A social Scientific Approach to the Making of the Modern World

The era also saw, of course, as I mentioned earlier, holy crusades against the Muslim “infidel” who had taken possession of the “holy land”. It was Pope Urban (pope, 1096-1099) who urged Christians to “wrest [the holy] land from the wicked race…” Some fifty to sixty thousand Christian warriors, claim scholars, answered the call. The crusader armies were organized into militias each authorized by the pope and each led by a different Christian leader. The First Crusade (1088-1099) actually proved to be somewhat successful thanks in large part to Muslim disunity. Crusaders took Antioch in 1098 and Jerusalem in 1099. With these conquests the Christian crusaders established a series of states in the “holy land”, principalities and kingdoms like Tripoli, Edessa, Antioch, and Jerusalem. The Knights Templar, a monastic order, was formed to protect the reconquest of the “holy land” by the Muslim “infidel”. They proved, however, to be unsuccessful in this in the long run. In 1144 Edessa fell once again to the Muslim Turks. The Second Crusade (1147-1149) proved unsuccessful, from a Christian point of view, at retaking those parts of the “holy land” once again “lost” to the Muslim “infidel”

On the intellectual level the era saw the rise of Catholic scholasticism. Influenced by Aristotle via the translation of Arabic commentaries on that Ancient Greek philosopher Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) harmonized Aristotle with Christian doctrine and theology in his massive and comprehensive synthesis Summa Theologiae (/summa/). Aquinas, for instance, turned the Christian god into Aristotle’s first mover. Though Scholasticism became the dominant systematic theology of the Catholic Church not all Catholic thinkers were taken with it. The Franciscan John Duns Scotus (c. 1266-1308) thought the world and god less harmonisable than did Aquinas. For him humans could only gain the truth through god’s illumination rather than though reason. William of Ockham (c.1270-1349) likewise argued that human reason could not prove the truths of the Christian faith.

Scholasticism and intellectual critics of Scholasticism were not the only direction that Christian thought took in the era. The Dominican Meister Eckhard (d. 1327) emphasized that mystical union with god was the ultimate goal of a Christian life. Some communities, like the male and female Brethren of the New Life in the Low Countries put mysticism and piety in practice.

On the popular level the Mediaeval period saw the blossoming of several varieties of popular Christian apocalypticism about which Norman Cohn has written about in his influential Pursuit of the Millennium. Apocalyptics or millennialists, like Joachim de Fiore, expected the end of the world could come at any minute.

By the way, Christian heretics weren’t the only one’s who experienced hatred and persecution from the religious powers that be and the masses in Western and Central Europe. Jew, of course, prominently figured in Christian terror. So did lepers, leprosy was uncurable and highly contagious at this time, who many believed became lepers as a result of sins they had committed,. Jews were accused of poisoning wells and of giving Jews consecrated hosts so they could perform their “demonic” blood libel rites in the 1320s in France. This was, of course, not the last of the Jewish fill in the blank conspiracies to take hold of Europe or the world for that matter. Many were tortured, made to confess, and burned at the stake for these “sins”. Even the poor were harshly treated in many places across the “continent”. Some communities actually expelled the poor for their “debaucheries”.

Late Mediaeval Culture

There were a number of educational developments during the late Middle Ages. The late Mediaeval period saw the expansion of schools as more and more cathedrals like those in Rhiems, Paris, Montpellier, and Bologna offered education for the young. Students were schooled in the seven liberal arts— the trivium of grammar, rhetoric, logic (or dialectics)——and the quadrivium of arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. Different schools became famous for different areas of studies. Montpellier in France became famous for its medical curriculum, Paris for its theological studies, Bologna in Italy for its legal studies. The 12th century saw the increasing influence of Aristotle on the school curriculum. Aquinas, of course, would be heavily influenced by Aristotle as he developed his scholastic theology, a theology that would, prove in time, to be the foundation of Roman Catholic theology.

The Mediaeval period saw the rise of and the increasing importance of universities in European life. Important colleges arose in Paris, Montpellier, Salerno, Heildeberg, Vienna, Prague, Krakow, Oxford, and Cambridge where students—all males—completed six years of study in the liberal arts and an additional five years in theology. These colleges not only regulated what and how students learned. They also regulated student discipline, student dress, and where students lived. Over time many of these universities would become self governing, something that continues to distinguish the present day colleges of Oxford and Cambridge from those of the present day United States, for instance.

