Monday, August 3, 2015

Through History with The Monday Quiz: the 1070s

By the 1070s, the events of the 1000s seemed like a long, long time ago.  People were all like " The crowning of Stephen I of Hungary?  King Æthelred the Unready paying the Danegeld?  Muhammad II's brief reign as as Caliph of Córdoba? I'm not really much into history, man."

1. Kō Rājakēsarivarman Abhaya Kulōttunga Chōla, who came to the throne in 1070, was one of the greatest kings of the Chola Empire. He commissioned a land survey and oversaw a highly organized administration. During his reign, Chola had diplomatic relations with Kanauj, to the north, as well as more distant places in Southeast and East Asia. He was also militarily successful, establishing Chola overlordship over Kedah,  the northwestern part of what is today penninsular Malaysia.

Where was the Chola empire centered?

2.This was probably being made in England in the 1070s. What is it called, and what’s it all about?

3. The battle of Manzikert was fought on August 26, 1071 between the forces of Alp Arslan and those of Romanos IV. The one-sided result set the stage for the “Turkification of Anatolia.” What empire won, and what empire lost, at Manzikert?

4. Saint Dominic of Silos died in 1073. Kicked out of Navarre for opposing the king's annexation of his monastery's land, Dominic became abbot in charge of renovation an abbey in the town of Silos. The scriptorium he established was a major center for writing in the contemporary Mozarabic dialects, as well as for preserving texts in the old Visigothic script.


Mozarabic script, possibly from the Silos scriptorium, possibly from St. Dominic himself.

In what modern country did Saint Dominic of Silos live?

No city north of the Alps was so rich in great churches, sanctuaries, relics, and religious communities. It was known as the "German Rome." With the growth of the municipal prosperity, the pride of the citizens and their desire for independence also increased, and caused them to feel more dissatisfied with the sovereignty of the archbishop. This resulted in bitter feuds between the bishops and the city, which lasted for two centuries with varying fortunes. The first uprising occurred under Anno II, at Easter of the year 1074. The citizens rose against the archbishop, but were defeated within three days, and severely punished.

It still has the most famous religious building in Germany. What city was it?

6. In 1075, Pope Gregory VII sent a crown to Iziaslav Yaroslavich, making him the first king of his dynasty. His son Yaropolk Izyaslavich then took the crown from 1076 to 1078. After that, the region having no shortage of ambitious leaders, the position of King pretty much went, and Princes of various city-states went ahead with their own agendas.

Such was the short lived royal dynasty of what nation?

7. According to Arab tradition, the Almoravid dynasty swept out of Morocco to conquer a powerful empire to the south in around 1075 CE. Unfortunately, that empire left precious little record of itself, and very little is certain about it except that it almost certainly existed and was probably a pretty powerful state by medieval standards. What empire was it that the Almoravids destroyed, or disrupted, or at least inconvenienced?

8. Arnórr Þórðarson jarlaskáld, considered one of the major skalds of the 11th century, died sometime in the 1070s. The son of Þórðr Kolbeinsson, Arnórr travelled as a merchant and often visited the Orkney Islands where he provided his services for the local Earls. He also composed memorials for Magnus the Good and Harald Hardrata.

Say, what’s a “skald”?

9. The “Walk to Canossa” of January 1077 saw one important man walk barefoot through the snow in a hairshirt to the gates of Canossa Castle, where he was kept waiting for three days before being granted entrance. Who was the theatrically humble penitent, and who was the guy who kept him waiting?

10. In the 1070s, a great Persian thinker wrote Treatise on Demonstration of Problems of Algebra and Explanations of the Difficulties in the Postulates of Euclid, landmark mathematical texts that laid the foundation of algebraic geometry. He came up with one of the most accurate solar calendars ever calculated. But he’s best remembered in the English speaking world for a collection of mystic poetry, the Rubáiyát. Who is this brainy guy?

11.* Meanwhile, in the declining Pala Empire:
Mahipala II, the successor of Vigrahapala III, brought a short-lived reign of military glory. Mahipala II imprisoned his brothers Ramapala and Surapala II, on the suspicion that they were conspiring against him. Soon afterwards, he faced a rebellion of vassal chiefs from the Kaibarta (fishermen). A chief named Divya (or Divvoka) killed him and occupied the Varendra region.
What small but very populous modern country was at the heart of the Pala Empire?

Tenth century manuscript from the Pala Empire.

* I lost count.

