2015年2月1日托福阅读真题+题目+答案：Greek Sacred Groves and Parks
In Greek and Roman civilization, parks were associated with spirituality, public recreation, and city living. Greek philosophers pondered the meaning of nature and its innermost workings, the relationships between animals and humankind, and how matter related to spirit. The philosophy of Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) advanced the fundamental notion of nature as the embodiment of everything outside culture, an essence opposed to art and artificiality. This sense of nature and culture as distinct opposites continues to govern ideas about the environment and society today. Meanwhile, the suggestion of a state of nature, wholesome and pure, defined in opposition to civilized life, found acceptance in Aristotle’s time through the concept of the Golden Age—a legendary ideal that had significance for landscape planning and artistic experiment. Described by Greek poets and playwrights, the Golden Age of perpetual spring depicted an era before the adoption of agriculture, when humans embraced nature’s wonder and communicated with spirits in sacred woods. In The Odyssey (800 B.C.), Homer, the great Greek writer, described a garden that was a place of constant productivity, where “fruit never fails nor runs short, winter and summer alike.”
Greek interest in spintuality and nature manifested itself in the tradition of the sacred grove. Usually comprised of a few trees, a spring, or a mountain crag, sacred groves became intensely mystical places by their associations with gods, spirits, or celebrated folk heroes. Twisted trees, sections of old-growth forest, and rocks or caves typically surrounded the naturalistic shrines and altars. As the Roman official and writer Pliny the Elder (A.D. 23-79) put it, “Trees were the first temples of the gods, and even now simple country people dedicate a tree of exceptional height to a god with the ritual of olden times, and we worship forests and the very silences they contain.”
The Greeks were not alone in their spiritual veneration of nature. Examples of pantheism—the belief that God and the universe or nature are the same—and the worship of trees permeated many cultures. The nations of northern Europe utilized trees as places of worship. In Scandinavian mythology, the tree called Yggdrasil held up the world, its branches forming the heavens and its roots stretching into the underworld. A spring of knowledge bubbled at its base, and an eagle perched amid its sturdy branches. The Maori people of New Zealand celebrated a tree that separated the sky from the earth. For many ancient civilizations, trees signified life, permanence, and wisdom.
In some spiritual traditions, landscapes such as gardens or deserts were treated as abstract emblems of spiritual states such as innocence or despair. Rather than symbolic landscapes, as in the Judeo-Christian tradition, Greek sacred groves operated as literal homes of the gods. Instead of being confined to prehistory or celestial space, spiritual parkscapes were present within the existing cultural terrain. One could not visit a symbol of peace and severity, but one could experience these qualities in a sacred grove。
The spiritual significance of the sacred grove mandated specific preservationist measures. Civil restrictions and environmental codes of practice governed the use of such spaces. Enclosing walls prevented sheep from desecrating sacred sites, while patrolling priests issued spiritual guidance along with fines for vandalism. Laws forbade hunting, fishing, or the cutting of trees. Those not dissuaded by monetary penalties were threatened with the anger of the resident gods.
Such environmental care suggested to historian J. Donald Hughes that sacred groves represented “classical national parks.” By helping to insulate sacred groves from pressures of deforestation, erosion, and urbanization, Greek codes protected ecosystems from destruction. Sacred groves nonetheless represented imperfect parkscapes. Some encompassed relatively small areas such as a section of a hillside or a series of caves. Meanwhile, the fundamental purpose of the grove—the visitation of resident gods—sometimes promoted activities not entirely conducive to modern concepts of conservation. Animals were routinely captured to serve as sacrifices to the gods. Many groves witnessed horticultural and architectural improvements. Flowers were planted, trails cut, and statues, fountains, and caves installed for the benefit of visitors. The grove served as a recreational center for Greek society, a realm of ritual, performance, feasting, and even chariot racing.
1. The word “pondered” in the passage is closet in meaning to
2. The word “fundamental” in the passage is closet in meaning to
3. Which of the sentences below best expresses the essential information in the highlighted sentence in the passage? Incorrect choices change the meaning in important ways or leave out essential information.
A、Aristotle used the concept of the Golden Age to explain how the pure beauty of nature could be recreated in a new, carefully planned state.
B、During the Golden Age of Aristotle’s time, human activities such as landscape planning and art reached the height of creativity.