The late Mediaeval period saw important developments in architecture. The eleventh and twelfth centuries saw Romanesque architecture dominate large parts of Europe.

The twelfth century saw the rise in importance of a variant of Romanesque architecture, Gothic architecture. For many the massive and ornate Gothic cathedrals built in the shape of a cross and with their flying buttresses and built, like Romanesque cathedrals like those in Paris (Notre Dame), Chartres, Amiens, and Koln/Cologne have come to epitomize the Middle Ages. These cathedrals, which took centuries to build and which varied in their forms across Europe, became the focal points of the cities and towns they were built in. Eventually they began to attract pilgrims from all parts of Roman Catholic Europe.

On Romanesque architecture see http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/fnart/arch/romanesque_arch.html

On Gothic architecture see http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/fnart/arch/gothic_arch.html

and http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/fnart/arch/high_gothic.html

In literature this was the era of, as I noted before, of chansons, romances, and epics. It was also the age of Dante and his La Divina ComediaInfierno, Purgatorio, Paraíso—all written in Italian. Here is the Italian version /~wij/dante/. In music this was the era in which Christian chant, monophonic east and polyphonic west, continued to develop. It was the era in which troubadours sang the lyric songs I spoke about earlier. Mediaeval music, by the way, did not die with the Middle Ages. The British art-rock group Gentle Giant and the American art-rock band Kansas (/watch?v=5ZzLPf_zyKk), for instance, made mediaeval music a part of their genre splicing in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. In art it was an era of lavishly illustrated books, romances, Bibles, service books, and Psalters. In sculpture it was the era that saw the rise of Gothic naturalism and the sculptures of Donatello (c. 1386-1466)—his statue of David—which celebrated the triumph over tyranny—is probably his best known work today. In painting it was a period in which paintings were characterized by depth, weight, volume, emotions, and soft pastel colours. It was an era which saw important works in the decorative arts and stained glass. Religious themes, of course, were important to many European works of art.

For Mediaeval sculpture see /~acd/medievalart.html#Sculpture

For Donatello see /gallery/donatello/

and

/artists/donatello.html

On Mediaeval Painting see

/~acd/medievalart.html#Painting

The Printing Revolution

Though a number of revolutionary changes took place in fifteenth century Europe, the “discovery” and colonization of the “New World” for one, nothing was perhaps more revolutionary in the long run than the Printing Revolution that took place in mid-century.

Manuscripts had, of course, been copied and available for some time throughout Europe and the forerunners of the book go back to the papyri of the ancient world. The Byzantine Empire remained a repository of Greek and Roman classics throughout most of its long life. In the West monks copied texts and instituted a farming out system for manuscripts. In this system portions of manuscripts were farmed out to monk copiers who copied specific portions of a manuscript. The manuscripts they produced varied in size and sumptuousness. There was always a demand for manuscripts, particularly in elite religious circles and in colleges and universities in both parts of the old Roman Empire.

In the 1450s Johannes Gensfleisch zum Gutenberg devised a printing press that would change the world beginning with Europe. by the way. What Gutenberg devised wasn’t all that complex. Nor was it all that new. The printing press, of course, was first developed in China in the 11th century by Bi Sheng, His mechanical technique to replicate manuscripts involved a screw press which squeezed paper onto a forme of pre-linked metal type between a solid platen above and a solid stone press below. What was innovative was that Gutenberg’s press used a large number of identical pieces of soft metal each of which contained a character. These could be gathered together by a compositor line by line and wedged together in pairs or groups in a frame from which pages could be made. This process allowed easy repetition of pages and allowed for easy revisions or corrections by correcting the type.

On Gutenberg see http://www.mainz.de/gutenberg/english/index.htm.

