recede far into the past

liangweipeng

Member
Chinese-China
Hi~~

In book Dark Age Ahead, there is a sentence saying that "Throughout the world Dark Ages have scrawled finis to successions of cultures receding far into the past. “

The expression "receding far into the past" eludes me.

I have looked up the word "recede" in some dictionaries but in vain.

I also restorted to the Chinese-translated version of this book and the translator sees " receding into the past" as " dating back to the past".

Is that correct?

Thanks~
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    Welcome to the forum, liangweipeng.

    recede (from the WR dictionary): to go back to a more distant point

    successions of cultures receding far into the past - successions of cultures going back far into the past, that existed a long time in the past.
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    Unfortunately the two answers given above are not correct. "Recede" means "move backward, move away." Imagine that you are on a ship sailing away from shore. As the ship gets farther and farther away, the dock you departed from appears (from your point of view) to recede into the distance until it eventually vanishes.

    Similarly, from the point of view of a person, events "recede into the past" as time goes by: they seem more and more distant from us and harder to "see" in detail, until one day they may even vanish completely from the memory.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Each Dark Age marked the end of a whole series of cultures that go far back into the past. Before the Dark Age, there was culture Z and before that was culture Y and before that culture X...etc., and that series goes far back into the past. I think Barque has captured the meaning as the writer seems to have intended, though more context is needed.
    Can you give us the sentence before this one, liangweipeng?
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    "Throughout the world Dark Ages have scrawled finis to successions of cultures receding far into the past. “

    What strikes me as unusual here is that "receding" is the difficult concept. If you have got all the other concepts, why is "receding" bothering you?
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    "Receding" seems to me a strange choice of word in the original sentence. Like veli, I would like to see some more context.
     

    liangweipeng

    Member
    Chinese-China
    Unfortunately the two answers given above are not correct. "Recede" means "move backward, move away." Imagine that you are on a ship sailing away from shore. As the ship gets farther and farther away, the dock you departed from appears (from your point of view) to recede into the distance until it eventually vanishes.

    Similarly, from the point of view of a person, events "recede into the past" as time goes by: they seem more and more distant from us and harder to "see" in detail, until one day they may even vanish completely from the memory.
    here is the context:

    But in North America we live in a graveyard of lost aboriginal cultures, many of which were decisively finished off by mass amnesia in which even the memory of what was lost was also lost. Throughout the world Dark Ages have scrawled finis to successions of cultures receding far into the past. Whatever happened to the culture whose people produced the splendid Lascaux cave paintings some seventeen thousand years ago, in what is now southwestern France? Or the culture of the builders of ambitious stone and wood henges in Western Europe before the Celts arrived with their Iron Age technology and intricately knotted art?
    <-----Excess quote removed by moderator (Florentia52)------>

    Thank you very much
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    liangweipeng

    Member
    Chinese-China
    "Throughout the world Dark Ages have scrawled finis to successions of cultures receding far into the past. “

    What strikes me as unusual here is that "receding" is the difficult concept. If you have got all the other concepts, why is "receding" bothering you?
    What bothers me is that "receding into past" sounds strange to me ....How and why the successions of cultures could "go back" to the past?

    In my opinion, "recede into the past" is kind of different from "date back to the past" becasue the latter implies a meaning of "Have its origin at a particular time", which the former doesn't have ...
     

    liangweipeng

    Member
    Chinese-China
    Unfortunately the two answers given above are not correct. "Recede" means "move backward, move away." Imagine that you are on a ship sailing away from shore. As the ship gets farther and farther away, the dock you departed from appears (from your point of view) to recede into the distance until it eventually vanishes.

    Similarly, from the point of view of a person, events "recede into the past" as time goes by: they seem more and more distant from us and harder to "see" in detail, until one day they may even vanish completely from the memory.
    Your answer is helpful
    Thanks
     
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