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魅力无限的世界十大古都 Ancient Capital

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Ten fascinating Ancient Capital Cities

1.Rome
It's impossible to stroll through modern Rome and not bump into reminders of its ancient past. The Forum, the Colosseum and the Pantheon, just to name a few, are lasting testaments to the capital of an empire once made up of 2.5 million square miles, three continents and about 100 million people. The empire reached its zenith in 117 AD, when the emperor Trajan ruled from Rome and months-long gladiator games were held to celebrate the city's glory.

古罗马
即便徜徉在现代的罗马城里,你也无法不被它的历史遗迹所震撼。古罗马广场、圆形大剧场和万神殿都是古罗马曾经风光无限的有力证据。这座曾经占地 250万平方英里的都城由3块陆地组成,人口达到1亿。公元117年罗马帝国盛极一时,罗马皇帝图拉真曾举行长达数月的格斗表演以庆祝帝国的辉煌。


2.Athens
Democracy, math, philosophy, the Olympics…what didn't come out of Athens, the ethereal capital of ancient Greece? Athens fought long and hard, in conflicts on the sea and on land, to become leader of all Aegean city-states by the early 5th century BC. It celebrated its victories by building great temples like the Parthenon, the iconic symbol of art and architecture in ancient Greece. A plague—likely typhoid fever—contributed to the empire’s fall.

雅典
民主政治、数学、哲学、奥林匹克……还有什么辉煌成就不是出自古希腊首都雅典的呢?公元前5世纪,雅典经过海洋和陆地长期艰苦的征战成为爱琴海霸主。为庆祝胜利,雅典修建了帕台农等伟大的神庙,是祭祀女神雅典娜的主要神庙。


3.Constantinople
Today it’s shared by two continents as the Turkish city of Istanbul, but ancient Constantinople never once had to share the spotlight after Rome fell from grace in the 4th century AD. From that date through the Middle Ages, Constantinople was the world’s largest and richest city, becoming the center of the new Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire and finally the Ottoman Empire. Art and learning flourished in its universities and cathedrals, including the spectacular Hagia Sophia.

君士坦丁堡
君士坦丁堡就是现在的土耳其城市伊斯坦布尔。它曾是世界上最大最富裕的城市,曾是拜占庭帝国和后来土耳其帝国的中心。君士坦丁堡的艺术和文化教育在当时的学校和教堂相当兴盛。


4. Babylon
Famous for its “wondrous” hanging gardens, the ancient Mesopotamian city of Babylon had as turbulent a history as its location in present-day Iraq suggests. Everyone from the ancient Assyrians to Alexander the Great wanted to get their hands on this strategic location, and it would become the capital for many ruling groups over a period of several thousand years. King Nebuchadnezzar II, creator of the gardens, led the city during its splendid architectural heyday around 600 BC.

巴比伦
古巴比伦位于今伊拉克共和国境内。这座美索不达米亚平原孕育出来的城市因其令人惊叹的空中花园而世界闻名。从古亚述人到亚历山大大帝都试图染指这一重要的战略要地。数千年来,它也一直被众多统治者定为首都。大约公元前600年,古巴比伦国王尼布甲尼撒二世占领耶路撒冷,建空中花园,创造了巴比伦在建筑学上的辉煌历史。


5.Cuzco
All roads in the Incan empire once lead to Cuzco, bustling capital in the Andes Mountains from the early 1400s until its discovery by European explorers in 1532. To retreat from the big city, Incan kings would head to their summer home of Machu Picchu further up in the mountains.

库斯科
库斯科位于秘鲁安第斯山脉。在印加帝国时期,所有的道路都可以通向这里,它曾是印加帝国的君主在夏季的避暑胜地。1532年,欧洲探险者发现了它。


6.Tenochtitlan
Legend—and bits and pieces of historical fact—indicates that Tenochtitlan was once the world’s biggest and most beautiful city. The capital of the great Aztec empire, which eventually morphed into today’s Mexico City, had about 300,000 inhabitants when Spanish conquistadors arrived in 1521. Despite being built atop a lake according to the wishes of an important Aztec deity, ancient engineers made Tenochtitlan as efficient as any city in Europe with a complex system of causeways and canals.