Gutenberg’s press spread across the European continent. At first printing presses were set up in smaller centres. By 1500, however, printers were beginning to concentrate in towns like Mainz, Nuremburg, Augsburg, Basle, Strasbourg, Paris, Lyon, Venice, Rome, and Geneve, whose book trade would spread the gospel of Reformer Jean Calvin, cities where venture capital and patrons were readily available. Printers at first produced books, often in a gothic type, that they thought would be popular. Books produced included Bibles, mass books, breviaries, encyclopedias, and manuals for clergy and confessors. Religious works, it has been estimated, accounted for three-fourths of book production in the early days of the printing press. The Latin Vulgate Bible, the Bible of the Roman Catholic Church, was printed in Paris in 1475 and 1515. More than sixty editions of the Bible were printed in the vernacular all across Europe before 1520.

Gradually books other than religious books were published though on a smaller scale as well. In 1465 two German printers at an abbey outside Rome printed Cicero’s Orator in roman type. Editions of Virgil, Cicero, and Eusebius (an early Church Father) were published in roman type in Venice between 1470 and 1475. In 1501 a book was printed in Venice in italic type, an incredible technical feat at the time. This allowed books to be produced in smaller form and meant, quite possibly, a growth in the potential readership of books.

All of these innovations brought about an increase in the number of books available to the small but growing reading public. They also increased the amount of paper being produced and the number of water mills producing this paper stimulating the broader economy. At first books were not cheap though grew less expensive over time. By the end of the 16th century there was a growing market for cheap broadsheets or newspapers, ballads, and chapbooks—a pocket size booklet—which were aimed directly at the populace. For those who could not read, there were ample opportunities to hear them read or sung. A book culture was coming into existence throughout Europe.

Some of the increasing number of publications focused on the discoveries and wonders of the age of discovery. In 1550 a Venetian publisher printed an account of overseas travel and a flurry of similar publications flowing in particular from Amsterdam and Antwerp after the decline of Venice as a publishing centre followed over the next hundreds of years. At first, most of these travel accounts focused on Asia and encounters with the peoples and wonders of the Indian Ocean and Asia. Soon publications were being published in the Americas as well.

The New Humanism

The period from the 1450s or so to around the 1550s has come to be referred to as the Renaissance by intellectuals and historians. The Renaissance, which flourished in places like Rome, Venice/Venezia, Mantua, Genoa, Urbino, Milan/Milano, Florence, Brussels/Bruxelles, and Amsterdam, was a period which saw the rise of strong kings and the decline of their rivals, the rise of dynasticism in international relations, in other words, the use of marriages by the dynastic houses of Europe to consolidate their positions internationally and locally, and the consolidation of princely power in parts of Europe. The Renaissance saw strong kings in France, England, and Italy, strong nobles in Poland, Bohemia, and Hungary, the purge of those in Russia who stood between the princes of Moscow and absolute, autocratic power, and the rise of Ottoman autocracy. It was a period of inconsistent economic growth. It was a period that saw the increasing emergence of national churches. It was a period of “discovery”—from the European perspective—and exploration. Remember it was in 1492 that Christopher Columbus set forth on the ocean blue. And it was a period that saw the rise of humanist intellectuals. This last is what I want to focus on in this lecture.

The ancient world of Greece and Rome had never been lost to the Europe of the Middle Ages. For Mediaeval intellectuals the ancient wisdom provided pearls of wisdom and quotations from authorities that offered immediate insights that could be applied to the problems and questions in ones daily life, not unlike the books of inspirational maxims or Bible verses today.

Mediaevals did not conceptualise this use of the stuff of the past in historical terms or as discontinuous. Ancient insight was not ancient to them. It was part of a continuous process in which pearls of wisdom and quotations from ancient texts, commentaries on these ancient texts, extractions of both of these into sayings, and compilation of all of these into encyclopedias, were all part of the same process. There was, in other words, no sense among Mediaeval intellectuals that there was a distinction between ancient texts and the commentaries, extractions, and compilations from their own period on them. For Mediaeval intellectuals all learning and literature was part of a continuous web of knowledge formed out of the search for practical, legal, and demonstrable truths about physical and metaphysical being.

In fact, Mediaeval intellectuals tended to view ancient texts through the prism of the commentaries written about them. The mediaeval understanding of Aristotle, including that of St. Thomas Aquinas, was mediated, for example, by the 10th and 11th century Muslim commentaries of Ibn-Sina or Avicinna, Ibn Rashd or Averroes, and Al-Zahravi among others. There were, by the way, differences in how Arabs and Western Christians used the great philosopher. Arab commentators tended to emphasise the scientific and practical aspects of the “great philosopher” while Aquinas synthesized Aristotelian metaphysics and Christian doctrine turningYahweh into the first mover or telos in the process.

