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198


11INTRODUCTORY LECTURE

Physical Features

Plan:

  1. Geographical survey [`sз:vei] – обзор.

  2. Climate and Nature.

  1. Geographical survey.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is situated on the British Isles [`ailz] – a large group of islands lying off the north-western coasts of Europe and separated from the continent by the English Channel and the Strait of Dover [`douvз] in the south and the North Sea in the east.

The British Isles consist of two large islands – Great Britain and Ireland, and a lot of small islands, the main of which are the Isle of Wight [wait] in the English Channel, Anglesea [`æŋglsi:] and the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea, the Hebrides [`hebridi:z] – a group of islands off the north-western coast of Scotland, and two groups of islands lying to the north of Scotland: the Orkney [`o:kni] Islands and the Shetland [`∫etlзnd] Islands.

Historically the territory of the United Kingdom is divided into four parts: England, Scotland (including the Orkney and Shetland Islands), Wales and Northern Ireland. The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands between Great Britain and France are largely self-governing, and are not part of the United Kingdom.

The total area of the United Kingdom is 242. 000 square kilometres.

The main areas of high land are in Scotland, Wales and Cumbria [`kλmbriз]. In the centre of England there is a range of hills called Pennines [`penainz], which are also known as the “backbone of England”. Nearly the whole of Wales is occupied by the Cumbrians [`kλmbriзnz]. The highest mountains are in Scotland and Wales: Ben Nevis is 1. 343 metres and Snowdon [`snowdon] is 1. 085 meters.

The rivers of Britain are short, the water level in them is always high. The rivers seldom freeze in winter. Many of them are joined together by canals [kз`nælz]. This system of rivers and canals provided a good means of cheap inland water transport.

The most important rivers are the Severn [`sevзn], the Thames, the Tyne [tain], the Trent [trent], the Mersey [`mз:zi] and the Clyde [klaid].

British lakes are rather small and have no outlets. They afford [з`fo:d] limited ,eco`nomic possibilities in the system of navigable [`nævigзbl] water ways. But most of them are famous for their unique beauty and picturesque surroundings.

Great Britain is rich in coal. There are rich coal basins [`beisnz] in Northumberland [no:θλmbзlзnd], Lancashire [`læŋkз∫iз], Yorkshire [`jo:kiз], Nottinghamshire [`notiŋæmiз], South Wales, North Wales and near Glasgow. Among other mineral resources there is iron, tin (олово), copper [`kopз] and silver.

  1. Climate and Nature.

Great Britain is situated in the temperate [`temprit] zone of Europe. The nature of Great Britain is greatly affected by the sea: there is no place situated more than 100–120 km from the seashore, in the northern parts only 40–60 km.

The climate is generally mild and temperate. Prevailing winds are south-westerly and as these winds blow from the Atlantic they are mild in winter and cool in summer. Due to the prevalence [`prevзlзns] of mild south-west winds and the Gulf Stream, which flows from the Gulf of Mexico, Great Britain has warmer winters than any other `district in the same latitude.

The mild winters mean that snow is a regular feature of the higher areas only. Occasionally, a whole winter goes by in lower-lying parts without any snow at all.

The popular belief that it rains all the time in Britain is simply not true. The image [`imidg] of a wet foggy land was created two thousand years ago by the invading [in`veidiŋ] Romans. In fact, London gets no more rain in a year than most other major European cities, and less than some.

The amount of rain falls on a town in Britain depends on where it is. The wettest part of Britain are the areas where high mountains lie near the west coast: the western Highlands of Scotland and Lake `District and North Wales. Autumn and winter are the wettest seasons, except in the Thames district, where most rains fall in the summer.

With its mild climate and varied [`veзrid] soils, Britain has a rich natural vegetation [,vedgi`tei∫n]. When the islands were first settled, oak forests probably covered the greater part of the lowland. Now woodlands occupy only about 7 per cent of the surface of the country. The greatest density [`densiti] of woodland occurs in the north and east of Scotland, in some parts of south-east England and on the Welsh border. The most common trees are oak, beech (бук), ash (ясень) and elm (вяз), and in Scotland also pine and birch.

