您現在的位置: 紐約時報中英文網 >> 紐約時報中英文版 >> 旅游 >> 正文

倫敦石:毫不起眼無人注意的倫敦地標

更新時間:2019/9/29 21:20:46 來源:紐約時報中文網 作者:佚名

The baffling origin of London Stone
倫敦石:毫不起眼無人注意的倫敦地標

London’s Cannon Street is a frantic mêlée during the morning rush hour. As commuters hurry to work, few notice the small crypt, with a glass encasement within it, built into the wall of 111 Cannon Street. Fewer still know that to peer inside would reveal a stone – nothing extravagant, just a lump of oolitic limestone.

早上交通高峰時段,倫敦的加農街(Cannon Street)上一片混亂。上班族匆匆忙忙,鮮有人注意到這條街111號墻上的小地穴,里面還有一個玻璃外殼。更少的人知道里面還有一塊石頭,全無奢華,只是一塊鮞粒灰巖(oolitic limestone)。

There are no precious metals or engravings; it’s not a dazzling artefact you might find in a museum. But what it is, and has been as long as records exist, is a literal and metaphorical part of London. Some 18th-Century writers even suggested that, much like the palladium that protected the city of Troy in Ancient Greek mythology, the stone’s survival is key to the continued existence of London itself.

這塊石頭不含貴重金屬也無銘文,并不像博物館那些令人眼花繚亂的工藝品。但自從它出現在文字史料中,在字面和隱喻上,就都是倫敦的一部分。一些18世紀的作家甚至認為,就像古希臘神話中特洛伊城的守護神一樣,這塊石頭是倫敦持續存在的關鍵。

“It’s always there, and always remains the same,” said Roy Stephenson, London’s Historic Environment Lead at the Museum of London. “It has stood roughly in the same spot, while everything around it has changed.”

倫敦博物館(Museum of London)倫敦歷史環境負責人斯蒂芬森(Roy Stephenson)說:“它一直在那里,而且一直保持不變。它大致處于同一位置,而周圍的一切都發生了變化。”

To this day, the exact origin of this 53cm-by-43cm-by-30cm piece of rock, known as London Stone, remains a mystery. Studies undertaken in the 1960s revealed it was likely Clipsham limestone, probably extracted from the band of Jurassic-era rock that runs from Dorset in England’s south-west to Lincolnshire in the north-east. In 2016, results from tests conducted by the Museum of London Archaeology suggest London Stone could be from the Cotswolds, 160km west of London.

直到今天,這塊長53厘米,寬30厘米,高43厘米,被稱為倫敦石(London Stone)的確切起源仍然是個謎。20世紀60年代的研究表明,它很像是克利夫沙姆石灰巖(Clipsham limestone),可能是從侏羅紀時期的巖石帶中采集,該巖石帶從英格蘭西南部的多塞特郡(Dorset)延伸到東北部的林肯郡(Lincolnshire)。2016年,倫敦考古博物館(Museum of London Archaeology)的測試結果表明,倫敦石可能來自倫敦以西160公里的科茨沃爾德(Cotswolds)。

London Stone was included on the earliest printed maps of the city in the 16th Century. In 1578, L Grenade, a visiting Frenchman, described it as ‘3ft high, 2ft wide and 1ft thick’. What remains today is only a fraction of the original stone that was once embedded in the ground in the centre of Candlewick Street, now known as Cannon Street, a short walk from the Tower of London. John Stow, a 16th-Century London historian, wrote in 1598: “It is so strongly set, that if carts do run against it through negligence, the wheels be broken, and the stone itself unshaken.” It was an entirely impractical position, no doubt, but bearing how much the topography has changed in London over the last millennium, it’s fair to assume that the streets were built around the stone. But that is all we can say definitively.

倫敦石早在16世紀就出現在印刷版的城市地圖中。1578年,一位名為格林納達(L Grenade)的法國訪客描述其為“3英尺高,2英尺寬,1英尺厚”。如今僅存的是原石的一小部分,原石曾埋在燈芯街(Candlewick Street)的中心地帶,即現在的加農街,離倫敦塔(Tower of London)不遠。1598年,倫敦歷史學家斯托(John Stow)寫道:“它是如此堅固,如果馬車因為疏忽撞上它,車輪就會斷裂,而石頭卻不會動搖。”毫無疑問,石頭所處的這個位置有些離奇,但考慮到倫敦地貌在過去一千年發生了重大的變化,我們有理由認為,以前的街道是圍繞這塊石頭修建的。但我們能肯定的只有這些。

“Science just can’t explain it – this is one case where archaeology has failed,” said John Clark, curator emeritus at the Museum of London.

