|http://www.sina.com.cn 2006/02/10 17:44 《视听英语》杂志|
“One woman has degraded the whole of Eden. So a single woman can also degrade the whole of Athos.
The holy Mount Athos of Greece is a rare resort occupied by 900 monks. It was listed in UNESCO's World Culture Heritage catalogue in 1988. It is noted for its bizarre laws.
No female 雌性止步
In 1060, a strict law was enacted in Mt. Athos: Barring any female's entrance. A male can not be accompanied by his wife, girlfriend, lover or even any female pet, whatever it is— kitten, doggy or parrot!
If a lady is caught sneaking onto Mt. Athos, she can face as many as 6 to 16 whippings, before being driven out of the area. This is not without examples. Ms. Kola Miller, an American exchange scholar was a victim. She was kayaking when she approached the foot of Mt. Athos. Dressed in her bikini, she went ashore to enjoy the natural, scenic views. She was seen and once caught, she was bound up and given 16 harsh whippings from the irritated religious court of Mt. Athos. Then, as further payment for her severe violation of the local law, she was forced to spend a whole night in a dark dungeon, without food and water.
Ex-queen Mary of Romania once disguised herself as a boy and almost succeeded in deceiving the guards. Although she was caught, she was sent home immediately without being punished. The owner of Mt. Athos was apparently capable of handling such a diplomatic situation, which might have evolved into a complex, international “conflict.”
An absolute isolation to the world 与世隔绝
Mount Athos is situated in the most beautiful peninsula of Halkidiki. It is the only place in Greece that is completely dedicated to praying and worshiping God. For this reason, it is called the Holy Mount. It was said that Mount Athos was considered “The Garden of the Virgin Mary”, so other women were banned to enter. Thereafter, it became a forbidden area for women.
There are 25 churches and 70 temples in Mt. Athos. Its monastery library has an abundant collection of rare 13-16th century Slavic manuscripts and archives. Mt. Athos is subordinated8 to the rule of Orthodoxy, although a part of Greece, it is free from any control by Greek law. Strict rules ban any musical instrument, cigarettes, games and singing, not to mention radio, television, telephone, telegraph and newspaper. Its only property is a car.
Who are they? 何方神圣？
Who are the monks in Athos? Most of them were sent to Mt. Athos when they were born, so they know little about females. But what drives them to voluntarily isolate themselves from the civilized world? What drives them to spend their whole lives on this peninsula of land that is merely 150 square miles in size?
A probe to the monasteries 修道院探秘
Walking or riding on a mule, a tourist can look into the monasteries one by one. He will find neat bedrooms, true vegetarian food, enough fresh water or fruit wine. Dinner is usually a silent time. But one can find haricot soup, fish, salad and wine and bread. The monks bake bread by themselves.
The monks are well educated. “Why don't I leave here?” one of them said. “It's a life worthwhile, a life of leisure. No pressures, no troubles. No need to worry about anything. We are living together in Mt. Athos and have longer life expectancies than anywhere else around the world. So what does a woman mean for us?”
These bachelors are sealed off in the monasteries. They live, work, and pray behind the high walls. They spend their time in serenity and meditation. Athos is a relic of human history. It is the last male retreat on earth.
|【评论】【论坛】【收藏此页】【大 中 小】【多种方式看新闻】【下载点点通】【打印】【关闭】|