The Temple of Heaven
文章来源:未知 文章作者:meng 发布时间:2010-10-26 02:57 字体: [ ]  进入论坛
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Brief Introduction The largest existing complex of ancient sacrificial(牺牲的,献祭的) buildings in China; masterpiece of China's royal sacrificial buildings complex and one of the best symbolic1 illustrations(插图) of Chinese cosmology(宇宙学) . Located in the southern part of Beijing, the Temple of Heaven (Tiantan) has been one of the most sacred places for the whole country for more than five centuries. It served as a complex of sacrificial buildings for the Ming and Qing emperors, and is the largest one in Beijing among several royal altars to Heaven, Earth, the Sun, the Moon and other deities2 or symbolic forces of Nature. Cultural Heritage The Temple of Heaven was built in 1420 during the reign3 of Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), originally as an altar for the worship of both Heaven and Earth. It began to serve as the exclusive imperial altar for Heaven and the Harvest since the worship of Heaven and Earth was divided in 1530, and a new Altar of Earth was built in the northern part of the capital. In the overall layout and individual designs of its buildings, the Temple of Heaven symbolizes4 the relationship between Earth and Heaven which stands at the heart of Chinese cosmogony, and also the special role played by the emperors within that relationship. Surrounded by an outer wall of 5 km, it covers an area of 273 ha, thrice the size of the Forbidden City. It is divided into the Inner Temple (Neitan) and the Outer Temple (Waitan) by a double wall. The main buildings of the Inner Temple are on a north-south axis5, including the Circular Mound6 Altar (Huanqiutan) in the south and the Altar of Prayer for Good Harvests (Qigutan) in the north. The two altars are connected by a brick and stone walkway named Shendao (Sacred Road), an allusion7(暗示,提示) to the long road to the imperial court. The Outer Temple consists mainly of age-old pinewoods(松木) , cypresses8(柏树) and the Department of Sacred Music (Shenyueshu), of which only half remains9. Architecture In architecture the entire design is symbolic. The southern part of the Inner Temple is square, while the northern part is semi-circular, a pattern representing the ancient belief that Heaven is round and Earth square. The northern wall was built higher than the southern wall, illustrating10 the notion of Heaven surpassing Earth. Compared to the imposing11 complexity12 and intricacy(错综,复杂) of royal palaces, the altar area here is simple, setting off the vastness of the sky, and the grandeur13(壮丽,庄严) of Heaven. In ancient China, odd numbers were regarded as heavenly or as related to the sun. Since nine was considered the most powerful of all numbers, the altar, a three-tiered terrace(平台,梯田) , was constructed with rings of stone slabs14 in multiples of nine, and the steps and balustrades(栏杆,扶手) are also in multiples of nine. At the center of the top terrace lies a round stone known as the Center-of-Heaven Stone (Tianxinshi), which has an amplifying15 impact for speeches made from it. Three major structures of the altar, namely the Circular Mound Altar (huanqiu), the Imperial Vault16 of Heaven (huangqiongyu) and the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests (qiniandian) all have round floors and roofs, in accordance with the concept of round Heaven. Deep-blue tiles were chosen to cover these structures so as to harmonize(协调,和谐) with the blue sky. The Circular Mound Altar, also known as the Altar for Worshiping Heaven (Baitiantai) or the Sacrificial Altar (Jitai), is the place where the emperor worshiped Heaven at the winter solstice(冬至) . The Imperial Vault of Heaven is the place where the tablets of the gods were kept, surrounded by a circular wall of polished bricks, known as Echo Wall (huiyinbi), where a person whispering close to the wall at any point can be heard distinctly at any other point along the wall. In the northern part of the temple, the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests is a lofty, round structure with triple eaves and a cone-shaped blue-tile roof crowned with a gilded17 knob. When the hall was built in 1420, the colors of the triple eaves, from