With every year that went by in the 1050s, the world got a little bit more like it is today.
1. In 1050, the kind of computer shown here first arrived in Europe. An invention of the Islamic golden age, it was used for calculating or predicting the time, local latitude, and the position of the moon and stars.
2. The Phoenix Hall of Byōdō-in, a Buddhist temple in the city of Uji, was built in 1053. Here's a picture! What country do you suppose it's in?
3. “By 1054, Tughril’s forces were contending in Anatolia with the Byzantines and in 1055 he was commissioned by the Abbasid Caliph Al-Qa'im to recapture Baghdad from the Buyids.” Tughril was, again, the leader of what important emerging Turkish empire?
4. “According to Pipil texts, Antiguo Cuscatlán was founded as Cuzcatlan in 1054 by Topiltzin Atzil, the last king of Tula of Anahuac. It was a city populated by ten thousand, with an additional twelve thousand people who lived in xacal, straw huts distributed at the edge of a maar (crater) which housed the sacred lake of Cuscatlan.”
Today, Antigo Cuscatlán is a town of about 48,000 in a country whose name begins with an “E.” What country?
5. A 1054 diplomatic mission turned into a fiasco when Cardinal Humbert, a papal legate, claimed the authority to excommunicate the Patriarch of Constantinople; the Patriarch, in response, excommunicated Cardinal Humbert and his colleagues. This fracas is generally considered the watershed moment of what great historical process?
6. In 1055, Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, King of Gwynedd and Powys, gained control of the territories of Morgannwg and Gwent. From 1055 to 1063 he would rule over the entire territory of his country, the only king ever to do so until it fell under the control of a more powerful neighboring kingdom. Of what country was Gruffydd ap Llywelyn king?
7. In the Irrawaddy Valley, King Anawrahta was the first great ruler of the Pagan Empire. Improvements in irrigation during his reign made the kingdom's core into a powerhouse of rice production; this, combined with an efficient system of taxation and administration, allowed Anawrahta to annex or control most of the surrounding kingdoms beginning in the mid-1050s. Here’s a best-guess map at the ultimate extent of Anawrahta’s rule.
What modern country is the most direct decendent of the Pagan Empire?
8. In 1056, in an island country whose historical record is remarkably well-preserved, we know that one Ísleifur Gissurarson became the first bishop of Skálholt. Where did Gissurarson live?
9. In 1059, Pope Nicolas II issue the bull In nomine Domini. It curtailed the Holy Roman Emporer’s “right of approbation” and established the basic rules that are still used today for what process?
10. Also in 1059, King Peter Krešimir IV came to the throne. Under his rule, his country would expand to its greatest territorial extent in history… so far, of course. Here’s a map of his kingdom at the high point. Of what country is King Peter Krešimir IV also sometimes called “King Peter Krešimir the Great”?
Last Week's New Monday Quiz Classic (tm)
E, The Dutch Revolt, starting 1568ish.
G, The Glorious Revolution, starting 1688.
B, American Independence, 1776.
I, South American Independence, early 1800s.
J, German Unification (part 1), 1871.
H, The Russian Revolution, 1916.
C, The Chinese Revolution, 1949.
A, African Independence, 1950s/60s.
F, Portugal Throws in the Colonial Towel, 1975.
D, The USSR Splits, 1991.
That gives us two big winners: Christine M. and Unwise Owl both have perfect scores. Perfect, I tell you! Although everyone did quite well I thought. It's the Owl's second grand slam in two weeks!