Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Thursday Quiz XVI

Always at the forefront of the advance of culture, it's

The Thursday Quiz!

The Thursday Quiz is, as always, a "Is It or Isn't It" game. From the list of twelve items, your job is to determine whether each IS or ISN'T a true example of the week's category.

Remember always the limitation placed on your power by the Magna Carta:

No research, Googling, Wikiing, or use of reference books. The Thursday
Quiz is a POP quiz. Violators will be sent to the Inquisition.
This Week's Category will make you feel all sophisticated and European!

Great Events in Western Civilization

All of these sound like pretty major events. The question is, which ones actually happened?

1. The Fourth Crusade (1381) -- Heeding the call of Pope Charles III, a motley band of European knights and their feudal armies brutally sack the "infidel" city of Carthage, then make the destruction permanent by ploughing salt into its fields so that crops can never grow there again.

2. The Apex of Lithuanian Might (1410) -- The Grand Dutchy of Lithuania reaches its greatest extent. Stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea, it is one of the largest empires in the contemporary world and the dominant power in Eastern Europe.

3. Henry the Navigator (reigned 1490-1533) -- Intrigued by fishermen's tales of lands to the west, Henry directs a program of colonization of the new world. His vision of a Portuguese empire in the West is largely realized in his lifetime, with Sao Paulo the capital of a small but thriving Brazil colony.

4. The Diet of Wurms (1521) -- Martin Luther is taken to task by the Holy Roman Emperor for rocking the religious boat. He sneaks off afterwards, and the Emperor loses interest and turns his attention to other matters, confident that this Protestantism thing will never really catch on.

5. The Unification of Italy (1555) -- Lorenzo de Medici defeats the Kingdom of Naples to finally unite the Italian peninsula (except for the Vatican) under a single crown. The ensuing political stability leads to the Renaissance, with its massive advances in science, art, and engineering.

6. King of Night Vision, King of Insight (c. 1610) -- Galileo uses the newly-invented telescope, excellent note taking skills, and outside-the-box thinking to overturn Ptolemy's conception of an Earth-centered universe. Copernicus and Kepler will go on to finish the job.

7. The Defenestration of Prague (1618) -- Protestant officials hurl two visiting Catholic dignitaries out of an upstairs window into a pile of manure. They survive the fall, but the event triggers the Thirty Year's War, which would directly or indirectly kill about a fifth of the German population.

8. The Battle of London (1666) -- Cannon are used for the first time in European warfare. They level the great city walls, sparking the Great Fire of London and winning the War of the Roses for the Lancastrians.

9. The Glorious Revolution (1688) -- The English Parliament invites the chief executive of the Dutch Republic to replace King James II, who is just too darn Catholic for their taste. The result of this coup is basically decades of peace and prosperity for the English, except of course for the Catholic English. The Irish get a raw deal too.

10. The Fall of the Byzantine Empire (1721) -- After surviving for centuries after the sack of Rome, the eastern half of the Roman empire finally collapses in the wake of the catastrophic Crimean War. The brave but foolhardy "Charge of the Light Brigade" completely fails to avert defeat.

11. The War of Austrian Succession (1740-1748) -- Every country in Europe, pretty much, takes up arms in a grinding series of campaigns and battles, ostensibly over the question of whether a woman can be Holy Roman Emporer. After eight years of abundant bloodshed, the status quo is more or less upheld.

12. The Construction of Versailles (1916) -- German forces, triumphant in the early years of World War I, humiliate and bankrupt France by constructing this incredibly opulent headquarters for their occupying forces.

Submit your answers in the form of a comment. Du kannst nicht anders.

24 comments:

fingerstothebone said...

1. I'm guessing no...salt was probably too expensive to plough enough into the ground to have the intended effect, and I'm also not sure the crusades were fought outside of the Levant. But I'm probably wrong on both counts.

2. I'm guessing no...or one might've heard of some great artists from that era/region. But I'm probaby wrong about that, too.

3. I'm guess no again...no particular reason though.

4. I'm guessing yes...because Stephen Jay Gould wrote a column about it many years ago, I only wish I can remember exactly what he said!

5. I'm guessing yes...except that if it happend in 1555, that seems like that's already the height of the Renaissance...but I'll stick with yes.

6. Yes...sounds about right.

7. I'm guessing no...only because I'm thinking the 30 year war was fought further west. But I'm probably wrong about that.

8. Yes, sure, why not.

9. I'm guessing no...seems like 1688 is a bit late for the English to still be having someone 'too darn Catholic' on the throne. But I'm probably wrong.

10. No. Hey, I know this answer.

11. I'm guessing yes...sounds plausible.

12. No.

Well, no use thinking about it any further. Good night!

fingerstothebone said...

I see that I'm better equipped to make guesses about scientific subjects than historic ones. Although I would've done 1 better had I gone with my gut instincts.

Next time, you should do a quiz of events of Asian history...and watch me bomb that!

Becky said...

