriving at the primitive stage. This theory led to the study
of primitive societies in order to have a deeper understanding of the process of
social evolution.
III. Give the Russian equivalents to the following words and word combinations.
Primitive society, in search of new markets, Christian missionaries, Darwin’s
Origin of Species, lower technological level, according to, on the basis of, akin
to civilized societies, the above mentioned traits, with the advent of, the folk
society, in spite of, fairly organized political structure, were closely followed by,
range of social contacts.
IV. Give the English equivalents to the following words and word combination.
Отсутствие письменности и литературы, технологический уровень
развития, изучение первобытного общества, постепенно приняло форму,
перечисленные выше черты (особенности), более глубокое понимание, теория происхождения видов, социальная антропология, первобытные племена, по всему миру, цивилизованное общество, разделение труда, в первую очередь, кровное родство.
V. Answer the following questions:
1. What is the main aim of social anthropology?
2. How would you describe a primitive society?
3. What are the most important traits of primitive society?
4. Does the term «primeval society» concern only ancient times?
5. What primitive cultures can you enumerate?
6. Who is the founder of the theory of social evolution?
7. Were primitive societies akin to civilized ones?
Lesson 2. The Culture of Primitive Society
I. Translate the following text and get ready to discuss it in class.
The culture of primitive society that began with Homo sapiens, is considered
one of the most ancient periods of history. All the nations of the world have
passed this stage of historical development, forming the roots of the subsequent
achievements of mankind (both spiritual and material).
The study of primitive culture is complicated due to the lack of archaeological
data base and the lack of written sources.
The first stone tools, which were discovered by archaeologists, were made
more than two million years ago. Note that our era accounts for a little more than
two thousand years, and this fact gives the right to say that almost 99% of its
history, mankind has lived in a primitive society.
The culture of primitive society has its own specificity, which is defined
by a few proven facts. First, it is characterized by primitive farming and the
simplest tools. Second, this period is characterized by the complete absence of
the most basic scientific knowledge, but the knowledge of natural phenomena
was excellent, though understood only on an intuitive level. Third, the culture
of primitive society is unique. The most important steps in economic and
cultural evolution were made by primitive men (building houses, mastering fire,
domestication of animals). A representative of the primitive kind should possess
basic knowledge which would enable to carry out all the necessary activities.
Besides, each primitive individual considers himself part of nature.
The culture of primitive society has another peculiarity: while the people
(without exception) believe that many of the trees, rivers, mountains and rocks
are animated, so they can influence the various events in the world. Soon, a set
of magic and primitive syncretism leading to the emergence of graphic activity,
which generates an art, deserves attention and classification system. Guided by
this principle of division, the primitive communal system is divided into three
centuries: stone, bronze and iron. The longest period in the history of mankind is
considered the stone age, which, in turn, is divided into three eras: the Paleolithic,
Mesolithic and Neolithic.
II. Give a brief summary of the following text.
Cultural Stages of a Primeval (Primitive) Society
This question deals with the general description of the primeval epoch.
A primeval culture is the boundary, which separates human world from the world
of animals. According to the last data, a primeval society came into existence
over two million years ago. The primeval culture should be considered as the
first stage of any culture.
A primeval culture can be divided into epochs of savagery, barbarism and
civilizations. A savagery epoch consists of lower, middle, and highest grades.
The lower savagery grade starts with the appearance of a man and an articulate
language, the middle grade starts with the appearance of fire and fishery, the
highest one is characterized by the appearance of bows and arrows. Barbarism
starts with the invention of ceramics, mastering of agriculture and cattlebreeding, and with the use of iron.
Civilization starts with the invention of an alphabet.
The Stone Age is usually divided into three separate periods: Paleolithic
(«Old Stone») Era (about 40000 – 10000 B.C.), Mesolithic Era (about 10000 –
8000 B.C.), and Neolithic Era (about 8000 – 2000 B.C.) based on the degree of
sophistication in the fashioning and use of tools.
By the beginning of the Paleolithic era Homo Sapiens supplanted the earlier
Neanderthal people, who left no traces of any works of art. Paleolithic society
was the culture of hunters and gatherers who lived communally.
Many paintings and carvings on the walls of caves are discovered in Europe,
Africa, Australia, and North America.
In Paleolithic culture a woman played an important role. She assumed a
special importance: perceived as life-giver and identified with the mysterious
powers of procreation, she was exalted as a Mother Earth. Perhaps the most
famous Paleolithic sculpture is a small limestone statue of a woman, the Venus of
Willendorf. (This little figure is called Venus after the Roman goddess of love).
Mesolithic Era coincided with the end of the Ice Age and the development
of a more temperate climate in about 8000 B.C. Communities started to settle
around bodies of water where fishing became a major source of food. People
began to cultivate cereals and vegetables.
Neolithic Era was marked by the change from hunting and gathering to
agriculture, and hence a less nomadic existence. It contributed to the development
of a new art form: monumental stone architecture megaliths (from the Greek
megas meaning «big»). Three distinctive stone structures regularly occur in
these regions: menhirs (from Celtic words men meaning «stone» and hir meaning
«long»); dolmens (from the Celtic dol meaning «table»); and cromlechs (from the
Celtic crom meaning «circle»» and lech meaning «place»).
The most famous Neolithic cromlech in Western Europe is Stonehenge
(England) which was built in several stages from about 3000 to 1800 B.C.
Lesson 1. The Ancient Оrient
I. Read and memorize the following words and word combinations:
husbandry – сельское хозяйство
Crescent [kresent]– полумесяц
slumber – дремать
millenium – тысячелетие
ramp – скат, уклон,наклонная плоскость
lever [li:ve] – рычаг
metallurgy [me’teledgi] металлургия
incense – ладан
Vedas [veides] (Rig, Sama, Yajur, and Atharva Vedas – Риг, Сама, Аюр и
Атхарва Веды).
conjure – вызывать в воображении
Sumerian [sumirien] – Шумеры
Tigris–Euphrates [taigris – jufreitis] Тигр и Евфрат (реки)
papyrus [pe’paires] папирус
aerodynamics [earedai’nemiks] аэродинамика
II. Read and translate the following text.
The Orient was thousands of years ahead of Europe; until the high Middle
Ages it was the cultural centre of the world. While the ancient Greek chronicler
of history, Herodotus, was marvelling at the history of ancient Egypt in the 5th
century BC, Rome was still an unremarkable landscape.
The end of the European Ice Age coincided with the start of agriculture and
animal husbandry in Mesopotamia, known as the Fertile Crescent, a crescentshaped area of fertile land in the Middle East that extends from the eastern
Mediterranean coast through the valley of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to the
Persian Gulf. It was the center of the Neolithic development of agriculture (from
7000 BC), and the cradle of the Assyrian, Sumerian, and Babylonian civilizations.
The early fortresses of the Middle East were already slumbering under a millennium
of earth when the first farmers began working their land in Europe.
Ancient Egyptian culture flourished between 5500 BC and 30 BC, the period
which ended with the death of Cleopatra VII, the last Ptolemaic ruler of Egypt.
It is famous today for the great monuments that celebrated the triumphs of the
rulers and honored the gods of the land.
Papyrus (from which comes the English word «paper») was only one of the
technological advances of the ancient Egyptian culture. The Egyptians were
also responsible for developing the ramp and lever and geometry for purposes of
construction, advances in mathematics and astronomy (also used in construction
as exemplified in the positions and locations of the pyramids and certain temples,
improvements in irrigation and agriculture, shipbuilding and aerodynamics, the
wheel and medicine.
Glass working, metallurgy in both bronze and gold, and furniture were other
advancements of Egyptian culture, and their art and architecture are famous
world-wide for precision and beauty. Personal hygiene and appearance was
valued highly and the Egyptians bathed regularly, scented themselves with
perfume and incense, and created cosmetics used by both men and women. The
practice of shaving was invented by the Egyptians as well as the wig and the
hairbrush. By 1600 BC the water clock and the calendar were in use in Egypt.
The ancient Culture of India began more than 5,000 years ago with the Indus
Valley Civilizations. Indus Valley people, also known as Dravidians, discovered
how to work with metals, make tools, and also they developed their own form
of writing. According to historians, all transactions conducted between these
ancient communities made through trade of food, tools and crafts.
Four holy books, Vedas, were composed in about 1500 BC. The word Veda
means knowledge. There are four Vedas: the Rigveda, the Yajurveda, the Samaveda
and the Atharvaveda. The Vedas are considered to be revelations obtained by Rishis,
the ancient sages, after intense meditation. They were so important in fact that the
era of ancient history from roughly 1500 BC to 1000 BC is called the Vedic Period.
Around 1000 BC two important epics known as the Ramayana and the
Mahabharata were written. We know about daily life during this period because
of these famous writings. We have learned about Aryans, Vedic life, wars, gods
and heroes from them.
Sacred mantras were written in Sanskrit and were sung in prayers. These
mantras were the start of Indian music. The mention of the word «dance» conjures
up images of Nataraja – Lord of Dance – as the Indian God Shiva is portrayed.
Mesopotamia was a historical region situated within the Tigris – Euphrates
river system, in modern days roughly corresponding to most of Iraq plus Kuwait,
the eastern parts of Syria, Southeastern Turkey, and regions along the TurkishSyrian and Iran–Iraq borders.
The Sumerian Culture, which dates back to 6,000 BC, is the oldest known
culture on Earth. Even today we still use the same Mathematical system, Calendar,
and Time as they created it so long ago. Since we have the evidence left over today,
we can see similarities between what they had then, and what we have now.
