Monday, June 1, 2015

Through History with The Monday Quiz: the 1000s

Remember the 1990s? The crude cell phone technology? The slow and unreliable internet connections? Seinfeld? The sometimes mysterious musical and dance hits?

Or, remember the 1970s? I do. Disco, Pac-Man, the Bicentennial? The art nouveau revival? Whipping Inflation Now? The American conversion to the Metric System? How strange people were in the past!

Today, the New Monday Quiz looks back to another decade, its odd parochial concerns, its unfortunate fashion choices, its top forty hits. That decade: the 1000s! Big players included the Song Dynasty, the Abbasid Caliphate, and the Chola Kingdom. The scientific revolution of early Islam was reaching its peak, while much of the world was still prehistoric. Older people complained that what the kids were listening to these days wasn't really "music!" But what else was going on?

Through History with the Monday Quiz tries to be reasonable. We are all learning together, here.

1. The Magyar tribes had conquered the Carparthian Basin around 900 a.d., and over the next century began to take on the administrative trappings of Western European countries. In December 1000, Stephen I was crowned in his capital city, Esztergom, and “initiated sweeping reforms to convert [his country] into a western feudal state, complete with forced Christianization.” Such was the birth of what country?

2. In 1002 and 1007, England’s King Æthelred the Unready paid the Danegeld.  In traditional English history, the main thing they taught you about King Æthelred is that he paid the Danegeld, which was bad. But what is “paying the Danegeld,” anyway?

3. After the fall of the Samanid Dynasty in 999, most of the Samanid lands fell under the rule of the the Ghaznavid dynasty. Isma'il II al-Muntasir – younger brother to the last Samanid rulers – tried to restore the older empire, but he was killed in 1004. This is a chapter is the history of what great world civilization?

The Samanid Dynasty, at its tenth-century peak.

4. In 1005, Lê Trung Tông succeeds Lê Hoàn as emperor of a recently independent kingdom, but is usurped and killed by Lê Ngoạ Triều after a three-day reign. After four years of decadence, sadism, and poor decision-making, Lê Ngoạ Triều is himself replaced by Lý Công Uẩn, a strong ruler who moves the imperial capital to a new city, Hà Nội.

These are early events from the history of what country?

5. Consider this anecdote:
Fighting between adherents of the rival religions seemed likely until... the matter was submitted to arbitration. The law speaker of the Alþing, Thorgeir Thorkelsson, the goði of Ljósavatn, was acceptable to both sides as mediator, being known as a moderate and reasonable man. Thorgeir accepted responsibility for deciding whether [the country] should become Christian, with the condition that both parties abide by his decision. When this was agreed, he spent a day and a night resting under a fur blanket, contemplating. The following day he announced that [the country] was to become Christian, with the condition that old laws concerning the exposure of infants and the eating of horseflesh would remain, and that private pagan worship be permitted.
What country therefore became Christian by consensus in the year 1000?

6. In 1008 and 1009, Muhammad II reigned briefly as Caliph of Córdoba. From the 930s to the 1030s, the prosperous Caliphate of Córdoba occupied most of what we now call __________.

7. Sometime in this decade, a man was born who would eventually slay King Duncan I in battle and rule fairly successfully, as far as we can tell, as King of Scotland.  He had a seventeen-year reign, from 1040 to 1057. His wife was named Gruoch ingen Boite, and may have been perfectly pleasant for all we know. Who is this man, who is so overshadowed by his own legend?

8.In the year 1000, more or less, the city that would one day boast this metro system was founded. It would be renamed Christiania in 1624, Kristiania in 1877, and back to its original name in 1925. What is that original name?

9. In 1006, a bright new star, much larger than Venus and clearly visible in the daytime, suddenly appeared over Earth. It stuck around for a couple of years. Some observers at the time figured it was an auspicious omen, or the harbinger of plague, but we scientific types of today call it "SN 1006" and figure that it was a ______________ witnessed at only 7200 light year’s distance.

10. Also in 1006, Mount Merapi erupted so catastrophically that people writing about the mountain sometimes claim that the event brought down the Kingdom of Medang.  People writing about the Kingdom of Medang itself, on the other hand, tend to stress the depredations of the much larger Srivijaya Empire, for instance their slaughter that year of the entire Medang court.  During the king's daughter's wedding party no less, which is just mean.  But I digress.  It turns out that Mount Merapi is still plenty active today. Here’s a map showing its ash plume after a recent eruption. Where – on what island and/or in what modern country – is it located?


Morgan said...

Your intro reminds me of this:

1. Hungary
2. How come I never learned about this in my traditional English history class? >:(
3. Persian?
4. Vietnam
5. Norway.
6. Spain?
7. Macbeth
8. Is it Copenhagen? I feel like it's Copenhagen.
9. Supernova
10. That's Java, currently a part of Indonesia.

Thanks, Crusader Kings II, for like 3 of those.

DrSchnell said...

2. Um, paying the Danes some money to avoid getting sacked. By the ferocious Danes, unleashing their Danish wrath by forcing them to eat sickly sweet pastries.
4. Vietnam
5. Norway
6. Spain
7. Macbeth
8. Oslo
9. supernova
10. Java, Indonesia

Ben said...

Let the wild guessing commence!

1. Hungary
2. "Danegeld" sounds like money for the Danes. So was this some sort of payment to the Danes? I don't know.
3. Persia
4. Viet Nam
5. Norway
6. Turkey
7. Johnny Walker
8. Stockholm
9. Supernova
10. The Philippines

Michael5000 said...

Morgan: Along with a thousand examples of standard-issue decade-based nostalgia, I kept thinking of this.

mrs.5000 said...

1 Hungary
2 protection money to the Vikings
3 Persia
4 Vietnam
5 Iceland
6 Spain
7 Macbeth
8 Oslo
9 comet
10 Indonesia
Well, if I didn't get them all right, I can console myself that no one alive in 1000 would have either.

mrs.5000 said...

Note to self: read astronomy questions thoroughly before answering.

Anonymous said...

1 - Hungary -- I know this one, I've been in Esztergom.
2 - Paying Vikings not to attack.
3 - Persia
4 - Vietnam
5 - Iceland
6 - Spain
7 - Macbeth
8 - Oslo
9 - Supernova
10 - Indonesia