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大英帝国与罗马帝国 – 历史比较 – 译学馆
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大英帝国与罗马帝国 - 历史比较

The British Empire vs The Roman Empire - Historical Comparison

As the series Game of Thrones starts a new season,
depicting a bloody scenario of Kings and Queens
vying for control of lands and all-out supremacy,
这部剧使我们意识到 除了没有龙和行尸走肉
we might be reminded that such a fiction was a reality in the past –
minus the dragons and the walking dead of course.
Empires have risen, and they have fallen.
国家 社会 或者政权都不可逆地走向衰退
Declinism, the state of irreversible decline of an empire, country, or society,
seems to be the natural order of things.
不论多么伟大和强盛 帝国似乎都会瓦解
However great and powerful, empires always seem to crumble.
Historians look back on once powerful empires
历史学家们产生分歧 战争造成的破坏和屠杀
and are divided concerning if the damage they caused and carnage they wrought
was worth the advances they gave to the world.
今天Infographics show节目将对比两个强权帝国
Today we’ll look at two such mighty empires, in this episode of the Infographics show,
The British Empire vs. The Roman Empire.
Don’t forget to subscribe and click the bell button so that you can be part of our
Notification Squad.
We’ll start with the elder empire, that of the Romans.
The city of Rome dates back to the 9th century when it was ruled over by kings.
公元前509年 罗马建立了共和政体它最大的敌人是迦太基
In 509 BC it became a Republic, and its biggest foe was the dominant power of Carthage.
在无数次内战和政治冲突之后 罗马帝国取代了罗马共和国
The Roman Republic gave way to the Roman Empire after countless civil wars and political strife,
and it was formally recognized as an empire after the adopted son of Julius Caesar,
Gaius Octavius, took power over the free Roman Republic.
He became known as Augustus,
and is considered the first Roman Emperor.
After hundreds of years of war and competing factions plotting to murder each other,
under Augustus,
罗马获得了和平 并且屋大维死后这种和平也维持了数年
Rome saw relative peace and did so for a number of years after him.
然而罗马的和平 并不意味着不再发生流血事件
Peace inside Rome, however, did not mean Rome wasn’t busy spilling blood and expanding
its empire.
We shall soon see how that developed.
历史学家Niall Ferguson在他的重要著作《帝国》中
In his seminal book Empire,
historian Niall Ferguson puts much of the very early British
海盗们驾驶着先进的船只四处劫掠 行径宛如公海上的暴徒
monetary gains down to good ships and marauding pirates as exemplary thugs of the high seas.
在强盛之前 大英帝国领土的一部分曾经被罗马帝国统治
Prior to that, parts of what is known as Great Britain now were ruled over by the Roman Empire
这件事大约始于公元前55-54年间 罗马帝国的凯撒大帝首次入侵英国
after the first Roman invasion of ‘the Britains’ by Julius Caesar in 55 and 54 BC.
在诺曼征服结束后英格兰掌权 英国逐渐发展起来
It took a while for Britain to become the superpower it did, with England at the helm
and building slowly after the Norman invasions.
同西班牙 荷兰 葡萄牙以及法国等欧洲国家一样
Along with other European nations such as Spain, The Netherlands, Portugal and France,
Britain steadfastly began exploring and exploiting the world starting in the 16th century.
When Britain was finished exploring and warring,
it was the largest empire that has ever existed,
eliciting the epithet: “The empire on which the sun never sets”.
Back to ancient history and the Romans.
众所周知 由于距离较远且需要渡海 罗马对英国的入侵
As we know, the Romans invaded Britain, which was no easy feat considering the distance
and the sea crossing.
The entirety of the Roman invasions are too vast to recount, but the expansion of the
empire as we know it started with the invasions of the Roman Republic across parts of Italy
and the western Mediterranean.
在成为帝国之前 罗马人曾经和来自欧洲各地的部族进行过战争
Prior to being an empire, the Romans had heretofore fought with tribes from all over Europe, including
Celts and Germanic tribes.
Julius Caesar led conquests into the Iberian Peninsula,
即安道尔 葡萄牙和西班牙等国的部分地区
what we now think of as parts of Andorra, Portugal and Spain,
and also against the Gauls spread across present day France,
比利时 卢森堡 荷兰 瑞士等国的高卢人进行过战役
Belgium, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany.
Caesar didn’t stop there,
launching assaults against the Parthian Empire of now Iran and
Iraq, the Helvetii tribe located in modern day Switzerland, as well as moving into much
of North Africa.