1. no. i don't think carthage really still existed in 1381. i also don't think there was a pope charles. especially not three of them.
2. no. "lithuanian might" sounds too silly.
3. no. he sent fleets to africa. also, i think those dates are too late.
4. I would have spelled it "Worms," but yes. Our good buddy Charles V, or Carlos I de Espana.
5. No. Italy wasn't unified until the 19th century. Plus, Cosimo was Grand Duke in 1555.
6. Good song. Yes. But Copernicus came before him.
7. Sounds too silly to be true, but indeed yes.
8. No.
9. Yes.
10. No. Constantinople went to the heathen Turks in the 15th century.
11. Eh, yes?
12. Tee hee. No.

Phineas said...

1. No? Near 1400 sounds a little too late for a true crusade.
2. Yes. Silly name, but my Lithuanian Grandma would be proud. We’re not sure why Lithuania faded. Must have had something to do with Grandpa. (Dad visited there last year).
3. Yes. There’s an impressive statue of him in……dang, where was that again? Definitely in somewhere in Portugal…..oh, yeah, some little city I’ll never remember. But I can picture an impressive statue of Henry, sextant in hand.
4. Torn. Wanted no because of the excellently distracting cluing. But timeframe and events are a go. Let’s go with a Yea.
5. Yes? Medici timeframe seems right. Don’t remember Medici warmongering. Taking a flier here.
6. Torn again. This quiz is breaking my....back? Same problem as 4. Never heard the title phrase. I’m thinking that M5K is taking liberties with titles, but that doesn’t negate the event itself. Again Yea.
7. Yes. I gotta go with this just to support the image painted in the first sentence, though I fear this will sink me.
8. Yes. There was definitely a fire, but not a war.
9. Yes. Got some Dutch ancestors too. Really.
10. No. Centuries earlier, maybe.
11. Yes. Sounds reasonable.
12. No. See #10.

Phineas said...

I can't find that statue anywhere. A different statue of Henry, yes. I'm not feeling so good about Henry the N anymore.

G said...

All I know (and I mean, ALL, by the way) is that numbers 8 and 12 are wrong wrong wrong.

Phineas said...

fingers....despite the cost, the salt thing happened somewhere, I'm thinking Carthage, but not a crusade. I'll have to look it up instead of working on this pesky "2007 Accomplishments" report I've got up.

d said...

1. no?
2. no. lithuanian might is an oxymoron, but very funny.
3. i'm gonna say no. it was isabell who sent chris over, right?
4. this sounds plausible. i don't know if it was called this, but i'll say yes anyway.
5. no. largely because the date seems way too late for that to have happened.
6. yes... is the date right?
7. yes...
8. no. the great fire of london wasn't caused by war. i think...
9. yes?
10. no. the byzantine empire definitely fell, but way before the 1700s
11. no (but probably yes, but i'm gonna say no)
12. no. but funny.

blythe said...

oh. i got this one.

no. no. no. yes. no. yay indigo girls! no, and which one? no. yes. no. yes. no.

by i got this one i mean, blind guesses!

mrs.5000 said...

1 No, because Carthage was already salty from the Romans.
2 Yes. I know Lithuania did have its glory days.
3 Yes. You betcha. Go Henry.
4 Yes. Sounds good. I'm a little shaky on the whole Diet of Wurms thing, but I know no one lost weight on it.
5 No. Too many happy days wandering around Venice to fall for that one. They had to wait for Garibaldi etc. Also, by that date we're into the latish Renaissance.
6 Yes. Maybe he would have fared better at the Vatican if the Indigo Girls had been there to back him.
7 No. I don't know what the Defenestration of Prague really was, but that just sounds too ridiculous.
8 No. The Great Fire was the Great Fire. No battles need apply.
9 Yes. Though once again I turn to belief when knowledge fails me.
10 No. I am wobbling on this, but no.
11 Yes. What the hell.
12 No. That's crazy talk.

karmasartre said...

1 did
2 did not
3 no way
4 way
5 mais oui
6 nope
7 yep
8 not as I recall
9 remember it well
10 big N little o
11 that's a lie!
12 not a chance


Is there a prize for last place?

Rebel said...

If there's a price for last place, I might be in the running!

1 - sure
2 - Lithuania? Isn't
3 - isn't
4 - I kinda think this one is true - I remember something about Wurms in history.
5. I didn't think Italy got unified until after WWI... Isn't
6 EXCELLENT song btw - is
7 Sounds just crazy enough to be true - is
8 isn't? purely guessing
9 is (Irish getting screwed sounds familiar)
10 is
11 isn't
12 Isn't... Versailles was built for Louis XIV (?), but the Germans made the French sign the ... well... treaties of Versailles there. Or have I totally confused everything?

Sandy said...

No: 1, 2, 5, 8, 10, 12
Yes: 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11

Some of the "nos" sound pretty cool though. Did you make them up yourself? You should make them into fake (or real, if I'm wrong) Wikipedia entries and see if they ever turn up in your random 10 facts for the day.

Chris said...

Yes = 3,5,6,7,10,11
No = 1,2,4,8,9,12

Luke Shimer said...

They all have glimpses of truth, but they are all no.