III. Give the Russian equivalents to the following words and word combination.
Chronicler of history, to marvel at, unremarkable landscape, Fertile Crescent,
to slumber under a millennium of earth, to celebrate the triumphs of the rulers,
to honor the gods of the land, technological advances, to be exemplified in the
positions and locations of the pyramids, Lord of Dance.
IV. Give the English equivalents to the following words and word combination.
Восток, впереди, Средние Века, разведение животных, плодородная
земля, Средиземноморское побережье, колыбель цивилизации, процветать, личная гигиена, надушиться, сделка, древние сообщества, ремесленные изделия, священная книга, откровения, мудрецы, священные мантры,
примерно соответствовать.
V. Answer the following questions:
What ancient Orient civilizations do you know?
What is the Fertile Crescent?
What is Ancient Egyptian culture famous for?
The Egyptians had advances in various areas, didn’t they?
What is the ancient Culture of India famous for?
What are the Vedas?
What is the oldest known culture on Earth?
Lesson 2. The Sumerian culture
I. Translate the following text and get ready to discuss it in class.
Somewhere around 4000 B.C. ancient Sumerian culture emerged on a sunscorched floodplain along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in what is now southern
Iraq. These enigmatic Mesopotamians are best known for inventing cuneiform
script – the world’s oldest extant writing system – but they also forged a vibrant
religious and literary tradition and made massive leaps forward in government,
mathematics, urban planning and agriculture.
The Sumerian invention of cuneiform – a Latin term literally meaning «wedgeshaped» – dates to around 3400 B.C. In its most sophisticated form, it consisted of
several hundred characters that ancient scribes used to write words or syllables on wet
clay tablets with a reed stylus. The tablets were then baked or left in the sun to harden.
The Sumerians seem to have first developed cuneiform for the mundane purposes of
keeping accounts and records of business transactions, but over time it blossomed
into a full-fledged writing system used for everything from poetry and history to
law codes and literature. Since the script could be adapted to multiple languages, it
was later used over the course of several millennia by more than a dozen different
cultures. In fact, archaeologists have found evidence that Near East astronomical
texts were still being written in cuneiform as recently as the first century A.D.
One of the crowning achievements of Mesopotamian literature is the «Epic of
Gilgamesh», a 3,000-line poem that follows the adventures of a Sumerian king
as he battles a forest monster and quests after the secret of eternal life. While the
poem’s character is a demigod with Hercules-like strength, most scholars believe his
prototype is an actual king who was the fifth ruler of the city of Uruk. The historical
Gilgamesh appears on the Sumerian «King List» and is thought to have lived
sometime around 2700 B.C. Few contemporary accounts of his reign have survived
to today, but archeologists have found inscriptions that credit him with building
Uruk’s massive defensive walls and restoring a temple to the goddess Ninhil, which
suggests he may have been a real ruler whose deeds were later repurposed as myth.
Sumerian mathematics and measurements are still used today.
The origins of the sixty-second minute and sixty-minute hour can be
traced all the way back to ancient Mesopotamia. In the same way that modern
mathematics is a decimal system based on the number ten, the Sumerians
mainly used a sexigesimal structure that was based around groupings of 60. This
easily divisible number system was later adopted by the ancient Babylonians,
who used it to make astronomical calculations on the lengths of the months and
the year. Base-60 eventually fell out of use, but its legacy still lives on in the
measurements of the both hour and the minute. Other remnants of the Sumerian
sexigesimal system have survived in the form of spatial measurements such as
the 360 degrees in a circle and the 12 inches in a foot.
Lesson 3. The mystery of Sumerians
I. Read and memorize the following words and word combinations:
cuneiform [kjunifom] – клинопись
extant [‘ekstent] – сохранившийся
forge – ковать
wedge – клин
scribe – книжник
mundane – мирской
fledged – оперившийся
quest – искать
Hercules [hekjulis] Гера́к л (др.-греч.), Геркуле́с (лат.)
repurpose – переориентировать
legacy – наследие
sewer [sue] – сточная труба
precedence – первенство, старшинство, предшествование
Uranius [jureines] Ура́н (др.-греч.), Цéлум (лат.) – супруг Геи
sideways – боком, в сторону
II. Read the text and be ready to give a short summery of it.
Many archaeologists around the world consider modern day Iraq as the
«cradle of civilization».
The Sumerians were the first people who started building cities, they
invented sewer systems, they used cobblestones in the pavement of early streets,
they were also successful in Agriculture but most importantly they were the first
civilization that invented the first known writing system by using cuneiform
script on clay tablets.
They were one of the most advanced ancient civilizations. History tells us many
interesting facts and stories about the Sumerians and even today archaeologists and
historians still do not have a complete picture that could tell everything about the
people that once inhabited the region of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
In the 19th century archaeologists exploring the ancient ruins of Nineveh
discovered 22,000 clay tablets.
After translation, these tablets showed amazing similar stories to those found
in the Judeo-Christian Bible.
We find stories of the great flood in these tablets and we can even read of
Adam and Eve so basically all of these stories have precedence with the ancient
Sumerians knew amazing things...things we only found out decades ago.
The Sumerians said that:
Wait...I thought there were only 9 planets?
The Sumerians wrote in depth about the planet known as «Nibiru». They
feared it. They knew it had a 3,600-3,700 year orbit and said it causes Great Earth
Changes when it passed by moving in its long trajectory.
Lesson 1. The Ancient Rome
I. Read and memorize the following words and word combinations:
embrace – включать в себя
endeavour – попытка, старание
ethos – моральная цель, идеал, дух
incessant – непрерывный, бесконечный
legacy – наследие
bequeath – завещать, передавать потомству
lustrous – блестящий, глянцевый
epitaph – эпитафия, надгробная надпись
troop – группа людей, отряд
II. Read and translate the following text.
Rome must be considered one of the most successful imperial powers in
history. In the course of centuries Rome grew from a small town on the Tiber
River in central Italy into a vast empire that ultimately embraced England, all
of continental Europe west of the Rhine and south of the Danube, most of Asia
west of the Euphrates, northern Africa, and the islands of the Mediterranean.
Unlike the Greeks, who excelled in intellectual and artistic endeavors, the
Romans achieved greatness in their military, political, and social institutions.
Roman society, during the republic, was governed by a strong military ethos.
While this helps to explain the incessant warfare, it does not account for
Rome’s success as an imperial power. Unlike Greek city-states, which excluded
foreigners and subjected peoples from political participation, Rome from its
beginning incorporated conquered peoples into its social and political system.
Allies and subjects who adopted Roman ways were eventually granted Roman
citizenship. The lasting effects of Roman rule in Europe can be seen in the
geographic distribution of the Romance languages (Italian, French, Spanish,
Portuguese, and Romanian), all of which evolved from Latin, the language of the
Romans. The Western alphabet of 26 letters and the calendar of 12 months and
365.25 days are only two simple examples of the cultural legacy which Rome
has bequeathed Western civilization.
Art was a very important part of Roman culture. The purpose of Roman art
was to show beauty and record special events. The Romans created and enjoyed
art in many different mediums and styles.
The Romans liked to sculpt in marble, and often copied Greek statues. When
they designed their own sculptures of people, they chose to make them look
realistic. Famous Romans depicted in marble will often be wrinkled, bald, and/
or fat. These signs of age were thought to give them an air of wisdom.
During the time of Flavian, much of the mosaic art was impressionistic.
However, during the time of Hadrian, mosaics became more realistic and detailed.
Later, spiritual motifs and romanticism were used. Some of the mosaics depicted
a scene of battle or other events. These designs were skillfully decorated with
lustrous colors. Christian motifs were introduced in the beginning of the fourth
century A.D. Mosaics in basilicas and tombs often portrayed birds, fish, and
lambs. Others simply had an epitaph.
Displaying of relief sculpture on the walls of public monuments became
popular during imperial times. In this kind of sculpture, particular emperors and
their family members were shown in imposing positions, commanding the army,
or giving out food to the poor. Many subjects were often used in Roman art. One
of the examples of a frequently used subject was the emperor addressing a crowd.
In this image, the emperor was either rising above the others or standing in front
of a large group. This motif is called adlocutio in Latin because it has a meaning
of a formal speech, often given by the emperor to his troops. Therefore, these
traditional stances are associated with such a speech.
Romans tended to portray real events in sculpture, and often they overstate
these events with their point of view. These sculptures were found in public
buildings as temples, monuments, or decorative frieze. Not only were these
historical reliefs depicting real events but they also described myths. In these
combined sculptures, there was a line between real events and myths. Also,
Romans liked to mix the figures from the divine world and ordinary people.
III. Give the Russian equivalents.
Imperial power, incessant warfare, political participation, lasting effects,
signs of age, spiritual motifs, relief sculpture, traditional stances, combined
sculptures, divine world.
IV. Give the English equivalents.
Огромная империя, достигать выдающихся успехов, исключать иностранцев, предоставлять гражданство, ваять из мрамора, христианские
мотивы, иметь тенденцию, декоративная фреска, исторические рельефы.
V. Answer the following questions.
1. How vast was the Roman Empire?
2. What was the purpose of Roman art?
3. What did famous Romans depicted in marble look like?
4. What motifs did Romans have in their works?
5. Where was the ancient Rome born?
6. Give any examples of Roman Art.
Lesson 2. Olympic games in ancient Greece
I. Read the text and translate it without a dictionary. Give a short summary of it.
The ancient Greeks loved competition of all sorts. Each year, the various
city-states of Greece sent athletes to festivals of games, which were held to honor
the gods.