Most of countryside England is agricultural land, about a third of which is arable [`ærзbl] – пахотные, and the rest is pasture [`pa:st∫з] – пастбище and meadow.

With the disappearance of forest, many forest animals, including the wolf, the bear, the boar, the deer and the Irish elk [elk] – лось, have become practically extinct [iks`tiŋkt] – вымерший. There are foxes in most rural [`ruзrзl] – сельский areas, and otters [`otзz] – выдры are found along many rivers and streams. Of smaller animals there are mice, rats, hedgehogs, moles, squirrels, hares, rabbits and weasels [`wi:zlz] – ласки.

There are a lot of birds, including many song-birds. Blackbirds, sparrows and starlings – скворцы are probably most common. There are many sea-birds, which nest round the coasts.

LECTURE 1

The Early History of Great Britain

Plan:

  1. Prehistory

  2. The Celtic Period

  3. The Roman Period

  4. The Anglo-Saxon Period

  5. The Vikings

  1. Prehistory

Men have lived in Britain for at least 250 000 years. Early men lived in caves and hunted animals for food. Gradually they learned to grow corn and breed domestic animals. They made primitive tools and weapons of stone.

About three thousand years BC the British Isles were inhabited [in`hæbitid] by a people, who came to be known as the Iberians [ai`biзriзnz] because some of their descendants are still found in the north of Spain (the Iberian Peninsula [ai`biзriзn pi`ninsjulз]).

These people were religious. Some temples which they built stand in many parts of England and Scotland. They are just circles of great stones standing vertically. The greatest of them is Stonehenge [`stounhendg]. It was built on Salisbury [`so:lzbзri] Plain some time between 3050 and 2300 BC. It is one of the most famous and mysterious archaeological [,a:kiз`lod3ikзl] sites in the world. One of its mysteries is how it was built at all with the technology of the time (the stones come from over 200 miles away in Wales). Another is its purpose. It appears to function as a kind of astronomical [,зstro`nomikзl] clock and it was used by the Druids [`dru:idz], the Celtic priests, for ceremonies marking the passing of the seasons.

Vocabulary

inhabit – жить, обитать, населять

Iberians – иберийцы

Iberian Peninsula –Пиренейский полуостров

temple – святилище, храм

Stonehenge – Стоунхендж

Salisbury Plain равнина Солсбери

archaeological site – археологический памятник

astronomical clock – астрономические часы

Druids – друиды

  1. The Celtic Period

About 500–600 BC new peoples from the Continent arrived in Britain. They were called the Celts. They introduced Iron Age cultures into the British Isles.

More than one Celtic tribe [traib] invaded [in`veidid] Britain. Celtic tribes called the Picts [pikts] penetrated [`penitreitid] into the mountains of North; some Picts as well as tribes of Scots crossed over to Ireland and settled there. Later the Scots returned to the larger island and settled in the North beside the Picts. They came in such large numbers that in time the name of Scotland was given to that country. Powerful Celtic tribes, the Britons [`britnz], held most of the country, and the southern half of the island was named Britain after them. Most of the Iberians were slain in the conflict; some of them were driven westwards into the mountains of what is now Wales and the others probably mixed with the Celts.

The Celts did not write down the events themselves. Other peoples (the Greeks and the Romans) who knew them described them in their books. The earliest writer from whom we have learned much about the Celts was the famous Roman general Julius Caesar [`d3u:ljзs `si:zз]. He tells us that the Celts were tall and blue-eyed. They wore long flowing moustaches but no beards. They lived in tribes, and were ruled by chiefs whom all the tribesmen [`traibzmзn] obeyed. The chiefs were military leaders and some of them were very powerful. The military leaders of the largest tribes were sometimes called kings.

The Celts had no towns; they lived in villages. They were acquainted with the use of copper, tin and iron and they kept large herds [hз:dz] of cattle and sheep which formed their chief wealth. They also cultivated crops, especially corn (зерно, пшеница).

