II. Read and translate the text.
Periodization is the attempt to categorize or divide time into discrete named blocks. The result is a descriptive abstraction that provides a useful handle on periods of time with relatively stable characteristics.
Most sciences that engage the history of some particular object find it helpful to utilize a system of periodization. All of these periods are retrospectively defined, and therefore only valuable to the extent that they aid critical analysis and convenient description. Historical periods are limited by generally agreed-upon temporal and geographical boundaries. Periodization from the sciences includes the geologic Cretaceous or Jurassic periods, while examples from human history include the Modern and Medieval periods.
Periodization is a complex issue. To the extent that history is continuous, all systems of periodization are more or less arbitrary. Nevertheless, it is pragmatically useful to divide up history in order to make sense of the past and to articulate changes over time. Different nations and cultures, which experience different histories, require different models of periodization. Periodizing labels are continually challenged and redefined. Thus a historian may claim that there was no such thing as the Renaissance, while others will defend the concept.
The reasons for this are complex. Periodizing blocks will inevitably overlap, or even seemingly contradict one another. Furthermore, certain periodizing concepts only apply under specific conditions. Some have a cultural usage. Others refer to historical events, yet others are defined by decimal numbering systems ("the 1960s", "the 17th Century"). Other periods are named from influential or talismanic individuals ("the Victorian Era", "the Edwardian Era", "the Napoleonic Era").
Some of these usages will also be geographically specific. This is especially true of periodizing labels derived from individuals or ruling elites, such as the Jacksonian Era in America, the Meiji Era in Japan, or the Merovingian Period in France. Cultural terms may also have a limited reach. Thus the concept of the "Romantic period" may be meaningless outside of Europe and European-influenced cultures. Likewise, "the 1960s", though technically applicable to anywhere in the world according to Common Era numbering, has a certain set of specific cultural connotations in certain countries. For this reason it may be possible to say such things as "The 1960s never occurred in Spain." This would mean that the sexual revolution, counterculture, youth rebellion and so on never developed during that decade in Spain's conservative Roman Catholic culture and under Francisco Franco's authoritarian regime. Likewise it is possible to claim, as the historian Arthur Marwick has, that "the 1960s" began in the late 1950s and ended in the early 1970s. His reason for saying this is that the cultural and economic conditions that define the meaning of the period covers more than the accidental fact of a 10 year block beginning with the number 6. This extended usage is termed the "long 1960s". This usage derives from other historians who have adopted labels such as "the long 19th century" (1789–1914) to reconcile arbitrary decimal chronology with meaningful cultural and social phases. Similarly, an Eighteenth Century may run 1714–1789. Eric Hobsbawm has also argued for what he calls "the short twentieth century", encompassing the period from the First World War through to the end of the Cold War.
Similar problems attend other labels. Is it possible to use the term "Victorian" outside of Britain? It sometimes is used when it is thought that its connotations usefully describe the politics, culture and economic conditions characteristic of the last two-thirds of the nineteenth century. Nevertheless periodizing terms often have negative or positive connotations which may affect their usage. This would include "Victorian", which is often used negatively to suggest sexual repression, class conflict, heavy industry and so on. Other labels such as "Renaissance" have strongly positive characteristics. As a result, these terms will sometimes be extended in meaning.
Because of these various positive and negative connotations, some periods are luckier than others regarding their names, although this can lead to problems such as the ones outlined above.
The term Middle Ages also derives from Petrarch. He was comparing his own period to the Ancient or Classical world, seeing his time as a time of rebirth after a dark intermediate period, the Middle Ages. The idea that the Middle Ages was a "middle" phase between two other large scale periodizing concepts, Ancient and Modern, still persists. It can be sub-divided into the Early, High and Late Middle Ages. The term Dark Ages is no longer in common use among modern scholars because of the difficulty of using it neutrally, though some writers have attempted to retain it and divest it of its negative connotations. The term "Middle Ages" and especially the adjective medieval can also have a negative ring in colloquial use ("the barbaric treatment of prisoners in such-and-such a prison is almost medieval") but this does not carry over into academic terminology. However other terms, such as Gothic architecture, used to refer to a style typical of the High Middle Ages have largely lost the negative connotations they initially had, acquiring new meanings over time.
The Gothic and the Baroque were both named during subsequent stylistic periods when the preceding style was unpopular. The word "Gothic" was applied as a pejorative term to all things Northern European and, hence, barbarian, probably first by Giorgio Vasari. Vasari is also credited with first using the term "Renaissance" (rinascita), the period during which he was art historian, artist and architect. Giorgio Vasari coined the term "Gothic" in an effort to describe, particularly architecture that he found objectionable, supposedly saying "it is as if the Goths built it". The word "baroque" (probably) was used first in late 18th century French about the irregular natural pearl shape and later about an architectural style perceived to be "irregular" in comparison to the highly regular Neoclassical architecture of that time. Subsequently these terms have become purely descriptive, and have largely lost negative connotations. However the term "Baroque" as applied to art (for example Rubens) refers to a much earlier historical period than when applied to music (Händel, Bach). This reflects the difference between stylistic histories internal to an art form and the external chronological history beyond it.
In many cases people living through a period are unable to identify themselves as belonging to the period that historians may later assign to them. This is partly because they are unable to predict the future, and so will not be able to tell whether they are at the beginning, middle or end of a period. Another reason may be that their own sense of historical development may be determined by religions or ideologies that differ from those used by later historians.
It is important to recognize the difference between self-defined historical periods, and those which are later defined by historians. At the beginning of the 20th century there was a general belief that culture, politics and history were entering a new era – that the new century would also be a new era in human experience. This belief was repeated at the beginning of the 21st century, though in a very different way. Other cultural and historical phases have only been described many years, or even centuries, later.
III. Give synonyms to the underlined words:
§ to categorize or divide time;
§ useful handle;
§ stable characteristics;
§ particular object;
§ to define the meaning;
§ toaid critical analysis;
§ temporal and geographical boundaries;
§ to defend the concept;
§ inevitably overlap;
§ specific cultural connotations;
§ purely descriptive;
§ meaningful phases;
§ to retain and divest
IV. Find English equivalents for the following:
¨ класифікувати або ділити час на окремі частини
¨ сприяти критичному аналізу;
¨ бути більш чи менш випадковим;
¨ відстоювати концепцію;
¨ неминуче частково співпадати;
¨ технічно придатний;
¨ визначати значення періоду;
¨ випадковий/неістотний факт;
¨ широке використання;
¨ охоплюючи період;
¨ розповсюджуватися в академічній термінології;
¨ цілковито описовий;
¨ бути поширеним у значенні
V. Study the given below lexical units (provide the Ukrainian variant):
¨ sciences that engage the history;
¨ helpful to utilize a system of periodization;
¨ only valuable to the extent;
¨ in order to make sense of the past;
¨ apply under specific conditions;
¨ outside of Europe and European-influenced cultures;
¨ connotations usefully describe the politics, culture and economic conditions;
¨ a time of rebirth after a dark intermediate period;
¨ determined by religions or ideologies
VI. Explain the expressions in other words:
- to divide time into discrete named blocks;
- to engage the history of some particular object;
- temporal and geographical boundaries;
- talismanic individuals;
- periodizing labels;
- to reconcile chronology with meaningful cultural and social phases;
- descriptive terms;
- defined by decimal numbering systems;
- technically applicable to anywhere in the world
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