The most important and prestigious were the games held at Olympia to honor
Zeus, the king of the gods. These Olympic games took place in the summer only
once every four years.
The earliest recorded Olympics occurred in 776 B.C. It is very likely, however,
that Olympic games took place for hundreds of years before then.
The last ancient games were held in 394 C.E. Then the Romans, who had
conquered the Greeks, outlawed them. The modern Olympic games began in 1896.
In the beginning, the participants in the Olympic games were all men. Women
were not allowed to compete or even to watch.
Over time, the Greeks held a festival of games to honor the goddess Hera,
Zeus’s wife. Only unmarried women could participate in the competitions,
which consisted mainly of foot races.
Contestants could compete in many different events. Athletes were
completely naked and covered in oil as they competed. First, there were the four
types of running events. Distances covered include 192 meters (the length of the
stadium), 384 meters and a long-distance run of anywhere between 1,344 and
4,608 meters.
In the most demanding event runners raced between 384-768 meters – in an
armor outfit that weighed between 50 and 70 pounds!
Then, there were the combative events, boxing and wrestling. Boxers wrapped
their hands in leather and metal, making the contests brutal and bloody. The
object in wrestling was to touch the opponent’s shoulders to the ground. All these
skills were considered important for military training.
Next, there were the equestrian events, which involved horses and sometimes
chariots and took place in a separate arena called the hippodrome.
Finally, there was the most prestigious and important of all events: the
pentathlon, a combination of five different events. Each contestant threw the
javelin,1 did the long jump, wrestled, ran a foot race, and threw the discus. The
person who had the best overall effort in all these five events was declared the
At the Olympics, the winners received wreaths made of olive leaves. Over
time, more and more prizes were added such as a bronze tripod3 or olive
oil. Winners received even greater rewards when they returned to their home
Triumphant athletes were given not only large monetary4 awards, but also
free meals for the rest of their lives. The citizens and leaders of the city-state took
great pride in their athletes and publicized their accomplishments far and wide.
During the Olympics, leaders from the various city-states discussed important
political and economic matters. In the ancient world, major leaders rarely met
the same place at the same time. As the games approached, everyone generally
agreed to an Olympic truce, a time when warfare usually ceased. Athletes and
spectators were granted immunity to travel to and from the games.
Lesson 3. Was Alexander the Great really great?
I. Read and memorize the following words and word combinations:
amass – собирать, накапливать
invade – вторгаться
squabble – пререкаться, вздорить
defeat – наносить поражение
threaten – угрожать, грозить
gruel – утомлять, выматывать
bustle – торопиться, суетиться
II. Translate the following text.
A great conqueror, in 13 short years he amassed the largest empire in the
entire ancient world – an empire that covered two million square miles. And
he did this without the benefit of modern technology and weaponry. In his day,
troop movements were primarily on foot, and communications were face to
face. Not bad for a kid who became the King of Macedon at the age of 20.
In his youth, Alexander was trained by some of the greatest tutors and scholars
of the era. The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle was Alexander’s personal
tutor from age 14 to 16, and the two corresponded for the rest of Alexander’s life.
Many of Alexander’s accomplishments were made possible by his father,
Philip II of Macedon. Macedon, which existed roughly where the modern
country of Macedonia lies today, was a kingdom that lay geographically north of
the Greek city-states.
In 338 B.C., King Philip of Macedon invaded and conquered the Greek citystates. Philip took advantage of the fact that the Greek city-states were divided
by years of squabbling and fighting. Philip succeeded in doing what years of
fighting between city-states had not done – he united Greece. Alexander was a
major asset in the campaign, having helped turn the tide of battle in the decisive
Macedonian victory at Chaeronea that year. At only 18, Alexander already had
a skilled military mind.
Philip’s next goal was to defeat Greece’s age-old enemy to the east: Persia. For
years, the massive Persian Empire threatened the very existence of the Greek way
of life. But before he was able to pursue his second goal, Philip was assassinated.
When his son, Alexander, took the throne in 336 B.C., he vowed to complete
the plans of his father. In 334 B.C., Alexander invaded Persia, which lay across
the Aegean Sea in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey).
After three grueling5 years of warfare and three decisive battles, Alexander
smashed the Persian armies at the Tigris River6and conquered the mighty
Persian Empire, including the legendary city of Babylon. For many Greeks, this
victory marked a moment of sweet revenge against a bitter foe.
At this point, at the age of 25, Alexander ruled an expansive empire.
Nevertheless, his ambitions were not satisfied. While fighting the Persians,
Alexander conquered Egypt and founded a city at the mouth of the Nile River. This
city, which he named Alexandria after himself, became a cosmopolitan, diverse,
bustling center of trade, the arts, and ideas.
But Alexander was not done. He continued his campaign, driving farther
east, until he reached India and the Indus River in 326 B.C. At this point, his
exhausted troops refused to fight further. They told Alexander that a truly great
leader knows when it is time to stop fighting.
Without the support of his army, Alexander had no choice but to turn back
and begin consolidating and organizing his far-flung empire. On his way home,
Alexander died from disease in 323 B.C. His great empire was divided among his
four strongest generals, who would go on to create empires and dynasties2that
lasted until conquered by the Roman Empire.
Alexander’s legacy is seen in his nickname alone: «Alexander the Great».
The famous conqueror would influence future leaders including Julius Caesar of
Rome and Napoleon. Alexander himself would adopt the myth that he was the
son of Zeus.
Alexander the Great’s legacy is both far-reaching and profound. First, his
father was able to unite the Greek city-states, and Alexander destroyed the
Persian Empire forever. Wherever Alexander traveled, he instructed his team of
scientists to record and analyze local plants, animals, geography, and weather,
learning about his new empire while spreading the scientific principles of his
tutor Aristotle. And finally, Alexander’s conquests spread Greek culture, also
known as Hellenism, across his empire.
Because Alexander did not force Greek culture upon his conquered peoples,
they more readily accepted his rule and paid his taxes. Even further, they turned
to Hellenism by choice. In fact, Alexander’s reign marked the beginning of a
new era known as the Hellenistic Age because of the powerful influence that
Greek culture had on other people. Without Alexander’s ambition, Greek ideas
and culture might well have remained confined to Greece. However, little else
united his conquered lands besides Hellenism, since Alexander did not set up
common institutions throughout his empire.
Many historians see Alexander the Great in a different light. Although
Alexander was both intelligent and handsome, he also had a darker side. He
possessed a Hellenistic Age and from time to time would arbitrarily murder
close advisors and even friends. Also, toward the end of his many campaigns, he
senselessly slaughtered thousands whose only crime was being in his way.
But whether or not Alexander the Great was really great is up to each
individual to decide.
III. Give the Russian equivalents.
Weaponry, face to face, personal tutor, accomplishment, to take advantage, military
mind, far-flung empire, scientific principles, Hellenistic Age, Hellenistic Age.
IV. Give the English equivalents.
Охватывать, годы распрей и войн, завершить планы, династия, завоеватель, записывать и анализировать, мощное влияние, советник, бесчувственно.
V. Answer the following questions.
1. Who was the father of Alexander?
2. How did Aristotle influence to Alexander?
3. What were the main goals of his wars?
4. Why did Alexander stay alone after his Indian campaign?
5. How did Alexander die?
6. What was the Alexander’s legacy?
7. Was Alexander the Great really great?
Lesson 4. Ancient Greece: The Birthplace of Western Individualism
I. Read and memorize the following words and word combinations:
glorification – прославление, восхваление
accomplishment – выполнение, достижение
infallible – непогрешимый
chariot – колесница
II. Translate the following text.
Democracy. Philosophy. Sculpture. Dramatic tragedies. The Olympic Games
Many of the fundamental elements of Western culture first arose more than
2,000 years ago in ancient Greece.
After conquering the Greeks, the ancient Romans spread Greek ideas
throughout their empire, which included much of Europe.
The glorification of the human form and of human accomplishment defined
ancient Greek art, philosophy, literature, and religion. Even their gods were
created in the image of humans. The Greek gods had human emotions, looked
like humans, and behaved more like people than infallible gods.
The Greeks’ emphasis on the individual is one major cornerstone of Western
Civilization. Indeed, the spirit of individualism was defined by the Greeks is still
alive and well in modern American culture and society.
The ancient Greeks were polytheistic – that is, they worshipped many
gods. Their major gods and goddesses lived at the top of Mount Olympus, the
highest mountain in Greece, and myths described their lives and actions. In myths,
gods often actively intervened in the day-to-day lives of humans. Greek religion
did not have a standard set of morals; there were no Judaic Ten Commandments.
Myths were used to help explain the unknown and sometimes teach a lesson.
For example, Zeus, the king of the gods, carried his favorite weapon, the
thunderbolt. When it rained and there was thunder and lightning, the ancient
Greeks believed that Zeus was venting his anger. Many stories about how the
Greek gods behaved and interacted with humans are found in the works of Homer.
He created two epic poems: the Iliad, which related the events of the Trojan War,
and the Odyssey, which detailed the travels of the hero Odysseus. These two
poems were passed down orally over many generations.
The Greeks created gods in the image of humans; that is, their gods had many
human qualities even though they were gods. The gods, heroes, and humans of
Greek mythology were flawed. The gods were highly emotional and behaved
inconsistently and sometimes immorally.