C、In ancient Greek thought, both art and nature were characterized by purity and wholesomeness within a Golden Age.
D、During Aristotle’s time, the idea that nature is pure and distinct from civilization was expressed in the idea of the perfect Golden Age, which influenced both art and landscape design.
4. In paragraph 1, why does the author include the quotation from The Odyssey?
A、To support the idea that modern ideas about nature have not changed much since the ancient Greeks
B、To contrast Homer’s ideas about nature with those of Aristotle
C、To argue that the adoption of agriculture advanced Greek culture
D、To give an example of an ancient Greek description of the Golden Age
5. In paragraph 2, the author quotes Pliny the Elder in order to support the claim that
A、only simply country people believed in gods who lived in forests
B、Greek beliefs about forests differed from Roman beliefs about forests
C、sacred groves had mystical meanings because of their association with gods
D、Greeks were more interested in nature than in spirituality
6. What is the purpose of paragraph 3 in the larger discussion of ancient Greek beliefs?
A、To connect the Greek view of nature to the associations between nature and religion that exist in many different cultures in the world
B、To contrast the history and development of Greek religion to the development of other religions of the time
C、To demonstrate the influences of Greek beliefs on other religions
D、To argue that ancient religions eventually rejected the spirituality of trees
7. It can be inferred from paragraph 4 that the ancient Greeks believed that their gods
A、resided only in celestial space
B、actually lived on Earth
C、did not exist in prehistoric times
D、were only representations of ideas
8. The word “mandated” in the passage is closet in meaning to
9. All of the following are mentioned in paragraph 5 as ways the Greeks protected their sacred groves EXCEPT
A、by building protective walls around the groves
B、by allowing only priests in sacred groves
C、by punishing those who cut trees, hunted, or fished in the groves
D、by telling people that the gods could punish vandals of the groves
10. The word “promoted” in the passage is closet in meaning to
11. Why are the sacred groves of the ancient Greeks referred to as “imperfect parkscapes” in the passage?
A、The Greeks protected their sacred groves from deforestation and erosion but allowed people to build houses on the grounds.
B、The ancient Greeks often changed the environment of the groves by adding plants, building shrines, and capturing animals for sacrifice.
C、The Greeks allowed only religious ceremonies in the groves.
D、The ancient Greeks had strict size limits on how big a sacred area could be.
12. Which of the following is NOT mentioned in paragraph 6 as a change made to the landscapes of sacred groves?
A、The introduction of new animals to the area
B、The construction of statues and fountains
C、The planting of flowers
D、The creation of trails
Paragraph 4 In some spiritual traditions, landscapes such as gardens or deserts were treated as abstract emblems of spiritual states such as innocence or despair. ■Rather than symbolic landscapes, as in the Judeo-Christian tradition, Greek sacred groves operated as literal homes of the gods. ■ Instead of being confined to prehistory or celestial space, spiritual parkscapes were present within the existing cultural terrain. ■One could not visit a symbol of peace and severity, but one 484 could experience these qualities in a sacred grove. ■
13. Look at the four squares [■] that indicate where the following sentence can be added to the passage.
This, however, was not the Greek attitude.
Where would the sentence best fit? Click on a square [■] to add the sentence to the passage.
14. Directions: An introductory sentence for a brief summary of the passage is provided below. Complete the summary by selecting the THREE answer choices that express the most important ideas in the passage. Some answer choices do not belong in the summary because they express ideas that are not presented in the passage or are minor ideas in the passage. This question is worth 2 points. Drag your choices to the spaces where they belong. To review the passage, click on View Text.
Ancient Greeks and Romans thought of parks and natural spaces as spiritual and recreational sites.
Sacred groves consisting of trees, springs, or mountains were organized as shrines to Greek gods.
The belief in a divine presence in all natural things originated with the ancient Greeks and spread to other cultures around the world.
In cultures where the climate made cultivation of sacred groves impossible, trees retained only a symbolic value in mythical stories.
Because of their association with ancient Greek gods, spirits, and heroes, there are still many sections of forest in modern Greece.
Trees have played significant roles in the religious practices and beliefs of Greeks and numerous other cultures.
Because groves were spiritually important to ancient Greeks, they were often protected from damage and were the sites of various communal activities.