Ancient Greece * Текст для чтения

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The ancient Greeks built one of the greatest civilisations in the world. It began some 4000 years ago when wandering tribes from central Europe came to the land that we now call Greece.

Over the centuries, the Greeks developed their civilisation. Cities were built. Craftsmen made beautiful gold ornaments and bronze weapons. Art, music and poetry flourished. Greeks had many gods, but the greatest was Zeus, king of the gods. The beauty of life in Athens can be seen from the ruins which still remain.

About 2500 years ago the Greeks of Athens set up a new form of government, called democracy, which meant “rule by the people”. All the citizens had a right to say how they were to be ruled. This was an important new idea.

Life in Athens was relaxed. Athenians built fine temples and public buldings. For entertainment, they played flutes and lyres or went to the theatre. Athenians loved to hear stories of great Greek heroes and of their deeds. The greatest of these stories were told by the poet Homer in two poems, called “Iliad” and “Odyssey”.

Athens was only one of a number of city states in Greece. The states often quarrelled. The greatest rival of Athens was Sparta, aqd the two states were very different Sparta was a militarised state, ruled by all-powerful kings. Its people were soldiers and had no use of art, philosophy, or comfortable homes.

The Greeks were very fond of athletics, such as running, disk throwing and wrestling. The first Olympic games, named after the mount of Olympus, home of the Greek gods, took place in 776 BC.

The age of the city states ended in Greece in 338 BC. Then, king Philip of Macedonia brought all of Greece under its rule.

Greek ideas have survived many centuries, and have had great influence on the world. The way we live and think today owes a great deal to the civilisation of ancient Greece.

Слова:

to wander — бродить

wandering — бродячий

tribe — племя

craftsman — ремесленник

flourish — процветать

weapon — средство

ruins — развалины, руины

citizen — гражданин

flute — флейта

lyre — лира (музыкальный инструмент)

deed — подвиг

Athens — Афины

city state — город-государство

rival — соперник

wrestling — спортивная борьба

survive — выживать

to owe — быть должным, быть в долгу

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