PART 1
  From the earliest days of the Renaissance, the writing of history meant recounting the exemplary lives of great men. In 1337, Petrarch began work on his rambling writing De Viris Illustribus - On Famous Men, highlighting the virtus (or virtue) of classical heroes. Petrarch celebrated their greatness in conquering fortune and rising to the top. This was the biographical tradition which Niccolo Machiavelli turned on its head. In The Prince, the championed cunning, ruthlessness, and boldness, rather than virtue, mercy and justice, as the skills of successful leaders.
  ▲闪光词组
  描述伟人的典型生活:recount the exemplary lives of great men
  强调古典英雄的美德:highlight the virtue of classical heroes
  征服命运、奋斗到社会顶层:conquer fortune and rise to the top
  宣扬狡诈、无情和无耻:champion cunning , ruthlessness , and boldness
  正直、仁慈和公正:virtue , mercy and justice
  ▲长难句翻译
  In 1337, Petrarch began work on his rambling writing De Viris Illustribus - On Famous Men, highlighting the virtus (or virtue) of classical heroes.
  1337年,Petrarch 开始撰写杂文《名人传》,强调古典英雄的美德。
  PART 2
  "Universal history , the history of what man has accomplished in this world , is at bottom the History of the Great Men who have worked here ,"wrote the Victorian sage Thomas Carlyle. Well , not any more it is not . Suddenly , Britain looks to have fallen out with its favorte historical form.This could be no more than a passing literary craze , but it also points to a broader truth about how we now approach the past : less concerned with learning from forefathers and more interested in feeling their pain . Today , we want empathy , not inspiration.
  ▲闪光词组
  实质上:be at bottom
  可能只是:could be no more than X
  一时的文学热潮:a passing literary craze
  了解过去:approach the past
  需要共鸣,而不是启示:want empathy , not inspiration
  ▲长难句翻译
  This could be no more than a passing literary craze , but it also points to a broader truth about how we now approach the past : less concerned with learning from forefathers and more interested in feeling their pain .
  这可能只是一时的文学热潮,但同时也揭示了一个更为广泛的真理,指导我们现在应该如何了解过去:不那么着重与向前人学习,对感受他们的痛苦更感兴趣。