Some of the Celtic tribes were quite large and fighting was common among them. In war-time the Celts wore skins and painted their faces with a blue dye to make themselves look fierce. They were armed with swords and spears and used chariots [`t∫æriзts] on the battle-field.

The Celts worshipped [`wз:∫ipt] Nature. They were polytheistic [,poliθi`istik]. They believed that the sky, the sun, the moon, the earth and the sea were ruled by beings like themselves, but much more powerful. They also believed in many nameless spirits who lived in the rivers, the lakes, mountains and thick forests. Some plants, such as the mistletoe and the oak-tree, were considered sacred [`seikrid]. The Celts sacrificed [`sækrifaist] animals and human beings to their gods. Sometimes these victims were placed into a great wicker [`wikз] basket and burnt, sometimes they were slain with knives.

The Celts believed in another life after death. They were taught by priests called Druids [`dru:idz], that their souls passed after death from one body to another. The druids lived near groves of oak-trees which were considered to be sacred places. No one was allowed to come near without permission. The druids were very important and powerful, sometimes, more powerful than the chiefs. They often acted as prophets [`profits]. They were also teachers and doctors.

Wise women were also considered to be very important. There were women prophets, and women warriors [`woriзz] who trained young men in arms; some women were made tribal [`traibзl] chiefs and called queens.

Vocabulary

tribe племя; tribal – племенной, родовой

invade – вторгаться, захватывать

Picts – пикты

penetrate проникать внутрь

Britons – древние бритты

Julius Caesar – Юлий Цезарь

herd – стадо

chariot – колесница

worship – поклоняться

polytheistic – политеистический

mistletoe – омела

sacred – священный

sacrifice – приносить в жертву

victim – жертва

wicker basket – корзина из ивовых прутьев

prophet – предсказатель

warrior – воин

  1. The Roman Period

In the year 55 BC the Romans under Julius Caesar [`d3u:ljзs `si:zз] first landed in Britain. Their aim was to assess [з`ses] the wealth of the country with a view to absorbing [з`bso:biŋ] it later into the Empire [`empaiз]. Caesar expected to conquer Britain easily. In fact, it was not easy work, for the Britons fought bravely. But the Romans had better arms and armour [`a:mз], and were much better trained. The Britons could not stop them. Having stayed in Britain some time, the Romans left and did not appear on the British shores for about a hundred years. Then, in 43 AD, the Roman Emperor [`empзrз] Claudius [`klo:djзs] sent 40 000 men to invade Britain. He decided to make Britain a Roman province [`provins]. But there was a lot of hard fighting to be done before Britain was conquered. By the year 49 AD most of Lowland England was under Roman control. The last serious resistance [ri`zistзns] of the Celts came in 61 AD, when Boadicea [,bouзdi`siз] (Boudicca [`bu:dikз || bu:`dikз]), queen of Iceni [ai`si:nai] tribe, let her people in revolt [ri`voult]. The revolt was suppressed and the queen took prison.

The Roman province of Britannia [bri`tænjз] covered most of present-day England and Wales. But the North of Scotland was not occupied by Romans. The Romans imposed [im`pouzd] their own way of life and culture, making use of the existing Celtic aristocracy [,æris`tokrзsi] to govern and encouraging this ruling class to adopt Roman dress and Roman language (Latin).

The Romans founded the first cities, including Londinium (London); they built roads from one town to another, many of these roads are still in use today. The Romans remained in Britain for three hundred and fifty years, but despite their long occupation of the country, they left very little behind. Most of their villas [`vilзz], temples, cities and roads were soon destroyed. Almost the only lasting reminder of their presence are place-names like Chester [`t∫estз], Lancaster [`læŋkзstз] and Gloucester [`glostз], which include variants of the Roman word “castra” (which means ‘a military camp’).

In 410, when Roman power all over the world was fast declining and when Rome wanted all the soldiers at home, the Roman army went away.