当奥古斯都成为第一个皇帝时 罗马的势力已经扩展到了欧洲大部
When Augustus took power as the first emperor, Roman feet had already trampled on much of
Europe and its outlying regions.
在罗马势力全盛时 它已经征服了欧洲大部 北非部分地区
During its height, the Roman Empire defeated most of Europe, North Africa, including much
包括今天的突尼斯 利比亚 埃及 摩洛哥 阿尔及利亚
of present Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, as well as parts of countries in
the present day Balkans and the Middle East.
In all, the empire comprised of about 12 percent of the world’s population, compared to about
23 percent the British Empire consisted of at its zenith.
英国更进一步 它探索了世界上许多
The British Empire went a step further and pushed into regions of the world that had
been more or less uncharted territory.
欧洲的许多国家也做了相似的尝试 包括英国的头号对手法国
Much of Europe was attempting to the do the same, including Britain’s main rivals, the
French, the Spanish and the Dutch.
英国成为了北美的殖民力量 只留下了少量地区未进行殖民
Britain became the colonial power in North America, only to lose some of it to what would
become the United States of America.
Part of the reason for this loss is Britain was just fighting on too many fronts, and
it didn’t want to lose its strength in other areas of the globe when perhaps a friendly
outcome could be produced with its lost colony.
英国最主要的威胁来自拿破仑 当拿破仑军队被打败之后
Britain’s main threat was from Napoleon, but when he and his army was defeated, Britain
became the dominant power in Europe.
不列颠尼亚统辖海洋是英国的一句口号 这是有道理的
“Britannia rules the waves” was a slogan of the British, and for good reason, as its
当英国的船只驶入印度 南美 澳大拉西亚 亚洲的部分地区 以及非洲时
ships sailed into India, South America, Australasia, other parts of Asia, as well as Africa, expanding
its empire and becoming extremely rich through trade –
much of which it did with its former colony, America.
The Brits, stuck on a small island with perennially inclement weather, were an industrious lot.
他们制造出了机械 引发了工业革命
They created machines that led to what is called the industrial revolution.
The machine of empire was unstoppable,
and historians now agree that Britain in all invaded
90% of the world’s countries at some point in time.
只有22个国家未被侵略 比如瑞典和梵蒂冈城
This leaves only 22 countries, including the likes of Sweden and Vatican City.
Britain exerted political and economic control over much of the world, and even where it
甚至包括它没有掌权的国家 它只是使他们被动接受掌控
wasn’t holding power, it was passively subjugating countries to play into its hands.
英国同一些国家如泰国等进行不平等贸易 作为高额利润的回报
Britain made lucrative economic deals with countries such as Thailand, and as payment
Thailand was never invaded.
There was a dark side to making all that money.
British imperialists took part in the slave trade – although later asked for it to be
Imperialists murdered and imprisoned wholesale indigenous people,
committed terrible crimes from Africa to Ireland.
对于军事行动 人们往往认为
Regarding military actions,
was to blame for mass starvation and death in India,
but it also gave countries infrastructure,
司法系统 教育体系及管路系统
systems of justice and formal education, plumbing,
表面上的人权 交通体系 医药卫生体系
at least a semblance of human rights, transportation systems, medicine
科学 工业实践以及文学
and healthcare, science, industrial practices and literature.
This is why the British Empire is a very divisive issue today.
再看看罗马的文化方面 我们知道在最好的日子里
Looking at other more cultural aspects of Rome, we know that during the good ole days
人们的平均寿命大约在20-30岁 但若非战争和分娩风险的影响
life expectancy was about 20-30, but those that made it through battle or childbirth
could expect to live to a ripe old age as people do now.
If you were unlucky enough to be put into the Colosseum’s gladiatorial ring you might
那么寿命可能会更短一些 但大概会有5万人为你的死亡喝彩
die even quicker, but there would be around 50,000 people at times cheering on your demise.
野蛮行径在古罗马非常普遍 圣女们如果打破誓言而失贞
Brutality was not uncommon in ancient Rome, with vestal virgins sometimes being buried
alive if they broke their vow and their hymens.
许多权贵们毫不掩饰性虐待的偏好 但如果我们知道奴隶们是有假期的
Many Roman bigwigs were unapologetic sadists, but perhaps the Romans could be seen in a
better light when we understand they had a holiday in which masters switched places with
或至少允许提出批评 也许我们会认为它还有点光明
their slaves, or at least allowed slaves to criticize them.
