Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Decathlon Event #9 / Thursday Quiz XXXVII

Event #4: World History, Knowledge and Reasoning

Note: As a Decathlon Event, the Thursday Quiz will again remain at twelve questions, but with some tweaks to its format.

Warning: This Quiz is rated Extra Hard.

For each century indicated below, there is a list of four significant events. In some cases, those events actually happened during that century. In others, they did not. Determine which lists ARE accurate, and which ARE NOT.

For lists that ARE NOT accurate, you may also indicate the reasons why they aren't accurate. This might be 1) that the list belongs to a different century; 2) that the list combines events from four different centuries, or 3) that I just made the list up.

You may submit your answers either in the comments, or by email to

Judging: The scoring will, like last week, be somewhat different for Quiz and Decathlon purposes. As the Thursday Quiz, you will be scored as always, with one point for each correct "is" or "isn't" identification and ties broken by the order in which answers were submitted.

For Decathlon scoring, you will get one point for each correct "is" or "isn't" identification, one additional point for each correct explanation of why the incorrect lists are incorrect, and one additional point if, in the case where the events belong to a different century, you can correctly specify the correct century. Kind of complicated, but I think it will work.

Deadline: Answers must be submitted no later than 10 p.m. Thursday, May 15th (Pacific Daylight Time).

1. The Fourth Century B.C. (400 B.C. to 300 B.C.)

Alexander the Great conquers the Persian Empire, and lots of other people as well.
Plato creates a body of work that basically kicks off the Western intellectual tradition.
The Gauls sack Rome, which still at the time the capital of a small, relatively unimportant kingdom.
Mencius, the great Chinese philosopher and interpreter of Confucianism, lives and works.

2. The First Century (1 to 100 A.D.)

The Roman Empire conquers Nigerium, or West Africa, but is only able to hold it for three decades.
Han China falls to invasion by Japanese armies; the Jin dynasty is established by the victors.
The last indigenous Australian urbanized society collapses, probably because of ecological degradation.
Smallpox kills at least 25% of the population of the British Isles.

3. The Second Century (100 to 200 A.D.)

The Byzantine Empire reaches the height of its power.
The classic lowland Mayan Civilization declines and collapses (although aspects of Mayan culture survive).
Erik the Red founds a European Greenland colony; it will survive for centuries before abruptly disappearing sometime in the 15th Century.
The Chinese make the first use of gunpowder in battle.

4. The Third Century (200 to 300 A.D.)

With its western and eastern provinces both in rebellion, the Roman Empire fragments into three separate states for more than fifteen years.
China, similarly, endures the "Three Kingdoms Period," split into Wei, Shu, and Wu.
Under the Sassanid dynasty, Persia resumes its role as a major world power.
Maize cultivation spreads into North America.

5. The Fifth Century (400 to 500 A.D.)

Rome becomes the dominant power in the western Mediterranian after the First and Second Punic Wars.
Ashoka amasses a mighty empire in modern-day India, spreading Buddhism throughout South Asia.
The Han Dynasty in founded in China.
Archimedes does all sorts of clever things in the fields of mathematics and engineering.

6. The Seventh Century (600 to 700 A.D.)

Islam is founded on the Arabian Peninsula.
The Sassanids sack Jerusalem and take off with the Relic of the True Cross.
In what is now modern Ethiopia, the kingdom of Axum reaches the height of its influence and power.
Arab Muslims conquer Persia, Egypt, North Africa, and plenty of other places too.

7. The Tenth Century (900 to 1000 A.D.)

Spain is conquered by Moors, Muslim invaders from North Africa.
The Normans invade and conquer England.
Marco Polo visits China.
Charlemagne brings a huge section of Europe under his control and establishes the Holy Roman Empire.

8. The Twelfth Century (1100 to 1200 A.D.)

The Anasazi civilization, in what is now the American Southwest, collapses.
Portugal gains its independence from the Kingdom of Leon.
Richard the Lionhearted leads the Third Crusade against Saladin.
England begins the conquest of Ireland.