The gods constantly fought among themselves, behaved irrationally and
unfairly, and were often jealous of each other. For example, Zeus, the king of
the gods, was rarely faithful to his wife Hera. Hera plotted against Zeus and
punished his mistresses.
In addition to Zeus and Hera, there were many other major and minor gods in
the Greek religion. At her birth, Athena, the goddess of wisdom, sprang directly
from the head of Zeus. Hermes, who had winged feet, was the messenger of the
gods and could fly anywhere with great speed. Aphrodite, the goddess of love,
was the most beautiful being in the universe. Her brother, Ares, the god of war,
was sinister, mean, and disliked. Poseidon ruled the sea from his underwater
kingdom, and Apollo rode his chariot across the sky, bringing the sun with him.
Hades was in charge of the dead in the underworld. Almost all people went
to Hades after they died whether they were good or bad. To get there, the dead
had to cross the river Styx. Charon was the name of the boatman who ferried the
souls of the dead across the river Styx to Hades.
Typically, the gods punished those who were bad. For example, Tantalus,
who killed his own son and served him to the gods for dinner, was sent to Hades
and made forever thirsty and hungry. Although there was a pool of clear, fresh
drinking water at his feet, whenever Tantalus bent down to drink, the pool would
dry up and disappear.
Likewise, over his head hung the most delicious fruit. However, whenever
Tantalus reached for them, a wind would blow them just out of his reach. The
English word «tantalize» derives from the name Tantalus.
I. Give the Russian equivalents.
Cornerstone, worship, intervene, set of morals, thunderbolt, pass down orally,
mistress, tantalize.
II. Give the English equivalents.
Демократия, фундаментальные элементы, любимое оружие, объяснять
неизвестное, десять заповедей, эпические поэмы, вести себя аморально.
III. Answer the following questions.
1. How did Greece influence to the modern world?
2. What are the main gods of Greece?
3. What did define the Greek art?
4. How did gods behave?
5. What were the poems of Homer about?
6. What did the Charon?
7. What was the story of Tantalus?
Lesson 1. The Medieval Culture
I. Read and memorize the following words and word combinations:
CE [Current Era] – нашей эры
Middle Ages = Medieval Times – Средневековье
scholars – ученые
ignorance – невежественность, неграмотность
superstition and social oppression – религиозные предрассудки и социальный гнёт
profoundly – кардинально, абсолютно
monasticism – монашество
secular – светский, мирской
ecclesiastical – церковный, духовный
Crusades – Крестовые походы
papal monarchy – католическая (папская) монархия
soaring – стремительно возрастающий, головокружительный
St. Thomas Aquinas – Св. Фома Аквинский
pestilence – эпидемия (чума, мор и т.п.)
revival – возрождение, оживление
II. Read and translate the text.
The period of European history extending from about 500 to 1400–1500 CE
is traditionally known as the Middle Ages. The term was first used by 15thcentury scholars to designate the period between their own time and the fall
of the Western Roman Empire. The period is often considered to have its own
internal divisions: either early and late or early, central or high, and late.
Although once regarded as a time of uninterrupted ignorance, superstition,
and social oppression, the Middle Ages are now understood as a dynamic period
during which the idea of Europe as a distinct cultural unit emerged. During late
antiquity and the early Middle Ages, political, social, economic, and cultural
structures were profoundly reorganized, as Roman imperial traditions gave way
to those of the Germanic peoples who established kingdoms in the former Western
Empire. New forms of political leadership were introduced, the population of
Europe was gradually Christianized, and monasticism was established as the
ideal form of religious life.
In the central, or high, Middle Ages, even more dramatic growth occurred.
The period was marked by economic and territorial expansion, demographic
and urban growth, the emergence of national identity, and the restructuring of
secular and ecclesiastical institutions. It was the era of the Crusades, Gothic art
and architecture, the papal monarchy, the birth of the university, the recovery of
ancient Greek thought, and the soaring intellectual achievements of St. Thomas
It has been traditionally held that by the 14th century the dynamic force
of medieval civilization had been spent and that the late Middle Ages were
characterized by decline and decay. Europe did indeed suffer disasters of
war, famine, and pestilence in the 14th century, but many of the underlying
social, intellectual, and political structures remained intact. In the 15th and
16th centuries, Europe experienced an intellectual and economic revival,
conventionally called the Renaissance, that laid the foundation for the subsequent
expansion of European culture throughout the world.
Many historians have questioned the conventional dating of the beginning
and end of the Middle Ages, which were never precise in any case and cannot
be located in any year or even century. Some scholars have advocated extending
the period defined as late antiquity (c. 250–c. 750) into the 10th century or later,
and some have proposed a Middle Ages lasting from about 1000 to 1800. Still
others argue for the inclusion of the old periods Middle Ages, Renaissance, and
Reformation into a single period beginning in late antiquity and ending in the
second half of the 16th century.
III. Give the Russian equivalents to the following words and word combinations.
The fall of the Western Roman Empire, own internal divisions, uninterrupted
ignorance, superstition, and social oppression, forms of political leadership,
dramatic growth, decline and decay, subsequent expansion, conventional dating
IV. Give the English equivalents to the following words and word combination.
Период истории Европы, ученые, обозначить период, античность, бывшая Западная Империя, возникновение национальной самобытности, эпоха Крестовых походов, древнегреческая идея, война, голод и мор, Возрождение.
V. Answer the following questions.
1. What is the Middle Ages?
2. Which structures and when were profoundly reorganized? What is the
3. What are religious peculiarities of the Middle Ages?
4. What are the main events of this epoch?
5. What disasters did fall over the medieval people?
6. Which question is still open for scientists?
VI. Give a brief summary of the above text.
VII. Translate the following text in writing without using the dictionary.
There is one word to describe the culture in the Middle Ages and that is
barbaric. While some countries were better than others at maintaining order and
the education of their society it was quite a rough time to exist when people
had little to no rights. There were certain aspects of the Middle Ages that
seemed rather glamorous such as kings, queens, knights, and other rumors that
surrounded the time period, but overall the Middle Ages were not a fun and
fancy free type of time.
There was a lot that occurred during the Middle Ages, plague, war, famine,
and literacy problems plagued many of the countries in Europe. It was not a good
time to have beliefs that differed from the church, and there was little to protect
any member of the country that spoke their mind if it differed from those in
power. The Middle Ages were exactly that a period after the fall of the Roman
Empire and Greek influence, but before the enlightenment of the renaissance.
The Middle Ages were the transition period that sat smack dab in the middle of
those two time periods.
To sit smack dab – находиться прямиком, непосредственно
I. Fill in the blanks
1. The period is often considered to have its own _________: either early
and late or early, central or high, and late.
2. During ____ and ____, political, social, economic, and cultural structures
were profoundly reorganized.
3. ______ was established as the ideal form of _____ life.
4. Late Middle Ages were characterized by _____.
5. It was quite a rough time to _____ when people had little to no rights.
Lesson 2. The Medieval Times
I. Read the following text on Medieval Times using the dictionary and give
its brief summary.
Most people think of Medieval Times as a place in history where a gallant
knight would ride off into the sunset to sleigh a dragon for the love of a princess.
They do not realize it was a huge time for superstition, and the lack of education
did not provide any support to disprove any of the more outrageous superstitious
Medicine was pretty much non-existent, so the treatment for someone that
fell ill or had some sort of medical issue was basically to wait it out and see what
God decides. Bloodletting was a popular treatment for almost any disease, and
that was when a doctor would simply cut into an individual and drain blood from
their body. The belief was that ridding the body of the toxic blood would allow
the body to heal itself. The problem with this was that the blood draining would
make the individuals weaker and people would often drain off too much blood
which would eventually lead to death.
There were games and fairs that existed and the citizens of a town were often
all in attendance. These fairs provided a wonderful time and opportunity for
many families. There were shows, games, and many other trading or sales stands
available for people to purchase items or sell homemade items that they may
have to a wide audience. While there were local trade markets many of these
people did not get such a large audience as they would from a fair.
II. Read the following text and answer the following questions:
1. Do you think was it hard to live and survive in the Middle Ages?
2. Would you like to travel to this epoch and see the Medieval everyday life
with your own eyes? Why?
The average person’s life was filled with a great deal of hard work and modest
earnings. The majority of families worked all day in order to grow and gather
enough food to feed their family and sell in order to purchase items such as
clothing that they may need. Most families were barely able to make ends meet,
and their children were often married off at a very young age. All of the children
were expected to help work in order to help feed the family, so education was not
pushed on the children. The expectancy of life for peasants was very low. Many
women experienced a great deal of miscarriages, and the children often died at
young ages to illness, disease or simply just accidents.
The wealthier people of society often had a much easier time in life. They did
not have to do much hard labor at all and in fact often had live in servants that
were there to take care of any need that they may have. Some members would
be invited to court which meant that they would go to keep the king or queen
company and to wait on them hand and foot.
Some people were just there to provide entertainment, and others were there
simply because the king may choose to want them close. This was an extremely
common practice for kings that often had affairs with the women that were at
court. Eventually the kings would tire of them or the women would become
impregnated and they would eventually send them away.
Lesson 3. Art, Education and Culture of the Middle Ages
I. Read the following text about art, education and culture of the Middle Ages
and list the peculiarities of this epoch.
There could not be a bigger difference in a society’s concentration like that of
art and education during the Middle Ages. The culture in the Middle Ages had
a strong concentration on the artistic talents of many individuals. The Middle
Ages saw the sprouting of artists from individuals that lived and worked outside
of the monasteries which were completely different than it had been historically.
