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Tang Dynasty ruled China for a little less than three centuries during which China saw a period of progress and growth both militarily and culturally. Many great poets belong to the Tang era and several important inventions were made in medicine and technology. Here are 10 major achievements and accomplishments of one of the greatest dynasties to serve China.

唐朝统治中国不到三个世纪,但在此期间,中国在军事和文化上都经历了一个很大的进步和发展。许多伟大的诗人都出自唐代,唐时在医学和技术方面都有一些重要的发明。以下就是中国最伟大的朝代之一唐朝的十大成就。

#1 CHINA BECAME THE LARGEST NATION IN THE WORLD
During the Tang Dynasty, China reached unprecedented heights becoming the largest and strongest nation in the world. It covered most of the territory of present-day China, Vietnam and much of Central Asia as far as eastern Kazakhstan. Its capital Chang’an (present-day Xi’an) was the most populous city in the world at the time. It was a cosmopolitan urban center with considerable foreign populations from other parts of Asia and beyond.

#1中国成为世界上最大的国家
唐朝时期,中国成为了世界上领土最大、实力也最强大的国家,达到了前所未有的高度。其领土覆盖了当今中国、越南和中亚大部分地区,一直延伸到现在的哈萨克斯坦东部。它的首都长安(今西安)是当时世界上人口最多的城市,并且它是一个世界性的城市中心,有大量来自亚洲其他地区和亚洲以外其他地区的外国人口来往不绝。



Map showing the Tang Dynasty at it’s maximum extent

唐朝最大疆域图

#2 THE FIRST COMPREHENSIVE CRIMINAL CODE IN CHINA WAS CREATED
The first comprehensive criminal code in China was created in 624 AD in the Tang Dynasty. It was divided into 500 articles specifying different crimes and penalties ranging from ten blows with a light stick, one hundred blows with a heavy rod, exile, penal servitude, or execution. The Tang Code is considered as one of the greatest achievements of traditional Chinese law and it became the basis for later dynastic codes not only in China but elsewhere in East Asia.

#2中国第一部全面刑法典诞生
中国第一部综合性刑法典于公元624年在唐代制定。它被分为500篇,具体说明了不同的罪行以及每个罪行对应的处罚,从10次轻棍打击到100次重棒打击、流放、劳役或处决。唐律被认为是中国传统法律最伟大的成就之一,它不仅成为中国后世王朝法典的基础,而且也成为东亚其他地方王朝法典的基础。



Tang statue of a civil official

唐朝一位文官的雕像

#3 THE IMPERIAL EXAMINATION BECAME THE MAJOR PATH TO OFFICE
The imperial examination was a civil service examination system in Imperial China to select candidates for the state bureaucracy. Although it started as early as the Han Dynasty, it became a major path to office only during the Tang era and remained so until its abolition in 1905. It was during Tang that the process became a comprehensive system with students being tested on Confucian classics, knowledge of governance and politics, ability to compose original poetry and to a lesser extent calligraphy, mathematics and law.

#3 科举考试成了进入官场的主要途径
科举制度是中国王朝为国家官僚机构选拔候选人的一种制度。虽然它早在汉代就开始了,但直到唐朝才成为进入官场的主要途径,直到1905年才被废除。正是在唐代,这一过程变成了一个完整的体系,学生们接受儒家经典、国家治理和政治知识、创作原创诗歌的能力以及书法、数学和法律等方面的测试以进入仕途。

#4 CHINESE POETRY REACHED ITS PINNACLE
The Tang era is considered the greatest age for Chinese poetry. Such was the importance of poetry that skills in composing poems were required to pass the imperial examinations. Many prominent Chinese poets belonged to the Tang age including Li Bai, often considered the greatest Chinese poet of all time; and Du Fu, another all-time great who is called the “Poet-Historian”. Poetry styles that were popular in the Tang were gushi, unregulated or “old (or ancient) poetry”; and jintishi, regulated or “modern-form poetry”.

#4 中国诗歌创作达到了鼎盛时期
唐代被认为是中国诗歌最伟大的时代。诗歌的重要性在于,要通过科举考试,就必须掌握诗歌的写作技巧。许多杰出的中国诗人都出自唐代,包括李白,他被认为是中国历史上最伟大的诗人,还有杜甫,另一位被称为"诗史"的空前伟大的诗人。盛行于唐代的诗有古体诗(非格律诗)以及近体诗(律诗)。(译注:诗史应该指的是杜甫的诗,而不是杜甫其人)



Li Bai of the Tang Dyansty who is considered the greatest Chinese poet

唐代的李白被认为是中国最伟大的诗人

#5 LITERATURE FLOURISHED
The Tang period was a golden age of Chinese literature. Apart from poetry, short stories and tales were popular. Yuan Zhen was a prominent writer and his work Yingying’s Biography was widely circulated and is considered to be one of the first works of fiction in Chinese literature. Another important work is Miscellaneous Morsels from Youyang by Duan Chengshi which contains varied content including foreign legends and hearsay, reports on natural phenomena, short anecdotes and notes on such topics as medicinal herbs and tattoos.