9. The Thirteenth Century (1200 to 1300 A.D.)

The Conquests of Genghis Khan and his descendents. Many, many countries in Asia and Europe fall to the Mongols.
English nobles force the king to sign the Magna Carta, a document limiting royal power.
The Fourth Crusade, intended to battle Muslims in Palestine, gets distracted and ends up brutally sacking the Christian city of Constantinople instead.
The Latin Empire of Constantinople supplants the Byzantine Empire for several decades, but the Byzantines eventually reestablish their empire.

10. The Fourteenth Century (1300 to 1400 A.D.)

The English, under King John II, are expelled from France following the Battle of Rennes.
Victory over the Bulgarians in the War of Attrition marks the rise of Russia as a world power.
Emperor Khemmer the Great wins independence from the Mogul Empire for what is now Southeast Asia.
Siltification makes it impossible for oceangoing ships to penetrate the Nile Delta, thus ending Egypt's history as a world power.

11. The Fifteenth Century (1400 to 1500 A.D.)

The Inca Empire, weakened by an unfortunately timed civil war, is conquered by the Spanish.
Isaac Newton publishes his "Principia."
The Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Crusades all fail to a greater or lesser extent.
Europe is ravaged by the early decades of the Hundred Years War.

12. The Seventeenth Century (1600 to 1700 A.D.)

Europe is ravaged by the Thirty Years War.
European Settlement of the Atlantic Coast of North America begins.
The Manchu establish the Qing Dynasty, which will rule China for more than 300 years.
The Battle of Vienna ends Ottoman expansion into Central Europe.

You may submit your answers either in the comments, or by email to

Deadlines: 10 p.m. Thursday (PDT) for this event.
10 p.m. Friday (PDT) for Event #8.


Cartophiliac said...

1. sounds right

2. totally bogus, you made it all up

3. all wrong centuries: Byzantines reached their zenith more than 500 years later, Han China never "fell" to the Japanese, if the Australian and British thing happened, it happened at another time.

4. I'll give you an OK with those

5. wrong centuries. They were all around the 2nd century BC, Han founded in 1st.

6. OK

7. All wrong centuries. Spain in the 700s, Normans 1066, Marco Polo in maybe 1300s, Charlemange in 800s

8. Probably OK

9. Sounds right

10. You made that all up (War of Attrition... LOL)

11. wrong centuries: Inca fell in 1500s, Isaac Newton in 1600s, if there really were more crusades after the 4th, they didn't happen in that century, Hundred years war started in the 1300s

12. Those all sound right... however the Spanish were settling in North America in the 16th century, decades before the English and French you are thinking of...

Christine M. said...

1. i think that's ok

2. nope. japan didn't invade China, Australia never was urban, and I don;t think Rome ever made it to west africa

3. mmm, ok.

4. i have to guess -- ok

5. nope -- all wrong timewise

6. yup

7. no, normans invaded in 1066

8. sounds right

9. um, ok

10. bo-gus

11. nope - no stinkin crusades then, and Newton was 1600's

12. sure, why not

Elizabeth said...

1. Is.
2. Isn't.
3. Isn't - s/b 900s I think.
4. Is.
5. Is.
6. Isn't.
7. Is.
8. Isn't.
9. Is.
10. Isn't.
11. Is.
12. Is.

Elizabeth said...

Just glanced at cartophiliac and la gringissima's answers.


I am constantly amazed at my own ignorance. Back to the books ...

Anonymous said...

1. Is
2. Isn't
3. Isn't
4. Is
5. Is
6. Isn't
7. Isn't
8. Is
9. Is
10. Isn't
11. Isn't
12. Is


Nichim said...

1. Sure, why not
2. No way
3. Classic Mayan downfall was later I think, so I'll say no.
4. Yeah, ok.
5. Yeah.
6. No
7. Yeah.
8. No.
9. Yeah.
10. No.
11. No. Incas not conquered until 15something, Crusades at an earlier date.
12. Yeah.