倫敦博物館榮休館長克拉克(John Clark)說:“科學無法解釋這一現象,這是考古學一個失敗的例子。”

The stone has been a London landmark for centuries and has borne witness to some of the city’s most dramatic moments. On 2 September 1666, a fire broke out in a bakery on Pudding Lane. Over the next three to four days The Great Fire of London ravaged the medieval heart of London, destroying more than 13,000 buildings – including those surrounding London Stone. Its position in the middle of the street likely saved the stone from significant damage, but the inferno led to a startling discovery.

幾個世紀以來,這塊石頭一直是倫敦的地標,見證了這座城市最重要的時刻。1666年9月2日,布丁巷(Pudding Lane)的一家面包店發生火災。在接下來的三到四天里,大火焚毀了中世紀倫敦的中心地帶,破壞了13,000多座建筑,倫敦石周圍的建筑也無幸免。但倫敦石位于街道中部,因此免遭嚴重的損壞。這場大火還導致了一個驚人的發現。

As architects began reconstructing the city, surveyors found that much like an iceberg, the visible stone was only a small portion of a much larger structure. The ‘root’ of the stone extended around 3m down into the earth. It could have been “a kind of Obelisque,” noted Robert Hooke, from the Royal Society, the UK’s science academy, at the time of excavation. This theory was supported by 17th-Century architect Christopher Wren who, through his son, Christopher Wren Jr, later speculated that it could have been “in the manner of the Milliarium Aureum, at Rome”, an ancient monument from which all roads in the Roman Empire began and mileage throughout the empire was measured.

大火過后建筑師開始重建這座城市,測量者發現,這塊石頭很像一座冰山,可見的只是小部分,石頭的“根”向地下延伸了大約3米。發掘時,英國皇家學會(Royal Society)科學研究院的胡克(Robert Hooke)指出,它可能是“一種方尖碑”(Obelisque)。這一理論得到當時的建筑師克里斯托弗·雷恩(Christopher Wren)的支持。他和他的兒子小克里斯托弗·雷恩(Christopher Wren Jr)猜測,這石頭可能類似“羅馬城的金色基石”(Milliarium Aureum,Golden Milestone),就是一個古老的紀念基石(大地原點), 羅馬帝國所有道路的建造,乃至整個帝國的里程測繪,都由這里開始。

Sadly, evidence to support the theories that it formed part of a structure dating from the Roman Empire are sparse and far from conclusive. What’s more, the stone would soon be relocated, and the construction of the Metropolitan Railway in the mid-19th Century led much of the stone’s original foundation to be quarried away.

遺憾的是,能證明它是羅馬帝國時期建筑的證據非常少,而且遠沒有定論。更重要的是,這塊石頭不久后就被重新安置。19世紀中期建設大都會鐵路時,這塊石頭的大部分原始地基被挖走。

By 1742, with London’s increasingly traffic-clogged streets, the stone had become a hazard and was moved a short distance from the centre of the street to the curb side, and placed by the wall of St Swithin’s Church. In 1940, the stone once again survived devastation after the church was all but destroyed by German bombs during the Blitz. In 1962, the remains of the church were replaced by the office building at 111 Cannon Street – which included a specially designed place to keep the stone – and it has remained here ever since (with the exception of the two years between 2016 and 2018, when it resided at the Museum of London while the building was renovated).

