TPO 30

  Reading passage

  。。。。A little over 2,200 years ago, the Roman navy attacked the Greek port city of Syracuse. According to some ancient historians, the Greeks defended themselves with an ingenious weapon called a 。ーburning mirror。ア: a polished copper surface curved to focus the Sun’s rays onto Roman ships, causing them to catch fire. However, we have several reasons to suspect that the story of the burning mirror is just a myth and the Greeks of Syracuse never rally built such a device.

  。。。。First, the ancient Greeks were not technologically advanced enough to make such a device. A mirror that would focus sunlight with sufficient intensity to set ships on fire would have to be several meters wide. Moreover, the mirror would have to have a very precise parabolic curvature (a curvature derived from a geometric shape known as the parabola). The technology for manufacturing a large sheet of copper with such specifications did not exist in the ancient world.

  。。。。Second, the burning mirror would have taken a long time to set the ships on fire. In an experiment conducted to determine whether a burning mirror was feasible, a device concentrating the Sun。ッs rays on a wooden object 30 meters away took ten minutes to set the object on fire; and during that time, the object had to be unmoving. It is unlikely that Roman ships stayed perfectly still for that much time, Such a weapon would therefore have been very impractical and ineffective.

  Third, a burning mirror does not seem like an improvement on a weapon that the Greeks already had: flaming arrows. Shooting at an enemy。ッs ships with flaming arrows was a common way of setting the ships on fire. The burning mirror and flaming arrows would have been effective at about the same distance. So the Greeks had no reason to build a weapon like a burning mirror.

  Listening script

  The claims that the burning mirror would have been impractical and technologically impossible are unconvincing.
First, the Greeks did not need to form a single sheet of copper to make a large, burning mirror. An experiment has shown that dozens of small individually flat pieces of polished copper could be arranged into a parabolic shape and form a large, burning mirror. The Greek mathematicians know the properties of the parabola and so could have directed the assembly of small mirror pieces into the parabolic shape. Second, about how long it would take to set a ship on fire with a burning mirror. The experiment the reading selection mentions assumes that the burning mirror was used to set the wood of the boat on fire, that’s what takes ten minutes. But Roman boats were not made just of wood. There were other materials involved as well. For example, to seal the spaces between wooden boards and make them waterproof, the ancient boat-builders used a sticky substance called pitch. Pitch catches fire quickly. An experiment showed that pitch could be set on fire by a burning mirror in seconds. And once the pitch was burning, the fire would spread to the wood even if the ship was moving. So a burning mirror could have worked quickly enough to be an effective weapon.

  Third, why bother with a burning mirror instead of flaming arrows? Well, Roman soldiers were familiar with flaming arrows ans would have been watching for them and were ready to put out the fires they might cause. But you cannot see the burning rays from a mirror. You just see the mirror. But then suddenly and magically a fire starts at some unobserved place on the ship, that would have been much more surprising and therefore much more effective than a flame arrow.

  Sample answer」コ

  In the reading material, the author raises three strong arguments to cast doubt on the existence of a“burning mirror” in ancient Greek port city. However, the lecturer states that the burning mirror might have once appeared in history by refuting the writer’s arguments one by one.

  First, the author argues that it was technologically impossible to build such a tremendous mirror by a single sheet of copper in ancient Greece. Yet the speaker shows by experiment that dozens of small polished copper may do the same job efficiently and Greek mathematicians were excellent enough to accomplish it perfectly.

  Besides, in view of the author, it might take a long time for the burning mirror to set a wooden ship on fire and the enemy would not be stupid to stay still for ten minutes. The lecturer, however, points out that ancient warships were not built by wood only. A special material called pitch was used to fill the spaces between and pitch catches fire quickly. Thus it was possible for a burning mirror to burn the pitch first then the ship. In this way could a burning mirror be an effective weapon.

  Lastly, the author argues that the burning mirror is less effective and flexible than flaming arrows. Thus ancient Greek would not have bothered to devote much effort to build such a useless weapon. Nonetheless, the lecturer argues that since flaming arrows were usual weapons used so much, Roman soldiers were familiar with them and knew how to protect the ship from burning by flaming arrows. But on the other hand, it was extremely hard to predict where the burning mirror would fire the ship. Thus, it was more effective to use a burning mirror than flaming arrows.

  一、阅读听力要点概括

  Reading Passage

  There are several reasons to suspect that the story of the burning mirror is just a myth and the Greeks of Syracuse never rally built such a device.

