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Answer the questions in connection with the text “Thre Ancient Civilizations”
1. What society can be called a “civilization”?
2. What ancient civilizations apart from those mentioned in the text do you know?
3. What great inventions weremade in the ancient Nеаr East?
4. Why can Ancient Egypt be called the “land of wonders”?
5. How did it happen that nowadays we can see a lot of these wonders with our own eyes?
6. What were people in Ancient Egypt especially skilled at?
7. Why was the Nile so important for the country?
8. What was a city-state in Ancient Greece like?
9. Were there any Grttk city-states on the Black Sea coast?
10. In what way did the ancient political, artistic and philosophical ideas influence Western civilization? Can you give examples?
11. The text mentions the myth of Achilles’ heel. What other myths can you remember? Do the names of Prometheus or Hercules say anything to you?
12. What do you know about the Trojan War? What do you about the Wooden Horse of Troy?
13. Who described the Trojan War? In what book?
14. Into what parts of world did ancient Romans expand their power?
15. What do you know about the Roman presence in the British Isles?
16. How did it happen that Julius Caesar became “dictator for life”?
17. Who said “You too, Brutus!” and on what ossacion?
18. What brought the Roman Empire to ruin?
Lesson 4. Early Americas.
There were many Indian cultures in North and South America. Most cultures in North and South America Most cultures north of the Rio Grande (now the border between Mexico and the United States) were based on hunting, fishing, and food gathering and did not develop cities. South of the Rio Grande, two major civilizations in addition to that of the Incas developed - that of the .Mayas and that of the Aztecs. Archeologists believe that people have been living in the Americas probably came from Asia in many separate migrations over a long period of time.
They may have come over the Bering Strait between Siberia and Alaska. The prehistoric people of the Americas had fire, stone tools, skin clothing, and the domesticated dog. Most of them had the domesticated dog. Most of them lived as hunters or gatherers. During the centuries before the coming of the Europeans, descendants of these people settled in North and South America.
Most evidence indicates that the American Indians were isolated from the civilizations of the Old World. Perhaps as early as 7000 B.C, some Indians learned to grow crops. As time passed, the people developed new varieties of plant life. The most important of these was com, which was developed about 3000 B.C, in Central America. Com became as important in the Western Hemisphere as wheat was in the Eastern Hemisphere. Fanning made it possible for people in America to settle in communities, to develop such skills as weaving and pottery making, and to up a division of labour. These skills spread slowly throughout the Americas.
As people everywhere had done, the Indians of North America learned to live with their environment. Since the climate and geography of the huge North American continents so varied, Indians in different parts of the continent developed different cultures.
Eskimos lived in the frozen lands of the extreme north. The short growing season made it impossible to grow crops. Instead, the Eskimos fished and hunted for food, particularly walrus, whales, seals, small fish, and caribou. They used the bone and ivory of some of these animals to make tools such as needles, knives, fishhooks, and harpoons. With the skins they made clothing and tents. They also learned to build houses out of snow and ice. Eskimos lived in small family groups and never needed to develop a central government. The resources of the extreme north were not great enough to support a large, centralized population.
Farther south, in a heavily forested area that reached from southern Alaska to the present state of Washington, lived the North Pacific coast Indians. Like the Eskimos, they hunted and fished for food. But they also gathered wild berries from the forest. And, unlike the Eskimos, these Indians lived in villages. From the many woods available in the forest, they built wooden houses.
In front of their home, each family put up a totem pole. These wooden poles were carved with the figures of an animal whose spirit was considered special to the family. The totems identified families as belonging to the Beaver people, the Bear people, and so on. Strangers with the same totem were always welcome. North Pacific tribes were divided into nobles, common people, and slaves, whom they captured from other tribes. One important custom of the nobles was a ceremony called potlatch. On major occasions, particularly those marking events in their children’s lives, such as the day a daughter gathered her first berries, noble families would give a great feast At the feast the family would give away its most prized and beautiful possessions because it was considered a greater virtue “ to give rather than to receive.”
In the eastern part of the continent in the northeast woodlands, the Indians were not only hunters but also farmers. They lived in villages and built long, oval-shaped houses called wigwams out of poles covered with bark and skins. Beginning about 500 B.C, the Mayan Indians developed a high culture located chiefly in the peninsula of Yucatan (presently-day south-eastern Mexico, Belize and Guatemala). By 1 A.D., the Mayas had writing, a system of numbers, and a very accurate calendar. During this time, the Mayas built several cities and perfected their arts, science, and learning. Then, in the 800s, the people began to abandon these centers. Why they left their cities remains a mystery.
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