Vocabulary

assess – оценивать

absorbпоглощать, зд. включить

Empire империя

armour вооружение, доспехи

Emperor Claudius император Клавдий

province провинция

resistance сопротивление

revolt восстание, мятеж

Boadicea (Boudica) Бодисия

Iceni tribe племя Айсинай

Britannia Британия

impose навязывать

aristocracy аристократия

Londinium старое название Лондона

villa вилла

Chester Честер

Lancaster Ланкастер

Gloucester Глостер

  1. The Anglo-Saxon [`æŋglou`sæksзn] Period

After the Roman soldiers left Britain the Celts remained independent but not for long. From the middle of the 5th century they had to defend the country against the attacks of Germanic [d3з:`mænik] tribes from the Continent. In the 5th century first the Jutes [d3u:ts] and then other Germanic tribes – the Saxons [`sæksзnz] and the Angles [`æŋglz] began to migrate [mai`greit] to Britain.

In 449 the Jutes landed in Kent and this was the beginning of the conquest. The British natives fought fiercely against the invaders and it took more than a hundred and fifty years for the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes to conquer the country. The final refuge [`refju:d3] of the Celts was Cornwall [`ko:nwзl] and Wales and the northern part of the island (Scotland) where the Celts were still living in tribes, later on some independent states were formed. The Celts of Ireland remained independent too.

By the end of the 6th and the beginning of the 7th century several kingdoms were formed on the territory of Britain conquered by the Germanic tribes. Kent was set up by the Jutes in the south-east. In the southern and the south-eastern part of the country the Saxons formed a number of kingdoms – Sussex [`sΛsiks], Wessex [`wesiks] and Essex [`esiks]. The Angles founded Northumbria [no:`θΛmbriз] in the north, Mercia [`mз:∫iз] in the middle and East Anglia [`i:st`æŋgliз] in the east. These kingdoms were hostile [`hostail] to one another and they fought constantly for supreme power in the country.

The Jutes, the Saxons and the Angles were closely akin [з`kin] in speech and customs, and they gradually merged [`mз:d3d] into one people, which was called the Anglo-Saxons.

The Anglo-Saxons disliked towns and cities, they preferred to live in the countryside. They introduced new farming methods and founded the thousands of small villages which formed the basis of English society for the next thousand or so years. In their villages they bred cows, sheep and pigs. They ploughed [plaud] the fields and grew wheat, rye or oats for bread and barley for beer.

The Anglo-Saxons were tall, strong men, with blue eyes and long blond hair. They were dressed in tunics [`tju:niks] and cloaks which they fastened with a brooch above the right shoulder. On their feet they wore rough leather shoes. Their usual weapons were a spear and a shield. Some rich men had iron swords, which they carried at their left side. The women wore long dresses with wide sleeves. Their heads were covered with a hood.

The Anglo-Saxons were pagans [`peigзnz] when they came to Britain. Christianity spread throughout Britain from two different directions during the 6th and 7th centuries. It came directly from Rome when St. Augustine [з`gΛstin] arrived in 597 and established [is`tæbli∫t] his headquarters [`hed`kwo:tзz] at Canterbury [`kæntзbзri] in the south-east of England. But Christianity had already been introduced into Scotland and northern England from Ireland, which had become Christian more than 150 years earlier. Although Roman Christianity eventually [i`ventjuзli] took over the whole of the British Isles, the Celtic model persisted [pз`sistid] in Scotland and Ireland for several hundred years.

Vocabulary

Germanicгерманский

Jutesюты

Saxonsсаксы

Anglesанглы

migrateмигрировать, переселяться

refugeубежище

CornwallКорнуолл

Sussex Сассекс

WessexУэссекс

Essex Эссекс

NorthumbriaНортумбрия

MerciaМерсия

East AngliaВосточная Англия

hostileвражебный

akinпохожий, сходный, близкий

merge сливаться, соединяться

tunic туника

paganязычник

Christianityхристианство

St. Augustine – св. Августин

establishучредить, основать

headquartersштаб-квартира

Canterbury – Кентербери

eventuallyокончательно

persistсохраняться

  1. The Vikings

In the 8th century Britain experienced another wave of Germanic invasions [in`vei3зnz]. These invaders, known as Vikings [`vaikiŋz], Norsemen [`no:smзn] or Danes [`deinz], came from Scandinavia [,skændi`neivjз].

