Season 3

History (S03E16)

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This episode’s vocabulary

  • As old as the hills (idiom) —very old; ancient.
  • Former (noun) — the first of two people, things, or groups previously mentioned.
  • Latter (noun) — the second of two people, things, or groups previously mentioned.
  • In conjunction (idiom) — in combination with: together with.
  • Collapse (noun) — the sudden failure of a system, organization, business, etc.

We have also added these words to a “Quizlet” set for you to study and revise in your free time:


Questions and Answers

Maria: Do you like history?

Rory: Not so much now that I’m officially old. Thank you. But yes, I still like learning about it from time to time.

Maria: How old are you, Rory?

Rory: Old enough…

Maria: As old as the hills.

Rory: Not that old…

Maria: Did you enjoy learning history when you were a child?

Rory: Yeah, definitely. Like I say, much more than now. I think when I was in high school I was one the few kids reading history books, like, about World War One, for example, for fun, rather than reading Harry Potter.

Maria: So you haven’t read Harry Potter?

Rory: I haven’t read the last three books or something, but I’ve watched the movies, it’s fine.

Maria: I’m listening to books now, you know! Stephen Fry reads all Harry Potter series. That’s lovely.

Rory: That’s quality.

Maria: When was the last time you read about history?

Rory: I suppose earlier last month I picked up a book called “Empire” by Neil Ferguson. It’s about the role of the British Empire in world history and whether it’s a force for good or evil. But I didn’t manage to get that much into it because, well, other things happened. I had to do the promotion for my own book, for example.

Maria: Is your book about history?

Rory: Parts of it are. But my book’s mostly about people who are alive now.

Maria: Rory’s book on the Rory’s successes.

Rory: Not quite. It’s about other people’s successes, not my own.

Maria: What have you recently read on history?

Rory: Well, other than the book that I’m half reading and half not reading now, not really a lot. I have a lot of books on order from Amazon that are about history. But that’s for when I get home. I can’t order them into Russia, unfortunately.

Maria: Do you like watching documentaries on history?

Rory: Sometimes. Though, usually it’s more about dramatic events like Chernobyl or the end of the Cold War than some process that took hundreds of years like, I don’t know, the collapse of the Roman Empire or something.

Maria: Do you think history is important?

Rory: Both in isolation and as an integrated subject where the former is about knowing who people are and where they come from. And it helps you to understand people better in general. And then the latter might help us avoid past mistakes and use ideas from the past in conjunction with new technology and new ways of thinking.

Maria: Do you think children should learn history?

Rory: Definitely. Although to be honest with you, I think they should probably learn to read and write and count first. But after that history, definitely. Maybe they could read about history while they’re writing, to be honest.


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