Last Week: the 1060s

1. The New Book of Tang was a history of the Tang Dynesty, from the point of view of the Song Dynasty.  That kind of book was important, because it helped legitimate the dynasty in power.  Half marks for "Chinese history."
2. Tartu is the second city of modern Estonia.  And Estonians are the only Finnic people I know of except, of course, the Finns.
3. Eight Deer Jaguar Claw and the Mixtecs were the area that is Mexico today.
4. The Great German Pilgrimage was trying to city to Jerusalem.
5. García II of Galicia was also the first titular King of Portugal.
6. Pisa was at loggerheads, in this case, with Genoa.
7. Harald Hardrada was the King of Norway.  Harold Godwinson took care of his invasion, but that left him out of position to deal with a second invasion led by a guy named William.
8. Cappadocia is historical region of modern Turkey.
9. The Nam tiến was the long slow southern expansion of, well, the 'Nam.  Vietnam.
10. The Harrowing of the North was William the Conquerer's way of expressing his disappointment that his administration wasn't greeted with more enthusiasm in the provinces.  Most folks in England didn't like being conquered, and for a long time they periodically tried to get unconquered.

And POW!!! Pfly knocks it out of the park!!!  Pfly knocks it out of the park!!!  And he even showed his reasoning, which is always fun.  Perfect score.  Everyone else, glare at pfly now.


UnwiseOwl said...

1. No idea, man, India?
2. That's the Bayeux Tapestry, and it's about how Normans are manly and awesome and Angles are cissies.
3. Sounds like maybe the Turks (Seljuks?) beat the Byazintines, dunnit?
4. No idea. Navarre is in Spain, though, so let's assume that he didn't go far.
5. Maybe Koln? My Ticket to Ride board is RIGHT THERE, man. It's moments like this that the ban on references hurts.
6. Hrmm...Slavs...Russia?
7. Maybe THIS time it's Mali?
8. A skald is like a bard, right? A warrior poet type.
9. The Holy Roman Emperor (I dunno which one), and the Pope. Probably a Gregory. Gregory's were hard bastards.
10. Forgive my Arabic ignorance, but Omar Kayyam? Rolls off the tongue.
11. I'm thinking Cambodia. But there's been a lot of guesses this week, and I'm not feeling any better about this than any of the others.

pfly said...

Ach, the glares! Well okay, let's try another.

1. Uh oh, right away this is difficult. I think I have vaguely heard of Chola and Kedah, but don't know anything in particular. I've heard of Southeast Asia and peninsular Malaysia though! Given those clues, well...where was this empire centered? You mean in more specific terms than "Southeast Asia"? How about modern Thailand/Cambodia? The only more specific place I can think of that might date back that far is Angor Wat.
2. That's the Bayu-something Tapestry. It shows Bill the Conqueror defeating Harold at, um....Hastings? Harold is shown getting an arrow in the eye, which had to smart.
3. I've gotten this wrong a couple times, saying things like the Ottomans. I think I've seen now that it should be the Seljuk Empire at this time? The losers ought to be the Byzantines.
4. Navarre was in what's now Spain, as was the Visigothic Kingdom. So that seems a likely answer.
5. Most famous religious building in Germany? That must be, uh, Reims--no that's France, right? Cologne/Köln? But Cologne is farther north, isn't it? Strasbourg? Frankfurt? Geez I don't know. Maybe Cologne really is located there. Fine, Cologne?
6. Huh. Somewhere slavic, I assume. With city-states. Which means actual cities at least. And mostly not a kingdom. I'm at a loss. Bohemia?
7. Geez I don't know! Empire? Over there? Destroyed, maybe? Just maybe? Uh, an African empire then? Mali?
8. When you pour boiling water on skin. I don't know! How should I know that? Is it like a bard?
9. There were important people in the 1070s? I really have absolutely no idea and can't even think of a guess.
10. Uh, wasn't algebra named after the guy, Al Gebra? No, probably not. Ibn Someone?
11. Small but populated, in or around India? Let's say Bangladesh. It's not Sri Lanka, is it? Bangladesh.

Okay, everyone can stop glaring now.

mrs.5000 said...

Wandering into history class by mistake, and not having a clue what's up on the board...
1 Thailand
2 The Bayeux Tapestry! About the Norman invasion.
3 Byzantines lost to...they weren't the Ottomans yet, were they?
4 Spain
5 Cologne
6 Poland
7 Timbuktu
8 a poet-bard
9 King Wenceslas
10 Omar Khayam
11 Singapore