到1742年,隨著倫敦交通日益擁堵,這塊石頭容易引發危險,因此從街道中心搬到了不遠處,放置在圣斯威恩教堂(St Swithin's Church)的墻上。1940年,這座教堂在閃電戰(The Blitz)中幾乎被德軍的炸彈摧毀,但這塊石頭又一次在廢墟中幸存下來。1962年,教堂遺址上建成的是加農街111號的寫字樓,并用一個特別設計的裝置保護石頭,此后它就一直待在那里,除了2016至2018兩年間,寫字樓被翻修,倫敦石挪入倫敦博物館。

Where facts and science have failed to provide a definite history, myths and stories have flourished. In 1450, an armed revolt rose against the deeply unpopular King Henry VI, whose fight to retain control of France was seen as the leading cause of England’s rising debt. Legend has it that the revolt’s leader, Jack Cade, placed his sword upon London Stone and declared himself ‘Lord of London’, an event that was dramatised – and much exaggerated – in Shakespeare’s Henry VI Part 2. Despite the effect this must have had on audiences, there is no evidence of the stone being employed for such declarations, before or after Cade.

關于它的歷史,史實和科學都沒有定論,傳說卻是耳熟能詳。其中一個就是,1450年,武裝起義爆發,反對“昏君”亨利六世國王(King Henry VI)。亨利六世想保住對法國的控制權而發動戰爭,英國債務因此飛漲。據傳說,起義領袖杰克·凱德(Jack Cade)將他的劍放在倫敦石上,宣布自己為“倫敦勛爵”(Lord of London)。這情節被莎士比亞寫入《亨利六世》的第二幕,而且被大大戲劇化了。盡管這肯定對讀者和觀眾產生了影響,但并沒有證據表明凱德聲明過程中出現過石頭。

While it may not have been used to overthrow the monarchy, London Stone has played a role in enforcing royal decrees. One particular incident comes from The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers, an organisation founded in 1629 by royal charter with the purpose to ‘support the prevention and treatment of vision impairment’ – a cause the company champions to this day. If spectacles in the city were found not to meet the requirements set out by the company, a claim was brought to court where a guilty verdict would result in punishment or destruction of the eyewear. Minutes from a 1671 case stated that 264 spectacles ‘were found badd and deceitful and by judgement of the Court condemned to be broken, defaced and spoyled both glasse and frame... on the remayning parte of London Stone’.

雖然推翻君主制可能沒有用到倫敦石,但它在執行王室法令方面發揮了作用。一個特別的事件是關于名為“受人敬重的眼鏡制造公司”(The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers)。該公司1629年收到皇家特許成立,目的是“支持視力障礙的預防和治療”。直至今日這家公司仍在倡導這項使命。如果倫敦的眼鏡被發現不符合該公司規定的要求,事主就會向法院提出索賠,如果判決有罪,責任人就會受到懲罰,且眼鏡要被銷毀。1671年的一個卷宗顯示,264副眼鏡被發現有瑕疵;責任人有欺騙行為。法院的判決其鏡片和鏡架都需要在倫敦石上被打碎、毀壞和報廢。

“We think it was a well-known landmark, a gathering place and the point where people travelling into the City would know they had reached London,” said Helen Perkins, Clerk (CEO) of The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers, noting that the destruction of the spectacles upon such a famous landmark acted as public deterrent.

“我們認為這是一個著名的地標、一個聚集點,游客到此就會知道他們已經到達倫敦,”眼鏡公司的行政總裁帕金斯說(Helen Perkins)說, 在這樣一個著名的地標銷毀眼鏡,是(針對不良行為)公開的威懾。

Although the stone’s original purpose may be lost, its symbolic importance is undeniable. Through fire and bombs, from Roman legionnaires to civilian revolutions, London Stone has remained ever-present.

雖然這塊石頭的原始目的已經不得而知,但它的象征意義不可否認。經歷過火災和轟炸,從羅馬軍團到平民革命,倫敦石一直存在。

We may not know what it was or where it came from, but we dare not move it now – the future of London might just be at stake. But then again, maybe it’s just a stone.

我們可能不知道它是什么,也不知道它從哪里來,但我們現在不敢動它——否則倫敦的未來可能就會受影響。不過話說回來,也許它只是一塊石頭。

“全文請訪問紐約時報中文網,本文發表于紐約時報中文網(http://cn.nytimes.com),版權歸紐約時報公司所有。任何單位及個人未經許可,不得擅自轉載或翻譯。訂閱紐約時報中文網新聞電郵:http://nytcn.me/subscription/”

相關文章列表
后二星组选复式玩法