The Great Wall
文章来源:未知 文章作者:meng 发布时间:2010-10-19 00:58 字体: [ ]  进入论坛

Brief Introduction

One of the most magnificent ancient military defense1 works in the world.

The construction of the segments(片段) which later made up the Great Wall began during the Spring and Autumn Period and lasted into the Warring States Period (c. 7th century BC-4th century BC). Many feudal2(封建制度的) states built hundreds of li of wall fortifications(防御工事) as boundaries. These unlinked walls were the embryonic3 form of the Great Wall. In 221 BC, Emperor Qin Shihuang ordered the walls of the Qin, Zhao and Yan kingdoms in the north to be linked up and reinforced, after he united China. The extended new wall stretched from Lintao (now Lop Nur in Xinjiang) in the west through Fengsui to the western edge of Xinjiang, with a total length of over 20,000 li. The construction work lasted for over 2,000 years, through such dynasties as the Northern Wei, Northern Qi, Eastern Wei, Northern Zhou, Sui, Liao, Kin4 and Ming.

It was during the Ming Dynasty that the Wall took on its present form. At that time, it stretched some 6,300 km from the Yalujiang River in the east to Jiayuguan Pass in the west, and is known as the Ten Thousand Li Wall. Rammed5 earth(素土夯实) was later replaced by stone, according to the varying physical features of individual sections. Other materials such as planks6(厚木板,支架) were also used. Sometimes mountain ridges7(山脊,山梁) were even taken directly as the body of the wall.

The Great Wall, a product of cultural conflict and convergence, and integration8 of farming and nomadic9(游牧的,流浪的) economies, contributed to promote the economic development of the Central Plains, to unite and stabilize10 the multi-ethnic11 nation, and to secure the free flow of transport along the Silk Road. Though the Wall no longer functions as it used to, it is a monument of ancient Chinese culture and constitutes a wonder of the world, together with Pyramids of Egypt, Colosseum Rome, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and so on.

Cultural Heritage

The Great Wall is a miracle in human history. No other ancient building in the world has been constructed for so long a time, on such a grand scale and at so tremendous a cost. Dr. Sun Yat-sen once commented that the Great Wall is the most famous work in China and a unique and truly marvelous(了不起的,非凡的) sight on earth. Neil Armstrong, the first man who set foot on the moon, reported that, There are only two man-made works that can be identified from space and the moon. One is the Great Wall of China; the other is the dykes12(堤) of Holland. Former U.S. president Nixon said, after he visited the Wall, that only a great nation could build such a great wall. The Wall well deserves its place on the World Heritage List. The Chinese government has attached great importance to tourism, which is supported by wonderful scenery, rich historic sites, and the various cultures and arts of different ethnic minorities.

The Great Wall, both as a cultural relic13(文化遗产) and unique natural landscape, has its special advantages. It has been widely known among domestic and foreign tourists that one is not a true man unless he climbs up the Great Wall (by Mao Zedong, originally referring to his determination to fight against Japanese invaders14 in the north). No one will miss the opportunity to visit it. When the former Prime Minister of the UK Mr. Heath mounted the Wall, he said, The past and future of China boast the same charm. …The Great Wall looks much more spectacular than I've seen in photos, embroideries15(刺绣) or paintings. This just shows the eagerness of tourists to visit the Great Wall. It will stand with China and the world forever.

Body of the Wall

Take the Badaling section for example. The Wall there is on average 7.8 m high and 6.7 m wide, narrowing to 4.5 m on the top in a trapezoidal(梯形的) shape. It was built with slabs16(平板,厚片) and bricks, with rammed earth at the core. At that time, building materials could only be conveyed by porters, simple vehicles, mules17 or goats. It was recorded that it took thousands of people a half year to finish a section 200 m long.

Legends and Stories

There is a legend about Meng Jiangnü, whose husband was conscripted(征兵,入伍) to work on the Wall soon after they got married. When autumn came, Meng Jiangnü worried that her husband would suffer from the cold in the north, so she walked all the way to the construction site of the Great Wall, taking padded clothes which she had made for him. But when she got there, she was told that her husband had already died from exhaustion18 and had been buried at the foot of the Wall. Meng Jiangnü's grief was so bitter that 800 li of the Wall collapsed19, revealing a pit containing piles of skeletons. She couldn't identify her husband among them, and so she threw herself into the sea together with some of them. Later, two rocks in the shape of grave tablets appeared at the spot. A temple named after Meng Jiangnü was built at the foot of the Great Wall to commemorate20 her loyalty21 to her husband.


