Roman History Quiz
Quiz time! My previous quizzes can be viewed here. I’ve been interested in the Roman Empire since I was a kid. And as a grown up, I’m even more intrigued. They were the world’s first polyglot empire and are the foundation of western civilization in so many ways there is almost no comparison. This was an incredibly successful Empire as empires go, and once one starts to really understand Roman culture and society, it becomes clearer why. There’s a lot of lessons here for modern times. I could write a hundred page quiz about Rome, but as usual this is only ten questions. I have tried to ask questions that are both of great importance, give insight into Rome and its world, or are just plain too interesting to pass. I find the Roman mind set fascinating.
The Roman History Quiz
Ten questions, pencil and paper only I am afraid.
1. What nation and city state was Rome’s first great rival in the Mediterranean, with which they fought three wars, one of which was called “The First World War” in its time:
2. In what battle during this war did the Romans suffer a defeat so ghastly that it’s still admired today in military circles and was the inspiration for America’s attack on Iraq in 1991?
3. Why were the Romans able to conquer the powerful Greek city states?
A: The Romans had better weapons.
B: The Romans had Persian allies attacking from the east to support them.
C: A terrible plague devastated Greece before the Romans invaded.
D: The Greek city states didn’t unite in the face of the Roman threat.
4. Caesar Augustus was one of history’s greatest generals, what land did he invade and fail to conquer twice?
5. What event is widely regarded as the beginning of the fall of Rome?
A: Crassus’s defeat at Carrhae.
B: The assassination of Julius Caesar by Brutus and co-conspirators.
C: The murder of Pertinax and the auctioning off of the imperial throne by the Praetorian guard.
D: Cleopatra’s death at her own hand.
6. What Roman city was buried by volcanic ash and preserved in fabulous detail?
7. Many great Roman marble carvings and statues remain today, but if Romans saw them now they would be puzzled, why?
A: Damage by acid rain has blurred their features.
B: The paint has worn off.
C: Christians have defaced most of them.
D: Romans always dressed their statues in burkas.
8. This woman was a great warrior, led a revolt against Rome that was finally crushed, yet may have lived happily ever after?
A: Xenobia, Queen of the East.
D: Xena, warrior princess.
9. What was the most popular form of public entertainment in Rome?
A: Gladiator combat.
B: Throwing Christians to the lions.
C: Plays and theatre.
D: Chariot racing.
10. Which of the following is false?
A: Roman fathers could legally kill their children at any age.
B: If a slave killed his or her owner, all other slaves of that owner were put to death.
C: Women could own property and conduct business in Rome.
D: Roman warships were rowed by slaves.
11. Bonus Question. What is the name of the building pictured at the top, and what was on it that is missing from Roman times?
That’s it, hopefully most folks knew at least some of them. And to some extent some of them can be guessed from the answers. The answers will be posted in the next post, so readers have 24 hours to cheat if so inclined.
(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law, it’s not being used for profit and its use here in no way interferes with the copyright holder’s commercial use of the image. The image is all over the web on a bunch of tourist sites, so no idea who to attribute it to. And I’ll end with an actual joke from Roman times: A rustic man from the provinces has come to Rome, and walking on the streets was drawing everyone’s attention, being a real double of the emperor Augustus. The emperor, having had him brought to the palace, looks at him and then asks: “Tell me, young man, was your mother a servant at my father’s villa in Rome anytime?” The reply was “My mother has never been to Rome, but my father was a kitchen slave there.”)