The Danes were the same Germanic race as the Anglo-Saxons themselves. They still lived in tribes. They were still pagans. They worshipped Woden [`woudn], the god of War, Thor [θo:] and the other old gods whom the Anglo-Saxons had forgotten.

The Danes were well armed – with swords, spears, daggers [`dægз], battle-axes [`bætlæks] and bows. They were bold and skilful seamen. Their ships were sailing-boats but they were also provided with oars [o:z]. The sails were often striped red and blue and green. At the prow [prau] of the ship there was usually a carved dragon’s head which rose high out of the water.

In 793 the Danes carried out their first raids on Britain. Their earliest raids were for plunder [`plΛndз] only. They came in spring and summer (in three or four ships) and returned home for the winter. Every year they went to different places, thus all the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms faced the same dangerous enemy. In later years large Danish [`deini∫] fleets (more than three hundred ships) brought large armies to conquer and settle in the new lands. They didn’t go home for the winter but they made large well-guarded camps, from which the Danes made many raids upon the villages in the area.

The Danish raids were successful because the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms had neither a regular army nor a fleet in the North Sea to meet them. Soon the Danes conquered Northumbria, Mercia and East Anglia. Only Wessex was left to face the enemy.

Wessex had united the small Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and under the reign of King Alfred (871–899) became the centre of resistance against the invaders. Alfred, who became known in English history as Alfred the Great, managed to raise an army and built the first British fleet. He made new rules for the army, in which every free man had to serve and to come provided with the proper weapons. Many places which could be easily attacked by the enemy were fortified [`fo:tifaid]. Earthen walls were built around them. These walls were protected by fighting men who owned lands in the neighborhood.

As a result of all these measures, the Anglo-Saxons won several victories over the Danes. The Danes left Wessex and a part of Mercia. They settled in the north-eastern part of England, a region that was from that time called the Danelaw, because it was ruled according to the law of the Danes.

At the end of the 10th century the Danish invasions were resumed [ri`zju:md]. The Anglo-Saxon kings were unable to organize any effective resistance and they tried to buy off the Danes. The Anglo-Saxon kings gave them money to leave them in peace. The result was that they came again in greater numbers the following year to demand more. In order to make this payment to the Danes in 991 the government imposed a heavy tax called Danegeld [`dein,geld], or Dane money.

At the beginning of the 11th century England was conquered by the Danes once more. The Danish King Canute [kз`nu:t] (1017–1035) became king of Denmark, Norway and England. He made England the centre of his power. But he was often away from England in his kingdom of Denmark and so he divided the country into four parts called earldoms [`з:ldзmz]. They were Wessex, Mercia, Northumbria and East Anglia. An earl [`з:l] was appointed by the king to rule over each great earldom. To win the support of the big Anglo-Saxon lords, Canute promised to rule according to the old Anglo-Saxon laws. He sent back most of his Danish followers to their own country. He usually chose Anglo-Saxon nobles for the high posts of earls and other royal officials. He became a Christian and sent monks [mΛŋks] from Canterbury to convert [kзn`vз:t] his subjects in Scandinavia to Christianity too. Supported by the Anglo-Saxon lords Canute ruled in England till he died. After the death of Canute his kingdom split up and soon afterwards an Anglo-Saxon king came to the throne (1042) and the line of Danish kings came to an end.

Vocabulary

invasion – вторжение

Vikings – викинги

Norsemen (Northmen) – норманны, древние скандинавы

Danes – даны

Scandinavia – Скандинавия

Woden – Воден (Один)

Thor – Тор

dagger – кинжал

battle-axe – боевой топор

oar – весло

prow – нос корабля

plunder – грабеж

King Alfred (871–899) – король Альфред (Великий)

fortify – укреплять

Danelaw – область Датского права

resume – возобновлять

Danegeld – «Датские деньги» – налог

Canute [kз`nu:t] (1017–1035) – Канут

earldom – графство; earl – граф

monk – монах; convert – обращать (в веру)



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