Obviously I am doomed to repeat history.

Anonymous said...

Oh my. You know, there's a lot of incentive to come up with "yes" answers, because then you can stop thinking about it and move on. But I suppose that's defeatist thinking. . .

1 Yes
2 No. Wicked concoctions.
3 No. The second century seems too early for all of these. I'm saying they're, oh, sixth century.
4 Yes
5 No. I'm going to put them all earlier, say second century B.C.
6 Yes
7 No. All different centuries, I think.
Moors in Spain-8th
Normans in England-11th
Marco Polo in China-12th
8 Yes
9 No. And God help me, I think they're all different.
Genghis Khan-11th
Magna Carta-15th
Fourth Crusade-14th
10 No. Wild prevarications.
11 Yes
12 Yes
Well, I'm quite worn out now. . . don't quite have energy. . . for dispirited comments. . .

DrSchnell said...

2. No (Romans never conquered W. Africa, Japan never conquered China, No cities in indigenous Aussieland, smallpox didn't do that in Britain, it did to the new world centuries later
3. No. Byzantine was later (8th century?) Mayans fell later (14th century? It was pre-Spaniards anyway, I think), China did that in some other century. Let's say the 8th, just for kicks. Erik the Red did that some other time. Let's say the 14th century.
4. No. Roman empire fragmented into two sections, not three. Don't think that ever happened to the Chinese at all. Maize cultivation happened earlier in N. America?
5. Sure, why not?
6. Yes
7. No - all of these in 11th century.
8. Yes
9. "How many boards could the Mongols horde if the Mongol hordes got bored?" Um, I mean yes.
10. No. I'd say you're making all this crap up.

McGuff said...

What a great quiz.

But I don’t think it was “Extra Hard”. With four clues contributing to the Is / Isn’t decision, it was easier than usual. For me, by having a Chinese reference (or Chinese invaders or visitors) in nearly every question, it creates a baseline to work from and covered other gaps, uncertainties and confusion nicely.
1. Yes
2. No – made up
3. No – mixed up centuries
4. Yes – Ms. Finn is buying a new set of Romance of the Three Kingdoms for my B-day this month. Yeah.
5. Nope – all should be BC
6. Uh-oh – no China reference. Don’t know from Axum and Sassanids. Since Islam sounds exactly right, gonna go Yes here.
7. Nope – mixed up. Thanks for returning to form with Marco.
8. Toughest one. Real but unfamiliar. Make or break guess = yes.
9. Yep. Genghis, Mongols, Magna
10. Unreal. War of Attrition. Hah.
11. Nope – Incas later. Not enough years between 1492 and 1499. Off by a century or few each direction
12. Yessir. Qing Dynasty.

McGuff said...'re two questions shy of a load.

McGuff said...

Phineas to Ms. Finn last night: "He hasn't done any flags yet. There are two days left. He's got to do flags. I'm going brush up on world flags and come to bed in a half hour or so."

Ms. Finn: "You're taking this decathlon thing a bit too seriously, aren't you?"

Rebel said...

Phineas... I don't think you're taking it seriously ENOUGH! ;) =P

1. sounds good - Is
2. Is not... I think you made this stuff up.
3. is not - different centuries like Erik the red was a few centuries later I think.
4. Is not? I question the whole Maize thing... it's a native grain and I think it would have been cultivated not long after people got there.
5. Is..possibly.
6. Sure why not.
7. oooh.... I going to guess no... I think all of that happened a bit later.
8. Is?
9. is
10. Nope... siltification? war of attrition? I think you made this stuff up.
11. In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue... and yup, the Inca fell to the Spanish. The rest sounds about right. - Is.
12. hmmm... tough... I think no. I think you're picking things from different centuries. European settlement of N. America sounds about right, but I think the Qing dynasty was earlier.