#5 唐朝文学欣欣向荣
唐代是中国文学的黄金时代。除了诗歌,短篇小说和戏剧也很受欢迎。元稹是一位杰出的作家,他的《莺莺传》被广泛传阅,被认为是中国文学史上第一部小说。另一部重要作品是段成式的《酉阳杂俎》,内容丰富多样,包括外国传说、道听途说、自然现象报道、短篇轶事、药材、文身等题材的记录等等。

#6 WORLD’S EARLIEST DATED PRINTED BOOK WAS MADE IN THE TANG PERIOD
Woodblock printing saw great development during the Tang period. The Diamond Sutra, the world’s earliest dated printed book, has been dated precisely to 868, which falls during the Tang era. Woodblock printing which became prent during the Tang period would remain the dominant printing type in China till the printing press from Europe overtook several centuries later. The new age of printing during Tang also led to the invention of playing cards.

#6 唐朝出现了世界上可考证的最早的印刷书籍
唐代木刻印刷术有了很大的发展。世界上可考证的最古老的印刷书籍《金刚经》,其出现的精确年代是公元868年,也就是唐朝的时候。唐代流行的木刻印刷术在中国仍占主导地位,直到几个世纪后才被欧洲的印刷术取代,唐代印刷术的新发展也间接导致了扑克牌的发明。



A page from the Diamond Sutra

《金刚经》上的一页

#7 PHYSICIANS OF TANG DYNASTY WERE THE FIRST TO SUCCESSFULLY TREAT PATIENTS WITH GOITRE
During the reign of Tang Dynasty, pharmacopeias were compiled with text and illustrated drawings for 833 different medicinal substances. Medicine authors during Tang included Zhen Chuan, who first identified in writing that patients with diabetes had an excess of sugar in their urine; and Sun Simiao, who was the first to recognize that diabetic patients should avoid consuming alcohol and starchy foods. Also thyroid glands of sheep and pigs were successfully used to treat goiters, a technique not used in the west until 1890.

#7 唐朝的医生是第一个成功治疗甲状腺肿的人
唐朝时期,人们用文字和插图为833种不同的药材编制了药典。唐代的医学作者包括甄立言,他首先书面确认糖尿病患者的尿液中有过量的糖,孙思邈是第一个认识到糖尿病患者应该避免饮酒和吃淀粉类食物的人。绵羊和猪的甲状腺也被成功地用于治疗甲状腺肿,而在西方这种技术直到1890年才被使用。
Sun Simiao of Tang was titled as China’s King of Medicine

唐代的孙思邈被称为药王

#8 WORLD’S FIRST CLOCKWORK ESCAPEMENT MECHANISM WAS INVENTED
An escapement is a device in mechanical watches and clocks which transfers energy to the clock’s timekeeping element and allows the number of its oscillations to be counted. The Tang Dynasty Buddhist monk Yi Xing along with government official Liang Lingzan made the world’s first clockwork escapement mechanism. It was used to create a device for astronomical observation which also had a mechanically timed bell that was struck automatically every hour, and a drum that was struck automatically every quarter hour.

#8 发明了世界上第一个钟表机械擒纵器
擒纵机构是机械表和时钟中的一种装置,它将能量传递给时钟的计时元件,并允许对其振荡次数进行计数。唐代僧人一行与政府官员梁令瓒共同打造了世界上第一个钟表式的擒纵器。它被用来制造一个天文观测装置,它还有一个机械定时钟,每小时自动敲击一次,还有一个鼓,每一刻钟自动敲击一次。(译注:水运浑天仪,设有两个木人,用齿轮带动,一个木人每刻(古代把一昼夜分为一百刻)自动击鼓,一个木人每辰(合现在两个小时)自动撞钟,这里说的时间不准确)

#9 A BETTER FORM OF PORCELAIN AND GUNPOWDER WAS INVENTED
Gunpowder was invented during the Tang Dynasty by Taoists who were attempting to create a potion of immortality. It is usually listed among the “Four Great Inventions” of China along with compass, papermaking and printing. Tang people collected natural gas into portable bamboo tubes which could be carried around for dozens of km and still produce a flame. These were essentially the first gas cylinders. The vitrified, translucent ceramic known as porcelain was invented during the Tang reign, although many types of glazed ceramics preceded it. Porcelain was exported to the Islamic world, where it was highly prized.

#9 发明了更好的瓷器和火药
火药是唐代的道士发明的,当时他们试图炼制一种能让人长生的药剂而发现了火药。火药通常与指南针、造纸术和印刷术一起被列为中国的"四大发明"。唐人将天然气收集到便携的竹管中,这些竹管在运输数十公里后仍能点燃产生火焰,这基本上就是第一个天然气罐。被称为瓷器的透明陶瓷是在唐代发明的,尽管在它之前也有许多种类的釉瓷。瓷器被出口到伊斯兰世界,在那里它们被人们视若珍宝。



Red ceramic glazed porcelain horse from the Tang dynasty

唐朝红釉瓷马

#10 PAINTING MATURED AND THE FIRST OPERA TROUPE WAS FORMED
Chinese painting developed dramatically, both in subject matter and technique. Among the most prominent painters of the period are Han Gan, Zhang Xuan, and Zhou Fang. EmperorXuanzong of Tang founded the Pear Garden which was the first known royal acting and musical academy in China. The performers formed the first known opera troupe in China mostly performing for the emperor. To this day operatic professionals in China are still referred to as“Disciples of the Pear Garden”.

#10 绘画逐渐成熟,成立了第一个剧团
在唐代,中国画在题材和技法两方面都有了长足的发展。这一时期最杰出的画家有韩干、张宣和周昉。唐玄宗建立了中国第一个皇家表演音乐学校--梨园。这些演员组成了中国第一个著名的剧团,主要为皇帝演出。时至今日,中国的歌剧专业人员仍被称为"梨园弟子"。