TPO 30 - Integrated Writing Task

PRACHI DAVE's picture

The reading and the lecturer are both contradicting with each other, in terms of the story of burning mirror whether it was used by Roman soldiers or not. The author of the article states that burning mirror was just a myth, and it was never built by Greeks of Syracuse. Also, the author presents three theories in support of the story. However, the lecturer casts doubt about the claim and rejected all the theories presented in the article.
First of all, according to the article, since it would have required a very precise and special technology for manufacturing a burning mirror, and Greeks were not technologically advanced. Hence, it was not possible that they could have made such a device. On the contrary, the speaker negates the argument presented in the paragraph. Furthermore, she discusses that researchers have found a few small flat pieces which were arranged in parabolic shape which proves that the burning mirror was made by Greek people.
Secondly, the author posits that Greek army needed a long time to set the fire on the ship, and the ship must have not moving at the same time in order to set the fire which sounds very impractical and ineffective. Although the lecturer refutes this by asserting that the ships contained the sticky material such as pitch, and that can catch the fire within a second. Hence, once the burning starts, it can easily spread all over the device and make it possible to fire the mirror even though the ship is moving.
Finally, it is mentioned in the article that Greek had no reason to build a weapon like a burning mirror since they were using a flaming arrow which was serving the same purpose. On the other hand, the speaker again opposes the idea and describes that burning mirror had influenced the Greek soldiers. Once, while traveling through the ship, they had observed that mirror started firing the whole ship. Consequently, they started using the burning mirror after that experience.

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