Some of the most famous artists in history were born to farmhands or peasants
during this time period.
Education took a back seat during the Middle Ages. It was not until the end
of the Middle Ages that the rulers began to realize that without education they
would just continue to make the same mistakes over and over again and would
never reach peace for their society. It was then that they began to focus on the
education of at least the higher end of society so that the countries would be able
to grow and flourish.
The culture in the Middle Ages expanded eastward. Due to open trade lines
with the east there were many aspects of society that began to change due to the
knowledge that they received from their much more educated eastern neighbors.
Religions, education, art, and even cooking were influenced by the east. Bland
food began to have a more vibrant taste due to spices and herbs that were brought
through the trade lines, and made the rest of Europe realize that there was a much
bigger world out there.
The culture in the Middle Ages was extremely limited due to strong
restrictions placed on society by the church. The church worried that the more
education the people received the more likely they were to question their beliefs,
so they encouraged the hindrance of the culture.
II. In accordance with the texts you’ve read, mention the cultural differences
between the period of Antiquity and the Medieval times.
Lesson 1. The Medieval Asia
I. Read and memorize the following words and word combinations:
warfare – военное дело
gunpowder – порох
pagan – язычник, атеист
unsurpassed – непревзойденный
ravage – разорить, опустошить
II. Read and translate the text. Try to answer the questions: Would you like to
appear someday in Medieval Asia and what would you do there? Describe pros
and cons of that time comparing to nowadays.
Marco Polo was not the first Westerner to travel to the Orient and return with
amazing stories of this different culture, but his accounts published in the late
13th and early 14th centuries were the first to be widely read throughout Europe.
Medieval Asia had far surpassed the West in the development of warfare,
communication and science. Gunpowder was widely used as early as the 11th
century and they were using moveable type printing five hundred years before
Gutenberg created his press. Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism were the
dominant philosophies of the Far East during the Middle Ages.
Medieval Asia was the kingdom of the Khans. Never before had any person
controlled as much land as Genghis Kahn. He built his power unifying separate
Mongol tribes before expanding his kingdom south and west. He and his
grandson, Kublai Khan, controlled lands in China, Burma, Central Asia, Russia,
Iran, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. Estimates are that the Mongol armies
reduced the population of China by nearly a third. Genghis Khan was a pagan
who tolerated nearly every religion except Islam, and their culture often suffered
the harshest treatment from Mongol armies. The Khan armies pushed as far west
as Jerusalem before being defeated in 1260.
The Middle Ages were an unsurpassed era for Chinese ceramics and painting.
Medieval architectural masterpieces such as Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the
Great South Gate in Todaiji, Japan, and the Tien-ning Temple in Peking, China
are some of the surviving constructs from this era.
The Black Death, which would later ravage Western Europe had its beginnings
in Asia, where it wiped out large populations in China in 1331. China flourished
again late in the medieval era during the famed Ming Dynasty. In Japan these
later Middle Age centuries saw a return to the traditional Shinto faith and the
continuing popularity of Zen Buddhism.
III. Give the English equivalents.
Расцветать, население, племена, объединять, королевство, Западная
Европа, Династия Минг, хан, картина, править, расширять.
IV. Give the Russian equivalents.
To tolerate, masterpiece, army, grandson, development, treatment, ceramics,
to fame, faith, to suffer, harshest, to reduce, The Black Death, dominant.
V. Give a brief summary of the above text.
Lesson 2. Women’s Status in Medieval Japan
I. Read and translate the following text and share your opinion.
Over the course of the medieval period, women seem to have lost many rights.
In ancient times, women served as rulers. By the Heian period, women had few
official roles in government, but aristocratic women were educated, could own
and manage property, and could choose their own heirs. Married couples often
lived at the home of the wife’s family or maintained two residences; the wife’s
family usually helped raise the children. Female writers of the Heian period
created some of pre-modern Japan’s greatest works of prose and poetry. But
conditions gradually began to change.
In the early Kamakura period, women of samurai families held jitō posts. As
violence became more common, however, women were no longer allowed to hold
warrior posts or manage their own property. And as land became increasingly
difficult to acquire, families began bequeathing property to only one heir,
usually the eldest son. Married women were expected to join the family of their
husbands. Lady Nijō’s memoir from the early fourteenth century is one of the last
important literary works by a woman of the medieval period. Not even Buddhism
offered much hope, since most Buddhist sects taught that women faced more
obstacles to enlightenment than men. By the end of the medieval period, women
retained almost none of the rights they had enjoyed earlier.
II. Translate this text about medieval art in Japan in writing.
Literature and the Arts
Poetry remained the most important literary form. Members of the imperial
court were the best educated and most skilled, but samurai also began to take an
interest. The third shogun, Sanetomo, was considered a very skillful poet. His
teacher, the courtier Fujiwara Teika, compiled one of Japan’s greatest imperial
poetry collections, the Shinkokinshū. Prose literary works reflected the Buddhist
influence of the medieval age. The Tale of the Heike was the most popular. It
described the Genpei War and the Taira clan’s downfall. Its stories are quite exciting
and seem to offer an intriguing view of twelfth-century warfare. But the tale cannot
be read as an accurate account of the war. Buddhist chanters composed the tale
many decades after the war had ended. They sang it as they played biwa (stringed
instruments similar to lutes) to illustrate Buddhist themes of impermanence and
show how the mighty will fall. Similar themes can be found in Kamo no Chōmei’s
philosophical essay, “An Account of My Hut.” Few works by women have survived.
A notable exception is the memoir of Lady Nijō, a court attendant. Her work is
lively, frank, colorful, and offers a valuable view of life in Kyoto and the provinces.
Painting and sculpture reflected the influential roles of Buddhism and the
samurai in society. Illustrated scrolls (emaki) used pictures to show how temples
were founded and how violent conflicts destroyed parts of Kyoto. Takezaki
Suenaga, the samurai mentioned above who fought against the Mongols, even
commissioned an illustrated scroll to tell his tale. Another important art form
was raigō, paintings that showed Amida welcoming people who had just died
to his western paradise. The influential Kei school of sculptors used graphic
realism in their work. Their famous guardians at Tōdaiji look quite intimidating,
even hyper-masculine, with detailed bulging muscles, fierce expressions, and
crystals set in the eyes to make them look real.
III. Fill in the blanks.
1. Poetry ________ the most important literary form
2. Prose literary works reflected the ________ influence of the medieval age
3. Buddhist _________ composed the tale many decades after the war had
4. _________ and _________ reflected the influential roles of Buddhism
and the samurai in society.
5. Their famous guardians at Tōdaiji look quite _________, even hypermasculine, with detailed __________ muscles, fierce expressions, and crystals
_________ the eyes to make them look real.
Lesson 3. China in the Middle Ages
I. Read, translate and discuss in class, whether the religion in China
influenced the world and how.
China in the Middle Ages was ahead of its time when it came to religion. Most
leading countries had a single religion that was used throughout their country,
and some even went to war over the division of religion. China saw three major
religions that made up their society. Buddhism, Confucianism, & Taoism were
the leading religions in China in the Middle Ages. Buddhism was a fairly new
development in China in the Middle ages. The majority of Buddhists belonged to
India, and this is actually where China’s Buddhist roots came from.
This Indian influence was established in China via the trade route called
the Silk Road. The Buddhist presence in China created inspiration for the
development of new literature and philosophies surrounding the Buddhist
religion in China. While Buddhism was just gaining popularity in China during
the Middle Ages it could definitely be considered one of the most influential
religions of the time period.
Taoism actually was not considered to be an organized religion until the
Middle Ages in China. Taoism was considered to be more of a philosophy or a
way that a person chose to live their life and was not really considered a religion
until it was established as one in China in the Middle Ages.
Confucianism was one of the more popular religions in China at the
beginning of the Middle Ages. It is the religious following of the philosophy
of Confucius. Confucianism is the basic belief that humans can be perfected
through training, education, and personal experience. It is more of a personal
development type of religion and does not really guide you to try and perfect
other people. It was extremely popular in China in the Middle Ages, and actually
saw the philosophies carved into stone during the early part of the Middle Ages.
II. Read the text and give some extra information about the development of
China has always been considered to be one of the more advanced countries,
and the reason that they are considered that way is because they simply led the
way in the development of many of the products that we use today. An excellent
example of this is paper money. While some countries have stuck with coin
currency, China created paper currency during the Middle Ages, and was the
first country to use it. This was a huge development for it provided a lower cost
alternative for printing money and that is why the majority of the countries still
use paper currency today.
Until the Middle Ages in China it was incredibly difficult to develop books
in any type of mass production and to make an easy to distribute package. The
papermaking capabilities that China established during the Song dynasty finally
created a way to produce books that could be more easily transported.
Many of the developments with paper were extremely helpful, and almost
all of them are still in use today, but China also had many additions to the
mathematics and science world as well. One of the issues that kids struggle with
the most growing up in school is learning their fractions. They have China to
thank for that. China establish the fraction during the Song dynasty, and has
created trouble for people learning math ever since.
Hunters and fishermen can thank China for their establishment of the lunar
calendar during the Middle Ages. Thanks to this precise measurement of the
phases of the moon both hunters and fisherman have a little cheat sheet for
when the best time will be to go out and conduct their sport. There are many
other additions that were established in China during the Middle Ages, and the
majority of them of changed the course of society as a whole forever.
