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  • On a small island in the middle of the Irish Sea, fortresses preside over the rugged shores.


  • This unlikely location was the birthplace of a medieval empire that lasted 200 years, ruled by a dynasty of sea kings.

    這難以置信的地方是一個持續了 200 年的中世紀帝國的發源地,由海王王朝統治。

  • The first of these kings was Godred Crovan, a notorious warlord descended from Irish and Viking rulers.


  • Starting in 1079, Godred consolidated power over the Isle of Man and the Hebrides, a collection of islands off the west coast of Scotland.

    從 1079 年開始,戈德雷德鞏固了對曼島和赫布里底群島的統治,赫布里底群島是蘇格蘭西海岸的一系列島嶼。

  • He seized control of important sea routes between the British Isles, Scandinavia, and the North Atlantic.


  • A turbulent period followed Godred's death, characterised by invasions from Norway and Ireland, and intense feuding between princes.


  • But his descendants held on to power, building coastal fortresses, roving the seaways, throwing themselves into epic battles, and consolidating control over an impressive maritime kingdom.


  • The inhabitants of this kingdom had both Gaelic and Norse roots, and many probably spoke both languages.


  • Those on the Isle of Man were known as the Manx people, while those in the Hebrides were known as Islanders or People of the Isles.


  • Though we still don't know for sure how many there were, we do know this relatively small group had an outsize impact on the region.


  • Perched on cliffs with sweeping views and safe harbors, seaside fortresses helped the kings control shipping, commerce, and resources.


  • The empire commanded vast fleets of Viking-style long ships, which they used for trading, raiding, and plundering the seas.


  • Observing this prowess, many neighboring rulers sought their aid.


  • The brothers Rognvald and Olaf each solved neighbors' maritime woes: King Rognvald supplied military assistance to the Scottish king, and King Olaf's forces served as a Coast Guard at the English King Henry III's requestfor a hefty fee.


  • The sea kings also sparred with their powerful neighbors, but they had a particularly bitter rivalry with another dynasty in their own isles: a line of rulers in the Hebrides.


  • In the 1150s, a chieftain of this line, Somerled, defeated the Manx King, his brother-in-law, in a naval battle and formed a rival Kingdom of the Isles, fracturing the old kingdom.

    在 1150 年代,這一血統的酋長索默莱德在海戰中擊敗了他的姐夫曼島國王,組建了一個敵對的群島王國,瓦解了舊王國。

  • This began a century-long rivalry between Somerled's line, who ruled the southern and central Hebrides, and the Manx Kings, who ruled the Isle of Man and northern Hebrides, to control the seaways.


  • Family feuds often blossomed into bitter civil wars.


  • In 1223, King Rognvald sent a letter to his son commanding him to murder his uncle Olaf.

    1223 年,朗格納瓦德國王給他的兒子寫了一封信,命令他謀殺他的叔叔奧拉夫。

  • When Olaf discovered the plot, he launched a vicious attack on his nephew, blinding and mutilating him.


  • After Rognvald's death several years later, people realized the letter ordering the attack might have been forged.


  • The Manx kings attempted to resolve disagreements at Tynwald, an open-air parliament centered on a mound, where assemblies ruled on matters of justice and other issues.

    曼島國王試圖解決 Tynwald 的分歧,而 Tynwald 是一個以土丘為中心的露天議會,議會就司法問題和其他問題進行裁決。

  • Such sites were commonly used in the Viking world for resolving anything from local disputes to matters involving kings.


  • These meetings didn't always go smoothlysometimes violence erupted, and in 1237, two rival factions squabbled to the point of breaking up the assembly at Tynwald.

    這些會議並不總是一帆風順——有時會爆發暴力事件,1237 年,兩個敵對派別爭吵不休,以至於在 Tynwald 解散了集會。

  • The four-tiered mound at Tynwald survives to this day, and the modern Manx parliament still holds an annual meeting there.

    Tynwald 的四層土丘一直保存至今,現代的曼島議會仍然每年在那裡舉行會議。

  • In 1248, King Harald of Man died in a shipwreck and was succeeded by his brother.

    1248 年,曼島國王哈拉爾死於海難,其弟繼位。

  • Weeks into the new king's reign, a rebel knight assassinated him.


  • His brother Magnus died in 1265 at Castle Rushenwithout an heir.

    他的兄弟馬格努斯於 1265 年在勒遜城堡去世,沒有繼承人。

  • According to one scribe, his death marked the day that "kings ceased to reign in Man."


  • Scotland annexed Man and the Isles the next year, in 1266.

    次年,蘇格蘭於 1266 年吞併了曼島。

  • We know about the exploits of the sea kings primarily from a chronicle written by Christian scribes living on the Isle of Man, and from the praise poems composed to celebrate the kings' victories.


  • Today, although the sea kings are long gone, their presence remains etched onto the landscape.


On a small island in the middle of the Irish Sea, fortresses preside over the rugged shores.


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世界史愛好者必看!曼島王國的興衰 (The rise and fall of the Kingdom of Man - Andrew McDonald)

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    Minjane 發佈於 2021 年 08 月 31 日