Renaissance intellectuals offered a reevaluation of this ancient past. Renaissance men—they were mostly men—looked back to Classical antiquity for inspiration. They wanted, they said, to revive the golden age of classical literature Early Renaissance men were interested primarily in Latin texts. In the 1450s several groups of scholars in places like France, Germany, the Low Countries—Holland, Flemish speaking lands—and England began to read classical poetry and rhetoric, to collect axioms from classical writers, and even to learn Greek. They already, of course, knew Latin. It was a Florentine civil administrator—Culuccio Salutati—and a papal secretary—Poggio Bracciolini—who would give impetus to the Renaissance attempt to recover this ancient past. Both were interested in the art of letter writing and in the rhetoric of Rome’s two most famous orators Cicero and Quintillian. Since their interest in both weren’t met by the excerpts and glosses common in mediaeval texts they began searching through mediaeval libraries for the complete originals, original texts had been irrelevant to most Mediaevals given their ahistorical ideologies. Soon other humanists were doing the same thing.

It wasn’t long before Renaissance men began to recognize that there was a gulf between past and present. Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472), for instance, showed in his Italian grammar written during this first flush of Renaissance literary archaeology that Italian had not developed from the speech of ancient Roman plebians but had derived instead from classical Latin. Alberti’s analysis was only the first step, and a tentative one at that, towards a historical and scientific perspective.

Renaissance humanists were soon speculating that present time and past time were discontinuous, different. Flavio Bruno would argue that there had been a “middle age” between the “ancient age” and the “modern age”, the age in which he lived. This recognition would lead in general to a more detached sense of the past. Mediaevals soon realized that to return to the pure Latin (and later Greek) source material was simply not enough.

It was at this point that Byzantium impacted the Renaissance. The Turkish offensive against the Eastern Roman Empire drove a number of Greeks west. Many of these Greek refugees soon found employment in the homes of well off Hellenists in Italy and France as tutors. Manual Chrysoloras, for instance, taught the first generation of Italian humanists, Georgius Hermonymos taught the first generation of French humanists, while John Bessarian, a cardinal of Greek extraction, left a substantial library, which included Greek texts, to Venice.

Soon Renaissance men had become acquainted with the Greek alphabet and the Greek language and its grammatical rules. Knowledge and reading ability of Greek spread among humanist intellectuals particularly in Italy and France. Soon translations of Aristotle, Plato, and a number of neo-Platonists would appear. A Latin and Greek edition of the “great philosopher”, Aristotle was published in 1590 in Lyons. The translation of Plato and neo-Platonists such as Plotinus, Porphry, Proculus, and “Hermes Trismegistus”, which would lead to the development of hermeticism, would undermine, at least partly, the Aristotelian dominance of the mediaeval world and the creation of a more intellectually diverse and fragmented Europe than a century before. It would also lead Renaissance men to recognize that the Aristotle of the past was not the Christian Aristotle of the present.

It was an interest in language, past and present that stimulated the Renaissance rediscovery of the Greek and Roman past. In the 16th century Renaissance men rediscovered “roman” letters. The Roman writing these early archaeologists of Roman letters rediscovered, however, actually dated from the era of Charlemagne, a fact that tells you something about the 16th century knowledge of the past. The “roman” letters they rediscovered would soon come to dominate writing throughout the Mediterranean. Soon they would come to dominate those parts of Europe that had been previously dominated by Gothic letters. By the mid-sixteenth century “roman” letters became standard in both England and France. Soon “italic” letters replaced “roman” This, along with the revolution in printing in the late fifteenth century, were instrumental in the rise book publishing and the dissemination of books.