top to bottom, were blue, yellow and green, representing the God of Heaven, the emperor, and the common people. In 1752, all the eaves were painted blue. The hall burned down in 1889 after being struck by lightning. It was reconstructed in 1890 and renovated18(更新,修复) in 1970. The ceiling of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests is painted with an exquisite19(精致的,细腻的) design of nine dragons, and is supported by 28 wooden columns. The four central columns, called the Dragon-Well Columns, represent the four seasons. They are surrounded by two rings, one inside the other, of 12 columns each. The inner ring symbolizes the 12 months of the year, and the outer, the 12 divisions of day and night according to the old Chinese way of reckoning(计算) time. Every year, the emperor led civil and military officials to the hall and prayed for good harvests. Designed with distinctive20 compactness and exquisiteness21, and decorated magnificently, the Temple of Heaven is a building complex of a beauty rare even among the sacrificial buildings in China and a valuable part of the architectural heritage of the world. Sacrificial Culture Sacrifices to Heaven were arranged in winter every year. On the 15th day of the first lunar month, on the winter solstice (22nd solar term), and some time during the first month of summer, the emperor would go to the Temple of Heaven to worship Heaven, to pray for good harvests and rainfall, and to offer sacrifices to the ancestors, to the gods of the sun, the moon and the stars, and to the gods of the clouds, wind, rain, and thunder and lightning. Sacrificial ceremonies followed complex procedures. First, the whole altar area had to be renewed from end to end, including the roads to be taken by the emperor. Second, the sacrifices, including oxen, goats, piglets, fruits, etc., had to be properly prepared and displayed in front of seven groups of spirit tablets. In addition, 700-odd items of utensils22 and other sacrificial facilities, as well as more than 60 musical instruments of 16 kinds, including bells and chimes, had to be placed in order. Third, one day before the formal ceremony, the emperor was obliged to burn joss sticks in the Imperial Vault of Heaven, to check the spirit tablets in the Circular Mound Altar, to examine the sacrifices in the sacred kitchen, and to begin fasting in the Palace of Abstinence. The ceremony began before sunrise. The emperor proceeded from the Palace of Abstinence, amid the sound of bells, to the Circular Mound Altar, when drums and other instruments took the place of the bells. At the formal opening of the sacrificial ceremony, oxen were roasted, lanterns were raised, and a mystical aura would soon cloak the scene. The whole ceremony was divided into nine procedures -- from receiving the Heavenly King to seeing Him off. Different music would accompany different parts of the ceremony. Every sacrificial ceremony was a grand occasion to solicit23(征求,招揽) welfare for the country, as well as respect and awe24 from the people towards the emperor, who was sanctified as the Son of Heaven (Tianzi) throughout ages.


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1 symbolic ErgwS     
adj.象征性的,符号的,象征主义的
参考例句:
  1. It is symbolic of the fighting spirit of modern womanhood.它象征着现代妇女的战斗精神。
  2. The Christian ceremony of baptism is a symbolic act.基督教的洗礼仪式是一种象征性的做法。
2 deities f904c4643685e6b83183b1154e6a97c2     
n.神,女神( deity的名词复数 );神祗;神灵;神明
参考例句:
  1. Zeus and Aphrodite were ancient Greek deities. 宙斯和阿佛洛狄是古希腊的神。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  2. Taoist Wang hesitated occasionally about these transactions for fearof offending the deities. 道士也有过犹豫,怕这样会得罪了神。 来自汉英文学 - 现代散文
3 reign pBbzx     
n.统治时期,统治,支配,盛行;v.占优势
参考例句:
  1. The reign of Queen Elizabeth lapped over into the seventeenth century.伊丽莎白王朝延至17世纪。
  2. The reign of Zhu Yuanzhang lasted about 31 years.朱元璋统治了大约三十一年。
4 symbolizes 8a0610984df5bcb77bc12be9119bcd7d     
v.象征,作为…的象征( symbolize的第三人称单数 )
参考例句:
  1. The use of light and dark symbolizes good and evil. 用光明与黑暗来象征善与恶。
  2. She likes olive because It'symbolizes peace. 她喜欢橄榄色因为它象征着和平。 来自《简明英汉词典》
5 axis sdXyz     
n.轴,轴线,中心线;坐标轴,基准线
参考例句:
  1. The earth's axis is the line between the North and South Poles.地轴是南北极之间的线。