III. Read and translate the following text.
In the 7th century, Islam emerged from the desert of the Arabian Peninsula,
conquering the old Egyptian, Persian, Roman, and Near Eastern Empires.
Islam integrated elements of these cultures into its own, and between the
7th and 12th centuries, it became the center of a brilliant civilization and of a
great scientific, philosophic, and artistic culture. Its language was Arabic, but
it absorbed and added its culture to the heritage of Greece, Rome, Judaism,
Christianity, and the Near East.
The medieval Islamic world spanned the outer edge of the Latin world, in
Spain, Sicily, and North Africa, and surrounding Byzantium in Egypt, Palestine,
and Syria.
Medicine was a central part of medieval Islamic culture. Islamic medicine
was built on the legacies left behind by Greek and Roman physicians and
scholars. Islamic physicians and scholars were strongly influenced by Galen
and Hippocrates, as well as by the Greek scholars of Alexandria, Egypt. Islamic
scholars translated their voluminous writings from Greek into Arabic and
then produced new medical knowledge based on those texts. In order to make
the Greek tradition more accessible, understandable, and teachable, Islamic
scholars ordered and made more systematic the vast and sometimes inconsistent
Greco-Roman medical knowledge by writing encyclopedias and summaries.
It was through reading Arabic versions that Western doctors learned of Greek
medicine, including the works of Hippocrates and Galen. Medieval and early
modern scholars in Europe drew upon Islamic traditions and translations as the
foundation for their medical enterprise. For example, Canon of Medicine (an
encyclopedia of medicine in five books, which presented a clear and organized
summary of all medical knowledge of the time) by Ibn Sina (Avicenna in the
West) was translated into Latin and then disseminated in manuscript and printed
form throughout Europe. During the 15th and 16th centuries alone, the Canon of
Medicine was published more than 35 times. It is the most influential medical
book of the Middle Ages. Besides Ibn Sina, the other Arab Islamic physicians
who contributed to medical knowledge and influenced medical thinking in the
West were Al Razi (Rhazes), Ibn Nafis, and Al-Zarawi. IV. Summarize everything you’ve learned about the history of Middle Age of
Middle East and Asia. How does it differ from present days? Describe the legacy
left from that time.
Lesson 1. The Renaissance in Italy
I. Read and memorize the following words and word combinations:
plague – чума
endure – терпеть
striving – стремление
thriving – процветающий
spur – побуждать
merit – заслуга
II. Read and translate the following text.
During the late Middle Ages, Europe suffered from both war and plague.
Those who survived wanted to celebrate life and the human spirit. They began
to question institutions of the Middle Ages, which had been unable to prevent
war or to relieve suffering brought by the plague. Some people questioned the
Church, which taught Christians to endure suffering while they awaited their
rewards in heaven. In northern Italy, writers and artists began to express this
new spirit and to experiment with different styles. These men and women would
greatly change how Europeans saw themselves and their world.
This movement that started in Italy caused an explosion of creativity in art,
writing, and thought that lasted approximately from 1300 to 1600 Historians
call this period the Renaissance. The term means rebirth, and in this context,
it refers to a revival of art and learning. The educated men and women of Italy
hoped to bring back to life the culture of classical Greece and Rome. Yet in
striving to revive the past, the people of the Renaissance created something new.
The contributions made during this period led to innovative styles of art and
literature. They also led to new values, such as the importance of the individual.
The Renaissance eventually spread from northern Italy to the rest of Europe.
Italy had three advantages that made it the birthplace of the Renaissance: thriving
cities, a wealthy merchant class, and the classical heritage of Greece and Rome.
City-States Overseas trade, spurred by the Crusades, had led to the growth of
large city-states in northern Italy. The region also had many sizable towns. Thus,
northern Italy was urban while the rest of Europe was still mostly rural. Since
cities are often places where people exchange ideas, they were an ideal breeding
ground for an intellectual revolution.
In the 1300s, the bubonic plague struck these cities hard, killing up to 60
percent of the population. This brought economic changes. Because there were
fewer laborers, survivors could demand higher wages. With few opportunities to
expand business, merchants began to pursue other interests, such as art. A wealthy
merchant class developed in each Italian city-state. Because city-states like
Milan and Florence were relatively small, a high percentage of citizens could be
intensely involved in political life. Merchants dominated politics. Unlike nobles,
merchants did not inherit social rank. To succeed in business, they used their
wits. As a result, many successful merchants believed they deserved power and
wealth because of their individual merit. This belief in individual achievement
became important during the Renaissance.
Since the late 1200s, the city-state of Florence had a republican form of
government. But during the Renaissance, Florence came under the rule of one
powerful banking family, the Medici. The Medici family bank had branch offices
throughout Italy and in the major cities of Europe. Cosimo de Medici was the
wealthiest European of his time. In 1434, he won control of Florence’s government.
He did not seek political office for himself, but influenced members of the ruling
council by giving them loans. For 30 years, he was dictator of Florence.
Cosimo de Medici died in 1464, but his family continued to control Florence.
His grandson, Lorenzo de Medici, came to power in 1469 Known as Lorenzo
the Magnificent, he ruled as a dictator yet kept up the appearance of having an
elected government.
Crusade – Крестовый поход.
III. Give the Russian equivalents.
Survive, relieve suffering, movement, revival of art, contributions, innovative
style, to exchange ideas, merchant class, to deserve power, branch office.
IV. Give the English equivalents.
Ставить под сомнение, распространяться, город-государство, поражать, требовать высокую заработную плату, высокий процент, дворянство, давать займы, благосостояние, выборное правительство.
V. Answer the following questions.
1. Why people did begin to question institutions of the Middle Ages?
2. Where did the Renaissance begin?
3. What advantages did Italy have to be the birthplace of the Renaissance?
4. What does City-State mean?
5. Why did merchants dominate politics?
6. Why did belief in individual achievement become important during the
7. Why did Florence become so powerful during the Renaissance?
Lesson 2. Another way thinking of the Renaissance
I. Read and memorize the following words and word combinations:
vernacular – народный
approach – подход
egalitarian – равноправный
vociferous – громогласный
condemnation – осуждение
bizarre – странный
virtue – достоинство
eager – страстно желать
II. Read and translate the following text.
Today, there is a popular consensus that the term «Renaissance» refers to a
profound and enduring upheaval and transformation in culture, politics, art, and
society in Europe between the years 1400 and 1600. The word describes both a
period in history and a more general ideal of cultural renewal. The term comes
from the French for «rebirth». Since the 19 century it has been used to describe the
period in European history when the rebirth of intellectual and artistic appreciation
of Greco-Roman culture gave rise to the modern individual as well as the social
and cultural institutions that define so many people in the western world today.
Art historians often view the Renaissance as the beginning as early as the
13th century, with the art of Giotto and Cimabue, and ending in the late 16th
century with the work of Michelangelo and Venetian painters like Titian. Literary
scholars in Anglo-American world take a very different perspective, focusing
on the rise of vernacular English literature in the 16th and 17th centuries in
the poetry and drama of Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton. Historians take a
different approach again, labelling the period 1500 – 1700 as «early modern»,
rather than «Renaissance». These differences in dating and even naming the
Renaissance have become so intense that the validity of the term is now in doubt.
No 16th-century audience would have recognized the term «Renaissance».
The Italian word rinascita («rebirth») was used in the 16th century to refer to
the revival of classical culture. But the specific French word «Renaissance» was
not used as a descriptive historical phrase until the middle of the 19th century.
The first person to use the term was the French historian Jules Michelet, a
French nationalist deeply committed to the egalitarian principles of the French
Revolution. Between 1833 and 1862 Michelet worked on his greatest project, the
multi-volume History of France. He was a progressive republican, vociferous in
his condemnation of both the aristocracy and the church. In 1855 he published hid
seventh volume of the history, entitled La Renaissance. For him the Renaissance
meant «the discovery of the world and the discovery of the man. The sixteenth
century went from Columbus to Copernicus, from Copernicus to Galileo, from
the discovery of the earth to that of the heavens. Man refound himself».
The scientific discoveries of explorers and thinkers like Columbus,
Copernicus, and Galileo went hand in hand with more philosophical definitions
of individuality that Michelet identified in the writings of Rabelais, Montaigne,
and Shakespeare. This new spirit was contrasted with Michelet viewed as «the
bizarre and monstrous» quality of the Middle Ages. To him the Renaissance
represented a progressive, democratic condition that celebrated the great
virtues he valued – Reason, Truth, Art, and Beauty. According to Michelet, the
Renaissance «recognized itself as identical at heart with the modern age».
Michelet was the first thinker to define the Renaissance as a decisive historical
period in European culture that represented a crucial break with the Middle Ages,
and with created a modern understanding of humanity and its place in the world.
He also promoted the Renaissance as representing a certain spirit or attitude, as
much as referring to a specific historical period. Michelet’s Renaissance does not
happen in Italy in the 14th and 15th centuries, as we have to expect. Instead, his
Renaissance takes place in the 16th century. As a French nationalist, Michelet was
eager to claim the Renaissance as a French phenomenon. As a republican he also
rejected what he saw as 14th-century Italy’s admiration for church and political
tyranny as deeply undemocratic, and hence not part of the spirit of the Renaissance.