Books, by the way, would prove to be an important catalyst for ideas. Illustrated books, in particular, would liberate the natural and descriptive sciences from the past. As they did with Aristotle and other ancient writers, the Mediaevals combined and distilled ancient knowledge about the past. Mediaeval writings on the cosmos, geology, geography, plants, animals, humans were thus disorganized and unsystematic compendiums of all information about each one available at the time. There was no sense that inaccurate knowledge could and should be discarded and that more accurate knowledge could and should be accumulated. They did, however, have a sense of accumulating knowledge as the presence of bestiaries with their ever-expanding menagerie of curious animal’s shows (http://bestiary.ca/).

Renaissance natural philosophy would transform reading from a largely ahistorical enterprise to a historical one. Renaissance natural philosophers would learn how to discard old inaccurate knowledge and replace it with newly collected and more accurate knowledge. And Renaissance natural philosophers would begin to disseminate this new knowledge through books illustrated with very realistic woodcuts of their subjects. Just a few examples: Andreas Vesalius of Brussels began to carry out dissections on the human body in 1540 and published his Seven Books on the Human Body (Basle, 1543), with its authentic woodcuts, after he quickly realized that the classical authority on the subject, Galen of Pergamum, had actually based his information not on humans but on dissected pigs, cows, dogs, and apes. In a situation that would become common among Renaissance natural science men Vesalius would, while adding new knowledge to an open intellectual system, remain committed to a closed system of thought. In his case Galen’s closed theory of the four humours (the notion that the all human bodies contained four bodily fluids—blood black bile yellow bile phlegm (this derives from Hippocrates)—which were, in turn, linked to four psychological temperaments—sanguine, melancholic, choleric, phlegmatic—and the four universal elements of earth, air, fire, and water).

Vesalius’ was not alone in the exploration of the natural world. Otto Brunfels, Hieronymus Bock, and Leonhard Fuchs published pioneering botanical texts in 1530, 1539, and 1542 respectively while Konrad Gessner published his History of Animals in several volumes between 1551 and 1558—the last posthumously—covering quadrupeds, birds, fish, and snakes. All of these contained quite accurate illustrations of their subjects.

Renaissance men were not simply interested in letters. Renaissance men were also obsessed with rhetoric, letter writing, and poetry. Renaissance men believed that one could use ancient images, similes, sayings, and proverbs to enrich their own prose and at the same time convey the insights of the ancient past to their readers. No one, perhaps, did this better than Erasmus of Rotterdam, one of the most famous of Renaissance men.

Erasmus, poet, painter, educator, textual critic, satirist, and theologian, wrote one of the most successful and popular collections of this type, the Adages. When this book was banned by the Church, one printer-publisher prepared an expurgated version for Catholics it was so popular. What was perhaps most important about the Adages was that it allowed humanist wannabees to avoid reading the many ancient texts necessary to be a Renaissance man and obtain all the necessary knowledge by simply leafing through the Adages index of proverbs instead (a kind of Renaissance Cliffs Notes or online Sparks Notes).

The motive behind these collections of sayings was both educational and moral. Ethics was at the heart of the Renaissance. Erasmus and many other Renaissance men believed passionately that an educated person would be a moral person and they meant to educate men and educated men for morality. Renaissance men founded and ran schools in Italy, France, and even Germany. Renaissance men had an almost limitless belief in the power of a liberalizing and improving classical education, an idea still popular in some circles today. For them the only type of real education was a moral humane (humanitas) education which involved both instruction (paideia) and spirit (philanthropia). Renaissance education combined intellectual and literary disciplines with artistic, musical, and physical training for both body and mind. You should be able to hear the influence of classical educational philosophies on the modern mind and modern education if you listen closely.

The Renaissance had, to some extent, corrosive effects on that which came before it and thus, for some, is where the modern world we live in today was born. Renaissance de-Christianification of Aristotle struck at the heart of Christian doctrine since Aristotle was at the heart of the Scholasticism of Aquinas, the intellectual system that was the intellectual heart of Mediaeval (and contemporary for that matter) Catholic theology and doctrine. But it didn’t end there. The Renaissance emphasis on original ancient texts would soon be applied to the Bible. The devout Christian Erasmus would attempt to compile a New Testament based on the best ancient texts calling into question, at least implicitly, the validity of the Latin Vulgate Bible and raising questions about possible accretions in Biblical texts. In its extreme form humanist corrosiveness would give us The Prince (Il principe 1532) by that Renaissance man Niccolo Machiavelli of Florence. Machiavelli saw religion as the social cement holding society together. And he argued that the ideal prince—he apparently modeled his ideal prince after Cesare Borgia ruler of Florence—of such a society is one is an amoral and calculating tyrant.