  2. The axis of a circle is its diameter.圆的轴线是其直径。
6 mound unCzhy     
n.土墩,堤,小山;v.筑堤,用土堆防卫
参考例句:
  1. The explorers climbed a mound to survey the land around them.勘探者爬上土丘去勘测周围的土地。
  2. The mound can be used as our screen.这个土丘可做我们的掩蔽物。
7 allusion CfnyW     
n.暗示,间接提示
参考例句:
  1. He made an allusion to a secret plan in his speech.在讲话中他暗示有一项秘密计划。
  2. She made no allusion to the incident.她没有提及那个事件。
8 cypresses f4f41610ddee2e20669feb12f29bcb7c     
n.柏属植物,柏树( cypress的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  1. Green and luxuriant are the pines and cypresses. 苍松翠柏郁郁葱葱。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  2. Before them stood a grove of tall cypresses. 前面是一个大坝子,种了许多株高大的松树。 来自汉英文学 - 家(1-26) - 家(1-26)
9 remains 1kMzTy     
n.剩余物,残留物;遗体,遗迹
参考例句:
  1. He ate the remains of food hungrily.他狼吞虎咽地吃剩余的食物。
  2. The remains of the meal were fed to the dog.残羹剩饭喂狗了。
10 illustrating a99f5be8a18291b13baa6ba429f04101     
给…加插图( illustrate的现在分词 ); 说明; 表明; (用示例、图画等)说明
参考例句:
  1. He upstaged the other speakers by illustrating his talk with slides. 他演讲中配上幻灯片,比其他演讲人更吸引听众。
  2. Material illustrating detailed structure of graptolites has been etched from limestone by means of hydrofluoric acid. 表明笔石详细构造的物质是利用氢氟酸从石灰岩中侵蚀出来。
11 imposing 8q9zcB     
adj.使人难忘的,壮丽的,堂皇的,雄伟的
参考例句:
  1. The fortress is an imposing building.这座城堡是一座宏伟的建筑。
  2. He has lost his imposing appearance.他已失去堂堂仪表。
12 complexity KO9z3     
n.复杂(性),复杂的事物
参考例句:
  1. Only now did he understand the full complexity of the problem.直到现在他才明白这一问题的全部复杂性。
  2. The complexity of the road map puzzled me.错综复杂的公路图把我搞糊涂了。
13 grandeur hejz9     
n.伟大,崇高,宏伟,庄严,豪华
参考例句:
  1. The grandeur of the Great Wall is unmatched.长城的壮观是独一无二的。
  2. These ruins sufficiently attest the former grandeur of the place.这些遗迹充分证明此处昔日的宏伟。
14 slabs df40a4b047507aa67c09fd288db230ac     
n.厚板,平板,厚片( slab的名词复数 );厚胶片
参考例句:
  1. 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》
  2. 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
15 amplifying 29631b8f34f8b755bf579c2bef5e2907     
放大,扩大( amplify的现在分词 ); 增强; 详述
参考例句:
  1. Often they use borrowed funds, amplifying their gains and losses. 他们通常会用借贷的资金交易,从而放大收益或损失。
  2. An amplifying type (or analog) device, as opposed to digital device. 放大器类(或模拟)器件,相对于数字器件而言的。
16 vault 3K3zW     
n.拱形圆顶,地窖,地下室
参考例句:
  1. The vault of this cathedral is very high.这座天主教堂的拱顶非常高。
  2. The old patrician was buried in the family vault.这位老贵族埋在家族的墓地里。
17 gilded UgxxG     
a.镀金的,富有的
参考例句:
  1. The golden light gilded the sea. 金色的阳光使大海如金子般闪闪发光。
  2. "Friends, they are only gilded disks of lead!" "朋友们,这只不过是些镀金的铅饼! 来自英汉文学 - 败坏赫德莱堡
18 renovated 0623303c5ec2d1938425e76e30682277     
翻新,修复,整修( renovate的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  1. He renovated his house. 他翻修了房子。
  2. The house has been renovated three years earlier. 这所房子三年前就已翻新。
19 exquisite zhez1     
adj.精美的;敏锐的;剧烈的,感觉强烈的
参考例句:
  1. I was admiring the exquisite workmanship in the mosaic.我当时正在欣赏镶嵌画的精致做工。
  2. I still remember the exquisite pleasure I experienced in Bali.我依然记得在巴厘岛所经历的那种剧烈的快感。
20 distinctive Es5xr     
adj.特别的,有特色的,与众不同的
参考例句:
  1. She has a very distinctive way of walking.她走路的样子与别人很不相同。
  2. This bird has several distinctive features.这个鸟具有几种突出的特征。
21 exquisiteness 7cdeefa14b496a04cf14f5e868a3d627     
参考例句:
  1. The exquisiteness and liveliness in Mr. Zhang Fengming's paintings apart from others. 张凤鸣老师的作品细致,生动,明显与其他人的作品有别。 来自互联网
  2. As for beauty, it always leads"life"to the other world of nothingness with its terrifying exquisiteness. 至于“美” ,则总是以其恐怖的美把生带到虚无的彼岸。 来自互联网
22 utensils 69f125dfb1fef9b418c96d1986e7b484     
器具,用具,器皿( utensil的名词复数 ); 器物
参考例句:
  1. Formerly most of our household utensils were made of brass. 以前我们家庭用的器皿多数是用黄铜做的。
  2. Some utensils were in a state of decay when they were unearthed. 有些器皿在出土时已经残破。
23 solicit AFrzc     
vi.勾引;乞求;vt.请求,乞求;招揽(生意)
参考例句:
  1. Beggars are not allowed to solicit in public places.乞丐不得在公共场所乞讨。
  2. We should often solicit opinions from the masses.我们应该经常征求群众意见。
24 awe WNqzC     
n.敬畏,惊惧;vt.使敬畏,使惊惧
参考例句:
  1. The sight filled us with awe.这景色使我们大为惊叹。
  2. The approaching tornado struck awe in our hearts.正在逼近的龙卷风使我们惊恐万分。
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