Giotto – Джотто ди Бондоне, итальянский художник и архитектор, основоположник эпохи Проторенессанса. Одна из ключевых фигур в истории
западного искусства. Преодолев византийскую иконописную традицию,
стал подлинным основателем итальянской школы живописи, разработал
абсолютно новый подход к изображению пространства. Работами Джотто
вдохновлялись Леонардо да Винчи, Рафаэль, Микеланджело; Cimabue –
Чимабу́э (итал. Cimabue; настоящее имя – Ченни ди Пепо) – флорентийский живописец, один из главных мастеров итальянской живописи периода проторенессанса.
III. Give the Russian equivalents.
Upheaval, cultural renewal, artistic appreciation, perspective, approach,
consensus, democratic conditions, crucial break, phenomenon, political tyranny.
IV. Give the English equivalents.
Давать толчок, иметь различный подход, описательный, многотомный,
аристократия, идти рука об руку, гуманность, утверждать, отрицать, обожание.
V. Answer the following questions.
1. When did the Renaissance begin?
2. What does the word «Renaissance» mean?
3. Name the famous people of the Renaissance.
4. Why do different approaches to the Renaissance exist?
5. What did the Renaissance mean for Michelet?
6. What new thoughts did the Renaissance bring to the lives of people?
7. How is approach of Michelet differ from one we have come to expect?
Lesson 3. The epoch of Henry VIII
I. Read and memorize the following words and word combinations:
devout – преданный
stinging – колкий
oath – клятва
temper – охлаждать
turmoil – беспорядок
resistance – сопротивление
II. Read and translate the following text.
Henry VIII wants a Son when Henry VIII became the king of England in
1509, he was a devout Catholic. Indeed, in 1521, Henry wrote a stinging attack
on Luther’s ideas. In recognition of Henry’s support, the pope gave him the
title «Defender of the Faith». Political needs, however, soon tested his religious
loyalty. He needed a male heir. Henry’s father had become king after a long civil
war. Henry feared that a similar war would start if he died without a son as his
heir. He and his wife, Catherine of Aragon, had one living child–a daughter,
Mary–but no woman had ever successfully claimed the English throne.
By 1527 Henry was convinced that the 42-year-old Catherine would have
no more children. He wanted to divorce her and take a younger queen. Church
law did not allow divorce. However, the pope could annul, or set aside, Henry’s
marriage if proof could be found that it had never been legal in the first place. In
1527 Henry asked the pope to annul his marriage, but the pope turned him down.
The pope did not want to offend Catherine’s powerful nephew, the Holy Roman
Emperor Charles V.
The Reformation Parliament Henry took steps to solve his marriage problem
himself. In 1529, he called Parliament into session and asked it to pass a set of
laws that ended the pope’s power in England. This Parliament is known as the
Reformation Parliament.
In 1533, Henry secretly married Anne Boleyn, who was in her twenties.
Shortly after, Parliament legalized Henry’s divorce from Catherine. In 1534,
Henry’s break with the pope was completed when Parliament voted to approve
the Act of Supremacy. This called on people to take an oath recognizing the
divorce and accepting Henry, not the pope, as the official head of England’s
Church. The Act of Supremacy met some opposition. Thomas More, even though
he had strongly criticized the Church, remained a devout Catholic. His faith, he
said, would not allow him to accept the terms of the act and he refused to take
the oath. In response, Henry had him arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of
London. In 1535, More was found guilty of high treason and executed.
Henry did not immediately get the male heir he sought. After Anne Boleyn
gave birth to a daughter, Elizabeth, she fell out of Henry’s favor. Eventually, she
was charged with treason. Like Thomas More, she was imprisoned in the Tower
of London. She was found guilty and beheaded in 1536 Almost at once, Henry
took a third wife, Jane Seymour. In 1537, she gave him a son named Edward.
Henry’s happiness was tempered by his wife’s death just two weeks later. Henry
married three more times. None of these marriages, however, produced children.
After Henry’s death in 1547, each of his three children ruled England in turn.
This created religious turmoil. Henry’s son, Edward, became king when he was just
nine years old. Too young to rule alone, Edward VI was guided by adult advisers.
These men were devout Protestants, and they introduced Protestant reforms
to the English Church. Almost constantly in ill health, Edward reigned for just
six years.
Mary, the daughter of Catherine of Aragon, took the throne in 1553 She was
a Catholic who returned the English Church to the rule of the pope. Her efforts
met with considerable resistance, and she had many Protestants executed. When
Mary died in 1558, Elizabeth, Anne Boleyn’s daughter, inherited the throne.
Pope – Папа Римский; Act of Supremacy – закон о главенстве английского короля над церковью; high treason – государственная измена.
III. Give the Russian equivalents.
Male heir, civil war, to annul marriage, to call Parliament into session,
official head, to meet opposition, to be found guilty, high treason, to temper,
adult advisers.
IV. Give the English equivalents.
Религиозная лояльность, отклонить, предоставить доказательства, свод
законов, критиковать церковь, заключать в тюрьму, принести клятву, принять условия, обезглавить, наследовать трон.
V. Answer the following questions.
1. Why did the pope give Henry VIII the title «Defender of the Faith»?
2. How many wives did Henry VIII have?
3. Why did Henry VIII fear the civil war?
4. How could Henry VIII annul his marriage?
5. Why was Anne Boleyn beheaded?
6. Why did Thomas More refuse to take the oath?
Lesson 4. Raphael
I. Read the text and translate it without a dictionary.
Give a short summary of it.
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, known across the world simply by the name
Raphael, stands as one of the main pillars of the High Renaissance, an iconic
example of the balance between spirituality and Humanistic inquiry that
characterized the time period. Although he lived just 37 years, his career
produced an amazingly rich output, and he completed more works than many
artists do over careers spanning twice the length. At the same time, Raphael’s
art combined central tropes associated with the Renaissance while remaining
remarkably original. As such, his career is not only worth exploring in its own
right, but also for the ways in which he typified contemporary artistic techniques,
including a return to antiquity and the balance between mathematical accuracy,
rational thought, and religious devotion.
While Raphael’s own themes did not vary greatly throughout his career, he
led a relatively nomadic existence, and his life reflects the trends associated with
late 15th century and early 16th century Italy. Born in Umbria and raised in
the Umbria court, Raphael was exposed to a wealth of artistic influences and
high culture, characteristic of the early Renaissance shift toward humanism and
artistic appreciation. Although Raphael’s talent was generational, his life did not
involve the extreme poverty and destitution that often characterized the lives
of other famous artists. This ensured Raphael’s life represents a useful rubric
through which to examine the cultural norms of the era.
Although Raphael was perhaps the most favored artist of the Italian
Renaissance, his reputation has since been surpassed by famous contemporaries
like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. To this day, it is difficult to think
of Raphael without considering his artistic rivals, and comparing the artwork
between Raphael and his contemporaries illuminates Raphael’s artistic style and
the reception surrounding his work.
In many ways, his art synthesized the styles of other artists; Raphael’s artwork
was not produced in a vacuum, and his career reflects the rise of the artist as a
culturally significant figure while also preserving the grandeur of the church.
Even if he lacked the innovation of Leonardo or Michelangelo, Raphael was
every bit as renowned during the time period; it is hoped that through applying
a contextual approach to studying his life and career, this analysis clarifies the
artist’s mass appeal and cultural significance.
Lesson 1. Empire Style
I. Read the text and translate it without a dictionary. Give a short summary of it.
Empire style, like classicism, was oriented toward the models of classical
art and included the artistic legacy of archaic Greece and imperial Rome, from
which it drew motifs for the embodiment of majestic power and military might;
monumental forms of massive porticoes (primarily Doric and Tuscan orders) and
military emblems used for architectural detail and décor (lector-bearing fasces,
military armor, laurel wreaths, eagles, and so on).
Empire style also included distinct features derived from ancient Egyptian
architecture and sculpture (huge unbroken surfaces of walls and pylons, massive
geometric volumes, Egyptian ornamentation, stylized sphinxes, and so on).
Empire style was rooted in classicism, in which the search for exquisite
simplicity of form and decor gradually gave way to an aspiration toward an
extreme lapidary quality and thorough expressiveness. An extreme manifestation
of this tendency was the austere asceticism, imbued with a spirit of civic pride,
which characterized the projects of C. N. Ledoux and a number of other architects
during the period of the Great French Revolution. The artistic ideas and new
conceptions of city planning they advanced became the basis of the development
of the Empire style, which was variously interpreted in different countries,
depending upon the specific conditions of social and political life.
During the empire of Napoleon I, memorial architecture served to glorify
the achievements of the state (triumphal arches, memorial pillars), sometimes
duplicating ancient Roman models. (The Arc du Carrousel in Paris, 1806,
designed by C. Percier and P. Fontaine, is a replica of the arch of Septimius
Severus in Rome) The decoration of the deliberately ostentatious interiors of
the palaces rebuilt by Percier and Fontaine for the imperial court and the new
nobility (the Malmaison, the Fontainebleau, the Beauharnais chateaus), the
motifs of Egyptian reliefs, Etruscan vases, Pompeiian murals, Greek and Roman
decor, and Renaissance frescoes and ornaments are in harmony with the Empire
style furniture by F. O. Jacob and the bronze creations of P. P. Thomire, stylized
in the spirit of the furnishings of a wealthy ancient Roman residence.
