Monday, June 22, 2015
Through History with The Monday Quiz: the 1020s
Relatively few things happened in the 1020s that we're still talking about today. At the time, though, they seemed really busy!
1. Sometime between 1019 and 1025, the famous guy commemorated in this stamp died at home in Greenland. Who was he?
2. In 1021, Senekerim-Hovhannes Artsruni (Սենեքերիմ-Հովհաննես Արծրունի), the sixth ruler of independent Vaspurakan, surrendered his kingdom to the Byzantine Empire in exchange for a governorship and personal lands. The Vaspurakan Kingdom, as seen on this map, was part of the turbulent history of what cultural group?
3. When his brother died in 1024, a guy named Romanus was picked to keep the job in the family -- two of Romanus's uncles had also held the position, and a nephew would take over after him. Romanus wasn't technically qualified, but that was easily solved: after a quick ordination as a bishop he was ready to take up his new post. What important job was thereby kept in the Tusculum family?
4. Roughly in the area shown here, there was a kingdom that had been around for a long time before the 1020s, and would be around for a long time afterwards. Unfortunately there’s not really much known about what went on there. It is thought to have prospered on the salt trade, but whether it was really “so rich that its dogs wore golden collars, and its horses, which were adorned with silken rope halters, slept on plush carpets,” I have my doubts. What’s the name of this not-quite-forgotten empire?
5. In 1025, Guido d'Arezzo established a "four-line stave" and the use of "ut–re–mi–fa–so–la" in what is technically called "solmization." In English, his very influential publication is called Short Discourse on the Discipline and Art of what?
6. In 1027, the Kitab Al-Shifaʾ or Book of Healing, a comprehensive work on science and philosophy, was published by Abū ʿAlī ibn Sīnā. Along with his other best-seller, the Canon of Medicine, the Book of Healing would be remain highly influential for the next five centuries. Abū ʿAlī ibn Sīnā is still considered one of the most important figures in the history of medicine and science. What do we call him in English?
7. In about 1028, Robert I, Duke of Normandy, fathered an illegitimate son with his mistress Herleva. The little tyke would grow up to be famous! What do we call him these days?
8. After the ouster of King Olaf II of Norway in 1028, the thrones of England, Denmark, Norway, and, less decisively, Sweden, were united in one very powerful guy. He was one of the most successful rulers of his day – but he still couldn’t command the tide not to rise. Who was he?
9. Kaifeng, the capital of the Song Empire, had probably become the most populous city in the world by the 1020s, and would remain so for the next century. It had a highly advantageous commercial position, being located right where the Yellow River meets what enormous human-made transportation corridor?
10. Meanwhile, by the 1020s, the Rainbow Serpent had already been venerated from five to seven thousand years. This water-associated creator spirit is widely considered -- how to say it? -- the longest continuously recognized deity in the world today. It has many names, including Borlung, Dhakkan, Kajura, Goorialla, Kunmanggur, Ngalyod, Numereji, Taipan, Tulloun, Wagyl, Wanamangura and Witij. What region of the world is home to the Rainbow Serpent?
Last Week's New Monday Quiz Classic (tm)
1. "...just returned from a visit to my landlord" -- YES, Wuthering Heights..
2. "riverrun, past Eve and Adam's" -- NO, that's Finnegan's Wake.
3. "In my younger and more vulnerable years" -- YES, Gatsby.
4. "The drought had lasted now for ten million years" -- NO, that's 2001, a Space Odyssey.
5. "You are about to begin reading" -- NO, that's Umberto Eco's If on a Winter's Night a Traveller.
6. "Someone must have slandered Josef K." -- YES, The Trial.
7. "Stately, plump Buck Mulligan" -- NO, that's Ulysses.
8. "It is a truth universally acknowledged" -- NO, that's Pride and Prejudice.
9. "Far out in the uncharted backwaters" -- NO, that's Hitchhiker's Guide. Far out.
10. "In an old house in Paris" -- NO, that's Madeline.
11. "I wish either my father or my mother" -- YES, Tristram Shandy.
12. "Happy families are all alike" -- YES, Anna Karenina.
Therefore Susan wins her second consecutive quiz with 11/12, an almost perfect literary performance.