1 defense AxbxB     
  • The accused has the right to defense.被告人有权获得辩护。
  • The war has impacted the area with military and defense workers.战争使那个地区挤满了军队和防御工程人员。
2 feudal cg1zq     
  • Feudal rulers ruled over the country several thousand years.封建统治者统治这个国家几千年。
  • The feudal system lasted for two thousand years in China.封建制度在中国延续了两千年之久。
3 embryonic 58EyK     
  • It is still in an embryonic stage.它还处于萌芽阶段。
  • The plan,as yet,only exists in embryonic form.这个计划迄今为止还只是在酝酿之中。
4 kin 22Zxv     
  • He comes of good kin.他出身好。
  • She has gone to live with her husband's kin.她住到丈夫的亲戚家里去了。
5 rammed 99b2b7e6fc02f63b92d2b50ea750a532     
v.夯实(土等)( ram的过去式和过去分词 );猛撞;猛压;反复灌输
  • Two passengers were injured when their taxi was rammed from behind by a bus. 公共汽车从后面撞来,出租车上的两位乘客受了伤。
  • I rammed down the earth around the newly-planted tree. 我将新栽的树周围的土捣硬。 来自《简明英汉词典》
6 planks 534a8a63823ed0880db6e2c2bc03ee4a     
(厚)木板( plank的名词复数 ); 政纲条目,政策要点
  • The house was built solidly of rough wooden planks. 这房子是用粗木板牢固地建造的。
  • We sawed the log into planks. 我们把木头锯成了木板。
7 ridges 9198b24606843d31204907681f48436b     
n.脊( ridge的名词复数 );山脊;脊状突起;大气层的)高压脊
  • The path winds along mountain ridges. 峰回路转。
  • Perhaps that was the deepest truth in Ridges's nature. 在里奇斯的思想上,这大概可以算是天经地义第一条了。
8 integration G5Pxk     
  • We are working to bring about closer political integration in the EU.我们正在努力实现欧盟內部更加紧密的政治一体化。
  • This was the greatest event in the annals of European integration.这是欧洲统一史上最重大的事件。
9 nomadic 0H5xx     
  • This tribe still live a nomadic life.这个民族仍然过着游牧生活。
  • The plowing culture and the nomadic culture are two traditional principal cultures in China.农耕文化与游牧文化是我国传统的两大主体文化。
10 stabilize PvuwZ     
  • They are eager to stabilize currencies.他们急于稳定货币。
  • His blood pressure tended to stabilize.他的血压趋向稳定。
11 ethnic jiAz3     
  • This music would sound more ethnic if you played it in steel drums.如果你用钢鼓演奏,这首乐曲将更具民族特色。
  • The plan is likely only to aggravate ethnic frictions.这一方案很有可能只会加剧种族冲突。
12 dykes 47cc5ebe9e62cd1c065e797efec57dde     
abbr.diagonal wire cutters 斜线切割机n.堤( dyke的名词复数 );坝;堰;沟
  • They built dykes and dam to hold back the rising flood waters. 他们修筑了堤坝来阻挡上涨的洪水。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The dykes were built as a protection against the sea. 建筑堤坝是为了防止海水泛滥。 来自《简明英汉词典》
13 relic 4V2xd     
  • This stone axe is a relic of ancient times.这石斧是古代的遗物。
  • He found himself thinking of the man as a relic from the past.他把这个男人看成是过去时代的人物。
14 invaders 5f4b502b53eb551c767b8cce3965af9f     
入侵者,侵略者,侵入物( invader的名词复数 )
  • They prepared to repel the invaders. 他们准备赶走侵略军。
  • The family has traced its ancestry to the Norman invaders. 这个家族将自己的世系追溯到诺曼征服者。
15 embroideries 046e6b786fdbcff8d4c413dc4da90ca8     
刺绣( embroidery的名词复数 ); 刺绣品; 刺绣法
  • Some of the embroideries are in bold, bright colours; others are quietly elegant. 刺绣品有的鲜艳,有的淡雅。
  • These embroideries permitted Annabel and Midge to play their game in the luxury of peaceful consciences. 这样加以润饰,就使安娜博尔和米吉在做这个游戏时心安理得,毫无内疚。
16 slabs df40a4b047507aa67c09fd288db230ac     
n.厚板,平板,厚片( slab的名词复数 );厚胶片
  • The patio was made of stone slabs. 这天井是用石板铺砌而成的。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The slabs of standing stone point roughly toward the invisible notch. 这些矗立的石块,大致指向那个看不见的缺口。 来自辞典例句
17 mules be18bf53ebe6a97854771cdc8bfe67e6     
骡( mule的名词复数 ); 拖鞋; 顽固的人; 越境运毒者
  • The cart was pulled by two mules. 两匹骡子拉这辆大车。
  • She wore tight trousers and high-heeled mules. 她穿紧身裤和拖鞋式高跟鞋。
18 exhaustion OPezL     
  • She slept the sleep of exhaustion.她因疲劳而酣睡。
  • His exhaustion was obvious when he fell asleep standing.他站着睡着了,显然是太累了。
19 collapsed cwWzSG     
  • Jack collapsed in agony on the floor. 杰克十分痛苦地瘫倒在地板上。
  • The roof collapsed under the weight of snow. 房顶在雪的重压下突然坍塌下来。
20 commemorate xbEyN     
  • This building was built to commemorate the Fire of London.这栋大楼是为纪念“伦敦大火”而兴建的。
  • We commemorate the founding of our nation with a public holiday.我们放假一日以庆祝国庆。
21 loyalty gA9xu     
  • She told him the truth from a sense of loyalty.她告诉他真相是出于忠诚。
  • His loyalty to his friends was never in doubt.他对朋友的一片忠心从来没受到怀疑。
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