Dude, this one was really difficult. I'm not really confident about any of them.

Anonymous said...

Is there a word missing in the second part of the second line in #5? or partial word? Thanks. Not that it'll help.....

Michael5000 said...

@karma: Sentence corrected

Anonymous said...

1. Is
2. Isn't sounds later but I don't know when
3. Isn't sounds earlier
4. No clue gonna say Isn't and made up
5. Is
6. Is
7. Isn't possibly later?
8. Isn't earlier sounding
9. Is?
10. Isn't maybe made up
11. Isn't sounds earlier
12. Is

This was hard. I liked it though and definitely am coming back to see the answers.

Dan Nolan said...

holy crap.

1. yes
2. yes
3. no
4. yes
5. no
6. no
7. no
8. yes
9. no
10. yes
11. no
12. yes

fingerstothebone said...

I almost left for my half hour walk at 9:30pm! Would've missed the deadline. Not that I'm not just here for the participation points...history is my worst subject. I'm making all of this up.

1. No. Wasn't it the Goths? But maybe the Gauls sacked Rome, too. Maybe it was the fashionable thing to do.

2. No. I was not taught that China ever fell (completely) to Japan. Jin Dynasty existed alright, but not sure it was Japanese. But hey, I wouldn't be surprised if the history books just omitted that part. Or maybe I forgot. No, wait, maybe they were called the 'barbarian pirates', or something like that.

3. No. I think the Byzantine Empire reached its height a little later. But I'm probably wrong on that too. I just don't retain history.

4. Yes.

5. OK, sure, yes.

6. Yes.

7. OK, sure.

8. OK, yes.

9. Oh heck, yes.

10. If I say yes enough times, I'm bound to get a few of them right, so, yes.

11. Yes.

12. Yes.

Michael5000 said...

OK, here goes:

1. True

2. I made 'em all up.

3. Those are all 10th Century events rather than 2nd Century events.

4. True

5. Those are all 3rd Century BCE events, not Fifth Century AD events.

6. True

7. Those are from a bunch of different centuries.

8. True

9. True

10. I just made those up.

11. Those came from a bunch of different centuries too.

12. True.

Michael5000 said...

A huge day for Cartophiliac. He hit first and hit hard, racking up both the TQXXXVII Gold Star and First Place in the Decathlon event. With four Gold Stars in his trophy case, Cartophiliac finally breaks the record for most Gold Stars first set by Blythe all the way back at TQXI.

He also joins Becky as the second person ever to claim the rare Big Purple Asterisk for identifying a significant factual error in the quiz (the problem was corrected by the time most people got to it).

Phineas, like Carto, was 12/12 for TQ purposes, and takes the Silver Star. One point back, he takes second in the Decathlon Event.

La Gringissima, with 11/12, takes the Blue Star, her second.

With no Star this week, but sharing Third Place in Decathlon scoring with La Gringissima, is Mrs.5000.

DrSchnell, despite an incomplete entry, managed to pull enough answers together to tie for the Fifth-Place spot with two other contestents, Critical Bill and Boo.

Michael5000 said...

...and Rebel! Rebel also was in that tie for Fifth.

Michael5000 said...

...and nichim! Geez, it was a MASSIVE tie for Fifth...

Michael5000 said...

And the top ten contenders, with two events (up to 2200 points) still in play:

Mrs.5000 6500
Phineas 6000
la gringissima 4900
Cartophiliac 4900
drschnell 4000
Rebel 3700
Fingers 3600
Karmasartre 3400
Elizabeth 3100
dan 3000

Don't give up hope, people! Her lead is slipping!

Dan Nolan said...

Thank god for participation points.

Rebel said...

That's the truth Dan!!!

DrSchnell said...

Stoopid scrolling down deficit disorder I have....

For what it's worth, I woulda had one of the two I left off correct....

Anonymous said...

Whoops, too late.

Anonymous said...

Mrs.5000 rocks.