Boo said...

I don't know any of these, but what the heck.

1. Is
2. Isn't : I think Lithuania could make a comeback.
3. I like it so I want it to be Is
4. I heart this one too Is
5. How lovely is this! Is
6. How long till my soul gets it right? Is for lyrics alone
7. Isn't but I want it to be Is. But Isn't.
8. Is
9. Isn't
10. Isn't. Theirs is not to reason why. It just isn't.
11. Isn't
12. Isn't

I did not use a question mark after each one but I should have and I should have paid far more attention to history courses. But I was going through a weed thing back then and all I did was draw pictures and make ornate paper fans out of them instead of taking notes. TMI? you betcha.

Michael5000 said...

OK, my friends, here goes:

1. The Fourth Crusade. NO. It was the Romans who did that to Carthage, after the Third Punic War in the 2nd Century B.C.

2. Lithuanian Might. YES. Lithuania was a 15th-century superpower. If the Polish Monarchy had proven more tractable and the Russian state hadn't developed so successfully in the late Middle Ages, you wouldn't be snickering.

3. Henry the Navigator. NO. Henry was considerably earlier, underwriting the educational and technological infrastructure that would eventually get the Portuguese around Africa into the Indian Ocean. Brazil was just a by-product of that adventure, and didn't really get going as a Portuguese colony for several decades after they found it.

4. Diet of Wurms. YES.

5. Unification of Italy. NO. Italy wasn't unified until the 19th Century, so the Italian Rennaisance had to happen in and among a patchwork of kingdoms that warred, squabbled, feuded, and shifted alliances with soap-opera intensity.

6. Galileo. YES, although see next comment.

7. Defenestration of Prague. YES. Ain't life crazy?

8. Battle of London. NO.

9. Glorious Revolution. YES.

10. Fall of the Byzantine Empire. NO, that happened in the late 15th Century. The Crimean War happened in the 1850s, and pitted Russia against pretty much everyone else in a conflict over, sheesh, basically a bunch of geopolitical maneuvering that seems impossibly antique from our perspective.

11. War of Austrian Succession. YES, I'm afraid so.

12. Versailles. NO. Nobody was taking that bait.

Michael5000 said...


Taking home the TQXVI Gold Star with a score of 11/12 (like most of you, she scoffs at the proud heritage of the Lithuanian people) is quiz up-and-comer Becky, who had the advantage of actually being IN EUROPE while taking the quiz. (Great pics of European art and architecture on her blog, by the by.)

Becky is actually a double winner tonight, also taking home the first ever Big Purple Asterisk for pointing out a significant factual error in the Quiz. Indeed, Copernicus came before Galileo.

The Silver Star is, as far as I know, the first TQ award to end up in Mountain Time. It was snagged by d.

The Blue Star goes to the Priiiiide of Oklahoma, Blythe, making her only the second person to assemble a complete collection of Gold, Silver, Blue, and Green Stars.

Two Green Stars this week, one for the lovely and enchanting Mrs.5000 (her fourth) and another for the no doubt lovely and enchanting Sandy (her second).

Michael5000 said...

@Becky: Good eye on the "Pope Charles" thing. We established the non-existence of Pope Charles back here.

@Phineas: Lithuania is still in the game. It ain't over 'til it's over.

@Blythe: Which Defenestration? Well, the second one -- which is to say the important one, the one that kicked off the Thirty Years War and yada yada yada.

@Rebel: Well, the French made the Germans sign the Treaty of Versailles there. Although the Germans made the French sign the Armistace of the Franco-Prussian War there, too. So, basically, you are right to be confused.

@Sandy: Do I make the no's up myself? Hell, yeah! First, it's the funnest part! Second, where else would I get them?

@Luke: I like the way you think. All the no's did have glimpses of truth, but the yes's were especially high in essential truthiness.

@Boo: I'm not a real TMI sort of guy. And I'm all for ornate paper fans. And I salute anybody who takes on the quiz when it isn't playing to one of their strong suits.

Thanks everybody!

Michael5000 said...


BTW, the Monday Quiz will be taking next week off for Christmas Eve. The Thursday Quiz will be groggy from too much cookies, turkey, and wine, but will try to make it down the chimney on time.

Becky said...

thanks for the purple asterisk recognition, and the blog shout-out. in view of all the silly papal names over history (i mean, "hilarius?"), i'm surprised there has been no charles. i'm sensing some sort of farcical, "life of bryan"-esque possibilities.

Phineas said...

Ouch - no brainer on #8, but wrote yes, then explained why it was not true. Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.

As a Cub fan and 1/4 Lithuanian, I should point out that any country can have a bad millenium. Wait til next century.

d said...

WOOT! i got a star. eat that! no. i didn't mean that last bit. i'm just a little overwhelmed by the sudden windfall. after all these many, grueling weeks of undertaking the thursday quiz, my guessing finally paid off! who said statistics don't mean anything?

blythe said...

me too! did i tell you i think i made a 4 on the AP euro test? oh yes. finally this info has proven to be useful. yay!