TPO-17-1 Europe’s Early Sea Trade with Asia
The chief problem was technological: How were the Europeans to reach the East? Europe’s maritime tradition had developed in the context of easily navigable seas—the Mediterranean, the Baltic, and, to a lesser extent, the North Sea between England and the Continent—not of vast oceans. New types of ships were needed, new methods of finding one’s way, new techniques for financing so vast a scheme. The sheer scale of the investment it took to begin commercial expansion at sea reflects the immensity of the profits that such East-West trade could create. Spices were the most sought-after commodities. Spices not only dramatically improved the taste of the European diet but also were used to manufacture perfumes and certain medicines. But even high-priced commodities like spices had to be transported in large bulk in order to justify the expense and trouble of sailing around the African continent all the way to India and China.
The principal seagoing ship used throughout the Middle Ages was the galley, a long, low ship fitted with sails but driven primarily by oars. The largest galleys had as many as 50 oarsmen Since they had relatively shallow hulls, they were unstable when driven by sail or when on rough water: hence they were unsuitable for the voyage to the East. Even if they hugged the African coastline, they had little chance of surviving a crossing of the Indian Ocean. Shortly after 1400, shipbuilders began developing a new type of vessel properly designed to operate in rough, open water: the caravel. It had a wider and deeper hull than the galley and hence could carry more cargo: increased stability made it possible to add multiple masts and sails. In the largest caravels, two main masts held large square sails that provided the bulk of the thrust driving the ship forward, while a smaller forward mast held a triangular-shaped sail, called a lateen sail, which could be moved into a variety of positions to maneuver the ship.
The astrolabe had long been the primary instrument for navigation, having been introduced in the eleventh century. It operated by measuring the height of the Sun and the fixed stars: by calculating the angles created by these points, it determined the degree of latitude at which one stood (The problem of determining longitude, though, was not solved until the eighteenth century.) By the early thirteenth century. Western Europeans had also developed and put into use the magnetic compass, which helped when clouds obliterated both the Sun and the stars. Also beginning in the thirteenth century, there were new maps refined by precise calculations and the reports of sailors that made it possible to trace one’s path with reasonable accuracy. Certain institutional and practical norms had become established as well. A maritime code known as the Consulate of the Sea, which originated in the western Mediterranean region in the fourteenth century, won acceptance by a majority of sea goers as the normative code for maritime conduct; it defined such matters as the authority of a ship’s officers, protocols of command, pay structures, the rights of sailors, and the rules of engagement when ships met one another on the sea-lanes. Thus by about 1400 the key elements were in place to enable Europe to begin its seaward adventure.
n. 推动, 促进; 刺激; 推动力; 冲力
【同义词】: momentum / push / thrust
【原句】: This development, coming as it did when the bottom had fallen out of the European economy, provided an impetus to a long-held desire to secure direct relations with the East by establishing a sea trade.
【题目】1.The word “impetus” in the passage is closest in meaning to
【原句】: Spices not only dramatically improved the taste of the European diet but also were used to manufacture perfumes and certain medicines.
【题目】2. The word “dramatically” in the passage is closest in meaning to
v. 提炼, 精炼; 提去; 精制; 使升华, 使…的道德完善; 被提炼, 被提纯; 变得优雅精美; 变纯净; 琢磨, 推敲
【同义词】: cultivate / develop / improve / perfect / polish / purify
【原句】: Also beginning in the thirteenth century, there were new maps refined by precise calculations and the reports of sailors that made it possible to trace one’s path with reasonable accuracy.
【题目】3.The word “refined” in the passage is closest in meaning to
n. 基准, 标准, 模范
【原句】: Certain institutional and practical norms had become established as well. A maritime code known as the Consulate of the Sea.
【题目】4.The word “norms” in the passage is closest in meaning to
中世纪应用最为广泛的海船是划桨帆船 ，船体低矮狭长能够使用帆，但主要还是靠浆操控。最大的划桨帆船有50个划手由于船体相对较浅，靠帆航行或是在汹涌的海面上航行时很难保持稳定。因此它们不适合在去往东方的航线上航行。即使紧贴着非洲海岸线行驶，这种船也很难穿越印度洋。15世纪初，造船专家们开始研制一种能够适用于波涛汹涌的开放海域的新型船只——轻快帆船。这种海船船体比划桨帆船更宽更深，因此可以运送更多的货物，稳定性的提升使得船体能够增加多个桅杆和船帆。最大型的轻快帆船上，两根主桅杆撑起大块船帆就能够提供足够的推力驱动帆船前进，同时一个小型的前桅杆撑起一块三角形船帆，这种船帆叫做三角帆 ，它可以移动到不同位置控制帆船。