  1. First, the National Geographic Society put together a committee that was instructed to conduct a thorough investigation of Peary’s records and equipment.

  2. Second, a recent expedition performed by Avery under the similar conditions provides support for Peary’s claim that he reached the North Pole in only 37 days

  3. The Sun’s position established from the photographs corresponds exactly to the Surf s position as it should have been at the North Pole on that day.

  Lecture

  1. The committee was not completely objective due to the fact that it was composed of Peary’s close friend who funded the trip and it was not careful during the investigation.

  2. Avery’s food was dropped along the way by airplane but not transported on the sled. Avery encountered highly favorable weather conditions, unlike Peary who travelled in very unfavorable conditions.

  3. Peary’s pictures were photographed a hundred years ago using a primitive camera that took fuzzy, slightly unfocused photographs. Moreover, the photos have become faded and worn over time. Without a precise measurement of the shadows, we cannot establish the Sun’s exact position.

  二、范文逐段赏析

  Paragraph 1

  In the reading material, the author raises three strong arguments to cast doubt on the existence of a“burning mirror” in ancient Greek port city. However, the lecturer states that the burning mirror might have once appeared in history by refuting the writer’s arguments one by one.

  此段功能

  概括了阅读材料中的观点,怀疑burning mirror并没有在古希腊港口城市存在过。然后提出了演讲中的反对观点,即burning mirror在历史上出现过,为下文的论述做好了铺垫。

  此段结构

  此段是并列结构,分别陈述了文章及演讲中的观点。

  Paragraph 2

  First, the author argues that it was technologically impossible to build such a tremendous mirror by a single sheet of copper in ancient Greece. Yet the speaker shows by experiment that dozens of small polished copper may do the same job efficiently and Greek mathematicians were excellent enough to accomplish it perfectly.

  此段功能

  此段提出了阅读材料中的第一个观点,认为在古希腊,技术水平不足以成熟到可以只使用一片铜板就制造这样的镜子。然而演讲者通过实验证明,通过多片打磨好的铜板也可以高效地制成这样的镜子,而古希腊工匠已经有技术完成这样的工作了。以此来反驳文章的观点。

  此段结构

  此段从正反两个方面进行对比陈述,采用的是并列结构。

  Paragraph 3

  Besides, in view of the author, it might take a long time for the burning mirror to set a wooden ship on fire and the enemy would not be stupid to stay still for ten minutes. The lecturer, however, points out that ancient warships were not built by wood only. A special material called pitch was used to fill the spaces between and pitch catches fire quickly. Thus it was possible for a burning mirror to burn the pitch first then the ship. In this way could a burning mirror be an effective weapon.

  此段功能

  此段提出了阅读材料中的第二个观点,认为想要通过铜镜子来使木船着火需要较长的时间,而此时敌人可能早已逃走。演讲者则反驳道,古希腊的船并不完全是由木头制成,一种叫pitch的材质填充其中而且非常易燃。这样的话铜镜可以先引燃pitch进而引燃整个船,而且速度很快。

  此段结构

  此段是并列结构,分别陈述了文章及演讲中的观点。

  Paragraph 4

  Lastly, the author argues that the burning mirror is less effective and flexible than flaming arrows. Thus ancient Greek would not have bothered to devote much effort to build such a useless weapon. Nonetheless, the lecturer argues that since flaming arrows were usual weapons used so much, Roman soldiers were familiar with them and knew how to protect the ship from burning by flaming arrows. But on the other hand, it was extremely hard to predict where the burning mirror would fire the ship. Thus, it was more effective to use a burning mirror than flaming arrows.

  此段功能

  此段提出阅读材料中的第三个观点,认为铜镜没有带火的箭更行之有效。所以古希腊不会花费巨大精力去做此铜镜。但是演讲者反驳道正因为带火的箭非常常用,罗马士兵对此可以防范,所以古希腊才更会发明铜镜作为武器。

  此段结构

  此段还是并列结构,先陈述材料中的观点,然后对比了演讲者的论证。

  三、范文全篇总评

  1、逻辑结构

  全文采用总分的结构,在首段提出了文章与演讲各自的观点以及争论的焦点,在接下来的三段分三个方面分别进行了论证反驳。

  2、语言表达

  文章中这个长句值得学习。

  It is a commendable analysis from the reading that when professors appear on television, the public that usually has no chance of meeting such learned people then benefits because it manages to interact with the professors.

  这个句子的主干是It is a…analysis that…而在这个that从句中,又套着when引导的时间状语从句,that引导的定语从句修饰 the public,以及because引导的原因状语从句。

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