唔 祝他们好运
Hmm, good luck with that.
This was part of the Saturnalia festival.
奴隶们从事繁重的劳动 他们不会得到现金报酬 但是会被礼貌对待
Slaves did much of the grunt work, and didn’t get paid in currency but in kind.
而那些努力工作的士兵 则会获得便士
As for those hardworking soldiers, they were given a ‘stipendium’ paid in denarius,
a Roman silver coin.
屋大维时期 士兵们获得的加薪
Under Augustus, a soldier is said to have gotten a pay raise in denarius equal to about
10 asses a day.
在1686年 据说英国运输了相当于今日2亿3千万美元的货物回伦敦
In 1686 it’s said that the British empire shipped in today’s money about 230 billion
包括茶叶 烟草 大米 糖等 以及奴隶
US dollars of goods to London, that included tea, tobacco, rice, sugar…and slaves.
一个令人惊讶的事情是 我们发现英国用相对较少的军队
One of the surprising things is that Britain achieved domination with relatively few soldiers
when we think about armies today.
拿破仑战争时期 英国士兵数量不超过10万
In the time of the Napoleonic War, there were less than 100,000 British soldiers, with each
每人每天花费1先令 或者 12便士
private making one shilling, or 12 pence a day.
That’s less than 20 cents.
他们每天的食物配给是一点面包 一些饼干和牛肉
Their daily ration of food was a bit of bread, as well as some biscuit and beef.
大部分的钱由国家支付 但是英国本土居民是否生活质量非常高呢
There was a lot of money coming from the empire, but were the British at home living the high-life?
对于皇室 大商人和公爵们来说答案当然是肯定的
For royalty, the bigger merchants, the lords and the dukes, certainly, but if you’ve
但如果你读过狄更斯 你就会知道修补匠们 裁缝们以及英国的工人阶级
ever reads Charles Dickens you’ll know that life was grim for many of the tinkers, tailors
and British working classes.
帝国们都会衰落 罗马屈服于日耳曼的野蛮入侵 超支导致的经济危机
Both empires declined, with Rome succumbing to barbarian invasions, financial crisis due
政治腐败 社会衰颓
to overspending, political corruption, societal decadence, as well as the weakening of its
相较于它的收益来说 英帝国可能过于庞大了
The British Empire was perhaps too big for its own good, and when Britain had to pool
当英国把资源投入到两次世界大战中时 它的衰落就开始了
its resources for two great wars the decline started, and ended with Hong Kong’s independence
in 1997.
在所有的57个殖民地和世界25%的土地中 英国留下了福克兰群岛
From 57 colonies and 25 percent of the world’s land mass, Great Britain was left with the
Falkland islands but still a relatively stable economy.
Winston Churchill once famously said,
“I have not become the king’s first minister
in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire”,
but he must have seen it coming.
罗马帝国存在的时间要久一点 共延续了1500年
The Roman Empire lasted longer, with a duration of 1,500 years in total, albeit not always
as an imperious invader throughout that time.
屋大维曾说 我来时罗马由砖头砌成 离开时它则由大理石铸造
“I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble,” said Augustus, which
这句话不止用于罗马 也适用于它所入侵的其他地区
could be said not only of Rome but of the places it invaded.
比如罗马到达了英国内部相对荒凉的地区 便修建起了污水系统
In Britain for instance, the Romans landed in a fairly outback country and gave it sewage
道路 更为现代化的建筑 先进的农业生产方式 集市
systems, roads, more modern architecture, advanced agricultural practices, trading posts,
矿业 甚至是消防技能 随后文明程度相对不高的入侵者则摧毁了这些设施
mining, even fire-fighting skills, only for later less progressive invaders to destroy
much of that and lead Britain into what was called The Dark Ages.
正如我们看到的 英国和罗马都曾经是辉煌的庞大帝国
As we’ve seen, the British and Roman Empires were at times brilliant monstrosities.
但问题是 所有的悲伤和流血都是值得的吗
The question is, was all the heartache and bloodshed worth it?
Did it have to be that way?
这是由你来回答的问题 请在评论中让我们知道你的观点
That’s a question for you to answer, so please let us know in the comments!
同时请记得看我们另一个视频 俄罗斯与美国的对比
Also, be sure to check out our other video called Russia vs the United States!
感谢收看 并且像往常一样 记得点赞 分享和订阅哦
Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe.
See you next time!