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I am reading articles in New Concept English and got confused by a phrase in the below context:

We can read of things that happened 5,000 years ago in the Near East.

here I don't understand why we use read of, I think we should use read instead of read of.

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    You can read some things, such as books. Unless the things that happened 5,000 years ago were books (or other written material) then you probably do not read them. You read of them, or read about them. – GEdgar May 8 at 21:34
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    In this context, of means about. See 5a in M-W: merriam-webster.com/dictionary/of. – KannE May 8 at 21:34
  • Thanks GEdgar and KannE for the useful information, I got it now. – Shuai May 9 at 14:19

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