In Great Britain, Denmark, and Italy the Empire style acquired distinctive
national features; in Russia and Germany it became the expression of the ideas
of national sovereignty which these nations had defended in the wars against
Lesson 2. Impressionism
Read and memorize the following words and word combinations:
shun – остерегаться, избегать
capture – захватить, уловить
abandon – покидать, забрасывать, забывать
convey – подача
depiction – изображение
alienation – охлаждение, отрыв от общества
Impressionism can be considered the first distinctly modern movement in
painting. Developing in Paris in the 1860s, its influence spread throughout Europe
and eventually the United States. Its originators were artists who rejected the
official, government-sanctioned exhibitions, or salons, and were consequently
shunned by powerful academic art institutions. In turning away from the fine
finish and detail to which most artists of their day aspired, the Impressionists
aimed to capture the momentary, sensory effect of a scene – the impression objects
made on the eye in a fleeting instant. To achieve this effect, many Impressionist
artists moved from the studio to the streets and countryside, painting en plein air.
The Impressionists loosened their brushwork and lightened their palettes to
include pure, intense colors. They abandoned traditional linear perspective and
avoided the clarity of form that had previously served to distinguish the more
important elements of a picture from the lesser ones. For this reason, many critics
faulted Impressionist paintings for their unfinished appearance and seemingly
amateurish quality.
Picking up on the ideas of Gustave Courbet, the Impressionists aimed to be
painters of the real – they aimed to extend the possible subjects for paintings.
Getting away from depictions of idealized forms and perfect symmetry, but rather
concentrating on the world as they saw it, imperfect in a myriad number of ways.
At the time, there were many ideas of what constituted modernity. Part of the
Impressionist idea was to capture a split second of life, an ephemeral moment in
time on the canvas: the impression.
Scientific thought at the time was beginning to recognize that what the
eye perceived and what the brain understood were two different things. The
Impressionists sought to capture the former – the optical effects of light – to
convey the passage of time, changes in weather, and other shifts in the atmosphere
in their canvases. Their art did not necessarily rely on realistic depictions.
Impressionism records the effects of the massive mid-nineteenth-century
renovation of Paris led by civic planner Georges-Eugène Haussmann, which
included the city’s newly constructed railway stations; wide, tree-lined boulevards
that replaced the formerly narrow, crowded streets; and large, deluxe apartment
buildings. The works that focused on scenes of public leisure – especially scenes
of cafés and cabarets – conveyed the new sense of alienation experienced by the
inhabitants of the first modern metropolis.
II. Give the Russian equivalents.
Originator, government-sanctioned exhibition, sensory effect of a scene,
loosen, amateurish quality, renovation, unfinished appearance.
III. Give the English equivalents.
Распространять влияние, институты академического искусства, линейная перспектива, различать, эфемерный момент, оптический эффект,
IV. Answer the following questions.
1. When did Impressionism develop?
2. Why did Impressionism appear?
3. What effect did Impressionists try to appear?
4. What new did Impressionism bring to the art?
5. What did Impressionists paint on their pictures?
Lesson 3. Surrealism
I. Read and memorize the following words and word combinations:
adherent – приверженец, последователь
irreverent – непочтительный, неуважительный, дерзкий
molten – яркий
aspiration – стремление, сильное желание
juxtaposition – соприкосновение, наложение, наслоение
cab – такси
rig – оснащать, приготовить
rear – ягодицы
disband – распускать, рассеивать
II. Read and translate the following text.
Surrealism sprang up in Paris and became embedded in the avant-garde art
world (of which Paris was still the world centre). During the 1930s, some adherents
left the movement, while others joined. Then, during the war, many members
fled to America where they had a significant impact on US contemporary art,
before returning to Paris in the late 1940s early 1950s.
Seeing themselves as revolutionaries in the spirit of Dada, surrealists were
attracted by the liberating philosophies of socialism and communism – with
whom they tried unsuccessfully to form an alliance – and by Soviet-style
organizational structures. They issued their first manifesto in 1924 and, at the
same time, founded a Bureau of surrealist Research, as well as an irreverent,
scandalous journal called La Révolution Surréaliste (1924-9). Most of the early
discussions, interchanges and pooling of ideas took place in cafes. Although
principally literary to begin with, the movement quickly expanded into the visual
arts (Breton courted Picasso assiduously, to no avail), and its first painting show –
La Peinture Surrealiste – was staged at Gallerie Pierre in 1925. A year later, a
new Galerie Surréaliste opened with an exhibition by the photographer Man
Ray. The movement continued to thrive in Paris during the late 1920s, becoming
the dominant school among the city›s avant-garde in all arts disciplines.
The most memorable pictures were produced by Salvador Dali and Rene
Magritte, who between them did much to establish the visual style of Surrealism
between 1930 and 1935, a style which aimed to explore psychological truth
by detaching ordinary objects from their normal context in order to create a
compelling image. Dali’s melting watches (e.g. in «The Persistence of Memory»),
along with Yves Tanguy’s molten forms and liquid shapes (e.g. in «Promontory
Palace»), became recognizable trademarks of the new style. Although its
philosophical and cerebral aspirations may not have been grasped, its pictorial
images captured the public imagination, and its strange juxtapositions, and
dream imagery found its way into everything from fine art, photography and
film, to high fashion design, to advertising, and applied art (e.g. Dali’s lobster
telephone and Mae West lips sofa; and Méret Oppenheim’s fur-covered tea
cup). The same desire for glamour and escapism during the 1930s that led to the
popularity of Art Deco also drew the public to Surrealism.
The London International Surrealist Exhibition, organised by the art
historian Herbert Read in 1936, represented the zenith of Surrealism›s reputation
and influence. During the same year, New York›s Museum of Modern Art hosted
a major show entitled «Fantastic Art, Dada and Surrealism». The last great 30s
show, the International Surrealist Exhibition (designed by Marcel Duchamp),
was held in 1938, at the Beaux-Arts Gallery in Paris. At the entrance visitors in
evening dress were greeted by the sight of Dali’s Rainy Taxi (an old cab, rigged
to produce a steady drizzle of water down the inside of the windows, containing
a figure with a shark›s head in the driver›s seat and a blond mannequin alive with
live snails in the rear). Inside, the lobby was decorated like the interior of a dark
cave, with over one thousand bags of coal hanging from the ceiling, lit by a single
light bulb. Patrons had to be given flashlights to view the exhibits. On the floor
was a carpet of dead leaves, and other plant-life. Not surprisingly, visitors were
scandalized – much to the glee of the organizers.
There is no clear agreement between art critics or historians about the end
of Surrealism. Some art experts consider that it disbanded after the war; others
cite the death of André Breton in 1966 (or that of Salvador Dali in 1989) as
marking the end of Surrealism as an organized movement. Whatever about its
demise, Surrealism as a style was (and still is) immensely popular with the art
public. Recent exhibitions of Surrealism have been hosted in New York City by
The Guggenheim Museum and The Met (1999, 2002), while in 2001 the Tate
Modern in London held an exhibition of surrealist art that drew 170,000 visitors.
This was followed in Europe by a packed show – «La Révolution Surréaliste» –
at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.
III. Give the Russian equivalents.
Significant impact, organizational structure, pooling of ideas, city’s avantgarde, memorable pictures, dream imagery, drizzle of water, the glee of the
organizers, packed show.
IV. Answer the following questions.
1. When did Surrealism appear?
2. Who was the famous painter of Surrealism?
3. What was the main idea of Surrealism?
4. Why is Surrealism so popular nowadays?
5. Name the famous work of Surrealism.
Module I. THE BASIC CONCEPTS OF CULTUROLOGY.......................................3
UNIT 1. CULTUROLOGY AS A SCIENCE................................................................3
Lesson 1. The science of culture...................................................................................3
Lesson 2. What is culture?............................................................................................
UNIT 2. THE PRIMITIVE CULTURE........................................................................6
Lesson 1. Primitive Societies........................................................................................6
Lesson 2. The Culture of Primitive Society..................................................................8
UNIT 3. THE CULTURE OF THE ANCIENT ORIENT............................................. 10
Lesson 1. The Ancient Оrient....................................................................................... 10
Lesson 2. The Sumerian culture.................................................................................... 12
Lesson 3. The mystery of Sumerians ........................................................................... 13
UNIT 4. THE CULTURE OF ANTIQUE PERIOD..................................................... 15
Lesson 1. The Ancient Rome........................................................................................ 15
Lesson 2. Olympic games in ancient Greece................................................................ 17
Lesson 3. Was Alexander the Great really great?......................................................... 18
Lesson 4. Ancient Greece: The Birthplace of Western Individualism..........................20
UNIT 5. THE CULTURE OF MIDDLE AGES...........................................................22
Lesson 1. The Medieval Culture...................................................................................22
Lesson 2. The Medieval Times.....................................................................................25
Lesson 3. Art, Education and Culture of the Middle Ages...........................................26
UNIT 6. THE MEDIEVAL ASIAN CULTURE........................................................... 27
Lesson 1. The Medieval Asia ....................................................................................... 27
Lesson 2. Women’s Status in Medieval Japan..............................................................28
Literature and the Arts..................................................................................................28
Lesson 3. China in the Middle Ages............................................................................. 29
UNIT 7. THE CULTURE OF THE RENAISSANCE PERIOD..................................32
Lesson 1. The Renaissance in Italy...............................................................................32
Lesson 2. Another way thinking of the Renaissance....................................................33
Lesson 3. The epoch of Henry VIII..............................................................................36
Lesson 4. Raphael......................................................................................................... 37
UNIT 8. THE MODERN CULTURE...........................................................................38
Lesson 1. Empire Style.................................................................................................38
Lesson 2. Impressionism............................................................................................... 39
Lesson 3. Surrealism..................................................................................................... 41
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