A Jewish philosopher living in Holland in the seventeenth century, Baruch Spinoza, would finally bring the Renaissance to bear on the Biblical text specifically the Torah. Spinoza questioned whether Moses actually wrote the books of the Bible attributed to him. By the nineteenth century under the impact of Darwinian evolutionary theory a number of scholars, most of them German, came to the same conclusion. Arguing that the Bible could not have been written until urbanism, the monarchy, and a priestly caste had developed in Ancient Israel they suggested that the five books of Moses had actually derived from several previous sources themselves not authored by Moses including a J or Y document—a source which used Yahweh for god, the E document—a source which used Elohim for god, the P document—a priestly source which contained regulatory and ritual sources relating to the priesthood in Ancient Israel—and the D document—a book discovered by King Josiah in the temple in Jerusalem in 622 BCE (II Kings 22). Scholars date these sources to no earlier than the rule of King David.

Perhaps the most spectacular area of Renaissance scientific inquiry was cosmology or astrology. These inquiries arose not simply from an interest in the natural world but also out of an interest in magic and the needs of judicial astrology, in other words, the needs associated with the forecasting future events by calculation of the planetary and stellar bodies and their relationship to the earth.

The standard theory of the solar system during the Mediaeval period was that of Ptolemy, a 2nd century natural philosopher. In Ptolemy’s mathematically meticulous cosmic order, celestial bodies revolved around the earth in perfect circular fashion. In this system the earth was both the center of the universe and the lowest point of creation. Earth was change, decay, and fragility. As one moved past the changeable moon to the dependable sun, however, things became more fixed, more reliable, and more perfect until one arrived at the ultimate in permeability and perfection, the heavens. Ptolemy’s system, though it did have anomalies even at the time, worked because of its meticulous mathematics and its persuasive moral content, a fallen earth as the point around which things revolved and ever increasing perfection as one went further out into the heavens.

  1. Of english words and phrases (1)

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    V. exist, be; have being &c n.; subsist, live, breathe, stand, obtain, be the case; occur &c (event) 151; have place, prevail; find oneself, pass the time, vegetate.
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    2. Inexistence N. inexistence†; nonexistence, nonsubsistence; nonentity, nil; negativeness &c adj.; nullity; nihility†, nihilism; tabula rasa [Lat.], blank; abeyance; absence &c 187; no such thing &c 4; nonbeing, nothingness, oblivion.
  3. Copyright (C) micra, Inc. 1991, 1992

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  4. Ю. Б. Голицынский 4-е изд., Спб.: Каро, 2003. 288с

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    1. This is a book. It is my book. 2. Is this your pencil? — No, it isn t my pencil, it is my sister s pencil. 3. I have a sister. My sister is an engineer.
  5. А. Л. Пумпянский написал серию из трех книг по переводу нашей научной и технической литературы на английский язык: «Введение в практику перевода научной и технической литературы на английский язык», «Пособие по перево (1)

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  6. А. Л. Пумпянский написал серию из трех книг по переводу нашей научной и технической литературы на английский язык: «Введение в практику перевода научной и технической литературы на английский язык», «Пособие по перево (2)

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    А. Л. Пумпянский написал серию из трех книг по переводу нашей научной и технической литературы на английский язык: «Введение в практику перевода научной и технической литературы на английский язык», «Пособие по переводу научной и технической
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    Учебное пособие
    Работа одобрена редакционно-издательским советом академии в качестве учебного пособия по английскому языку для студентов II курса специальности «Мосты и транспортные тоннели»
  10. Задача настоящего учебника помочь учащимся овладеть как навыками перевода, так и навыками устной и письменной англий­ской речи. Для достижения этой цели учащиеся должны приобрести определенный запас слов и изучить грамматический строй языка

    Задача
    Задача настоящего учебника — помочь учащимся овладеть как навыками перевода, так и навыками устной и письменной англий­ской речи. Для достижения этой цели учащиеся должны приобрести определенный запас слов и изучить грамматический строй языка.

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