特诺奇蒂特兰
各种传说和历史资料都表明特诺奇蒂特兰曾是世界上最大、最美丽的城市。特诺奇蒂特兰在历史上曾是伟大的阿兹特克帝国(即现在的墨西哥城)的首都。1521年西班牙征服者到达该地时,这里曾有大约30万人口。尽管传说特诺奇蒂特兰建于一座湖泊之上是因为一位重要的阿兹特克神灵的祝福,古代建筑师为该城建造的复杂的堤道和排水系统让它和欧洲任何一座先进的城市媲美。


7.Thebes
Most people think of Cairo and the Great Pyramids when they think of ancient Egypt, but the heartbeat of the magical pharaonic dynasties actually beat much further up the Nile at Thebes. Thebes was the ruling capital of ancient Egypt during its most dominant eras, beginning with the Old Kingdom 4500 years ago, and is home to two of its most revered temples at Karnak and Luxor. Most of Egypt’s holy rulers are also buried nearby in the famous Valley of the Kings.

底比斯
大部分人提到古埃及时就会想起开罗和金字塔,但在古埃及更为有名的还数都城底比斯。从4500年前的埃及古王国开始时,底比斯就被古埃及大多数重要的朝代定为首都。这里有令人敬畏的卡尔奈克和卢克斯特神殿,附近的国王谷是古埃及大多数统治者的安葬地。


8.Great Zimbabwe
At 1,800 acres in breadth and the only one of its kind in Africa, the complex of Great Zimbabwe confounded early European colonialists, who couldn’t believe that sub-Saharan peoples were capable of its creation. They were, in fact, and built the complicated structures sometime after 1200 AD, when a wide-reaching empire of about 20,000 Shona cattlemen ruled the area.

大津巴布韦
占地1800英亩的大津巴布韦曾是非洲独一无二的都城。早期欧洲殖民主义者见到它后大吃一惊,他们不相信撒哈拉沙漠以南的人民有能力建成如此先进的城市,但这是事实。在公元1200年后,有2万人口的修纳人王国占领该地后建造了这种都城。


9.Xi’an
The Chinese city of Xi’an was the central stronghold for all of the country’s most important ancient dynasties going back 3,000 years. Tourists flocking to see the city’s Terra Cotta Army, 6,000 unique and life-size statues buried to protect the tomb of the great Zhou emperor Qin Shi Huang, has made Xi’an famous in modern times. That will only multiply when the emperor’s sprawling mausoleum, rumored to hold invaluable treasures and rivers of mercury, is finally opened by archaeologists.

西安
3000年前,长安是中国最重要的古代王朝的核心要塞。秦始皇陵中埋藏着多达6000种世界上独一无二的与真人一般大小的兵马俑让如今的西安蜚声世界。据猜测,秦始皇的墓中除了埋藏着无价之宝外,还有用水银做成的江河。


10.Cahokia
With upwards of 30,000 inhabitants at its peak in about 1100 AD, Cahokia, Illinois remained North America’s first and biggest real city until the Northeast’s population exploded in the late 18th century. This urban center of the Mississippi culture had organized leadership, commerce and a penchant for mound-building. Monk’s Mound, the largest at 100 feet tall, dominates the site and was probably a mighty foundation for the home of the resident spiritual leader.

卡霍基亚
在公元1100年左右,美国伊利诺斯州的卡霍基亚都城居民一度达到了3万人。在18世纪末北美东北部人口大爆炸前,卡霍基亚一直是北美地区第一座、最大的真正意义上的城市。这座密西西比河流域的文化中心曾经出现过井然有序的社会、繁荣的商业并修建堤坝。其中的僧侣堤坝高100英尺,在城中居高临下,它很可能曾被掌权者用来作为建造居所的地基。

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