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托福备考第46天——TPO Extra 1 Reading ②

上一篇:托福备考第45天——TPO Extra 1 Reading ①




      Europe in the eleventh century underwent enormous social, technological, and economic changes, but this did not create a new Europe—it created two new ones. The north was developed as a rigidly hierarchical society in which status was determined, or was at least indicated, by the extent to which one owned, controlled, or labored on land; whereas the Mediterranean south developed a more fluid, and therefore more chaotic, world in which industry and commerce predominated and social status both reflected and resulted from the role that one played in the public life of the community. In other words, individual identity and social community in the north were established on a personal basis, whereas in the south they were established on a civic basis. By the start of the twelfth century, northern and southern Europe were very different places indeed, and the Europeans themselves noticed it and commented on it.

      Political dominance belonged to the north. Germany, France, and England had large populations and large armies that made them, in the political and military senses, the masters of Western Europe. Organized by the practices known collectively as feudalism(1), these kingdoms emerged as powerful states with sophisticated machineries of government. Their kings and queens were the leading figures of the age; their castles and cathedrals stood majestically on the landscape as symbols of their might; their armies both energized and defined the age. Moreover, feudal society showed a remarkable ability to adapt to new needs by encouraging the parallel development of domestic urban life and commercial networks; in some regions of the north, in fact, feudal society may even have developed in response to the start of the trends toward bigger cities. But southern Europe took the lead in economic and cultural life. Though the leading Mediterranean states were small in size, they were considerably wealthier than their northern counterparts. The Italian city of Palermo in the twelfth century, for example, alone generated four times the commercial tax revenue of the entire kingdom of England. Southern communities also possessed urbane, multilingual cultures that made them the intellectual and artistic leaders of the age. Levels of general literacy in the south far surpassed those of the north, and the people of the south put that learning to use on a large scale. Science, mathematics, poetry, law, historical writing, religious speculation, translation, and classical studies all began to flourish; throughout most of the twelfth century, most of the continent's best brains flocked to the southern Europe.

      So too did a lot of the north's soldiers. One of the central themes of the political history of the twelfth century was the continual effort by the northern kingdoms to extend their control southward in the hope of tapping into the Mediterranean bonanza. The German emperors starting with Otto I (936-973), for example, struggled ceaselessly to establish their control over the cities of northern Italy, since those cities generated more revenue than all of rural Germany combined. The kings of France used every means at their disposal to push the lower border of their kingdom to the Mediterranean shoreline. And the Normans who conquered and ruled England established outposts of Norman power in Sicily and the adjacent lands of southern Italy; the English kings also hoped or claimed at various times to be, either through money or marriage diplomacy, the rulers of several Mediterranean states. But as the northern world pressed southward, so too did some of the cultural norms and social mechanisms of the south expand northward. Over the course of the twelfth century, the feudal kingdoms witnessed a proliferation of cities modeled in large degree on those of the south. Contact with the merchants and financiers of the Mediterranean led to the development of northern industry and international trade (which helped to pay for many of the castles and cathedrals mentioned earlier). And education spread as well, culminating in the foundation of what is arguably medieval Europe's greatest invention: the university. The relationship of north and south was symbiotic, in other words, and the contrast between them was more one of differences in degree than of polar opposition.

      1. Feudalism: a political and economic system based on the relationship of a lord to people of lower status, who owed service and/or goods to the lord in exchange for the use of land.









第一题解析,rigidly的closest meaning居然是strictly,




第二题做错了是因为没有注意到in northen Europe,甚至都没看清楚题目。

第三题问的是Mediterranean Sea,其实问的是南方社会,


第四题,counterparts 职位(或作用)相当的人;对应的事物 做错了直接是因为counter,以为和反驳有关,其实不是。


  • 词汇题最好带入原文看一下


  • rigidly 死板的;僵硬的;固执的;僵化的;一成不变的;坚硬的;不弯曲的;僵直的
  • hierarchical 按等级划分的;等级制度的
  • fluid 流体;流畅
  • chaotic 混乱的
  • labored (跟“劳作”相关,有“受雇用”的一层含义在里面)
  • predominated (数量上)占优势;以…为主;占主导地位
  • personal basis 个人基础
  • civic basis 公民基础
  • commented 评论
  • counterparts 职位(或作用)相当的人;对应的事物
  • equivalents 等价物
  • Political dominance 政治统治
  • feudalism 封建主义
  • sophisticated 复杂的
  • cathedrals 大教堂
  • majestically 庄严地
  • feudal society 封建社会
  • Italian city of Palermo 意大利巴勒莫市
  • urbane 温文儒雅的;练达的;从容不迫的
  • cultivated 有教养的;有修养的; 种植;栽培;
  • multilingual 多种语言
  • literacy 识字
  • surpassed 超过
  • religious speculation 宗教投机
  • speculation 推测;猜测;推断;投机买卖;炒股
  • flourish 繁荣
  • continual 不间断的;(令人厌烦地)多次重复的,频繁的;
  • revenue 财政收入  
  • rural 乡村的;农村的;似农村的
  • disposal 去掉;清除;处理;(企业、财产等的)变卖,让与
  • outposts 前哨;偏远村镇;孤零住区
  • Sicily 西西里岛  
  • adjacent  相邻 
  • diplomacy 外交
  • norms 规范
  • proliferation 增殖
  • merchants 商人
  • financiers 金融家
  • culminating 达到顶点  
  • medieval 中世纪
  • symbiotic 互利共生的
  • polar opposition 极性对立
  • arguably 可以说;(常用于形容词比较级或最高级前)可论证地,按理
  • contrast 对比;对照;


  • rigidly hierarchical society 等级森严的社会
  • Mediterranean 地中海 
  • sophisticated machineries of government 复杂的政府机构
  • began to flourish 开始蓬勃发展
  • flocked to 蜂拥而至
  • tapping into



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This article was last edited at 2021-03-10 19:42:22

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