Monday, November 23, 2015

Through History with The Monday Quiz: the 1170s

Hey, the 1170s were relatively easy to write a quiz about!  Maybe I've reached the tipping point! 

1. In late 1170, Henry II of England, in a fit of pique (or perhaps of plausible deniability), exclaimed "What miserable drones and traitors have I nourished and brought up in my household, who let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a low-born cleric?!?" What happened next?

2. He would popularize the Hindu–Arabic numeral system -- the one you know and love -- in Europe. That's actually a really big deal. He's better known for a particular string of numbers in which each is the sum of the previous two. But in 1170 he was just a beautiful baby boy. What was his name?

3. In 1171, Saladin abolished the Fatimid Caliphate, thus ending Shia rule in Egypt. Or to put it another way, thus restoring ________ rule in Egypt.

4. In 1172, Henry's son Richard became the Duke of Aquitaine. By what colorful nickname do we remember Richard these day?

5. In August 1173, construction began on a cathedral bell tower in Southern Europe. By 1178, famously, the project had run into a serious snag. What was the city, and what was the problem?

6. In around 1175, the Kingdom of Namayan reached its high point of power on this island. Name the island to impress us, but for full marks all we need is the modern country that the island is part of.

7. On May 29, 1176, the Battle of Legnano was fought between the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa and the Lombard League. The Lombard victory ended the Empire's chances of expansion south of the Alps, preserved Papal authority, and planted the seeds for the emergence of modern Italy seven centuries later. In this key historical battle, about how many soldiers were put in the field by each army: 300? 3000? 30,000? 300,000? or 3,000,000?

8. On September 27, 1177, Pope Alexander III reportedly sent a letter to Prester John. The letter was never delivered. Why not?

9. On June 18, 1178, five monks in Canterbury were kind of freaked out:
A flaming torch sprang up, spewing out, over a considerable distance, fire, hot coals and sparks. Meanwhile the body of the Moon which was below writhed, as it were in anxiety, and to put it in the words of those who reported it to me and saw it with their own eyes, the Moon throbbed like a wounded snake. Afterwards it resumed its proper state. This phenomenon was repeated a dozen times or more, the flame assuming various twisting shapes at random and then returning to normal. Then, after these transformations, the Moon from horn to horn, that is along its whole length, took on a blackish appearance.
Obviously, they were ignorant savages and had no way to make sense of what they saw. But a modern, educated person like yourself can immediately infer what must have happened. Right?

10. The historical record is a bit fuzzy, but some hold that in 1179 Hunac Ceel, leading the forces of Mayapan, sacked the most famous city of the lowland plain, permanently destroying its political and economic power. Its ruins are still a major tourist attraction, though. What was the name of this city?

Through History with The Monday Quiz: the 1160s

1. Games of thrones in Sweden.
2. The Onyx is the longest river in Antarctica.  Notoriously poor farming.
3. Temüjin was the wee little Genghis Khan.  We'll probably see more of him.
4. China is really hard to craft questions for.
5. Go Notre Dame!
6. The rich agricultural lands south of the Crusader States would be Egypt.
7. Stefan Namanja was a bigshot of medieval Serbia.
8. The bushi were the Samurai.
9. 1169 was the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland.  It set off roughly eight and a half centuries that we call "the Troubles."
10. China is still really hard to craft questions for.

A fine trio of answers, led by DrSchnell.  If his unseemly gloating at winning three straight Monday Quizzes gets to be too much, though, you can throw the famous "1169 Anglo-Norman invasion of England" right in his teeth.


DrSchnell said...

You never know. Them Limeys coulda been all "let's go attack ourselves just to keep in shape."

1. I don't know. He was probably beheaded.
2. Something-or-other Fibonacci.
3. Sunni
4. Richard the Lion-Hearted
5. Canterbury cathedral? And, um, let's say they ran out of the right kind of stone. And beer. They also ran out of beer.
6. Bangladesh?
7. 300,000
8. Because Prester John didn't exist
9. lunar eclipse
10. dunno.

Anonymous said...

1 - Murder in the Cathedral -- Thomas a Becket
4 - Richard the Lionheart
5 - Leaning Tower of Pisa
6 - Indonesia
7 - 30,000
8 - Prester John was in Darkest Africa
9 - A Fire on the Moon???
10 - Ankor Wat

pfly said...

1, Uh oh, I don't know. Um, had the low-born cleric killed?
2. Ooh, the second clue tells me it must be Fibonacci.
3. Coptic! No, wait. Sunni.
4. I don't know, are we in Richard the Lionheart days now?
5. Heh, I guess it was in Pisa, and the tower had a bit of a list.
6. Philippines. And the island is...hang on...not the Mando-something one, the other one...Luzon?
7. Oh geez, who knows. Not the last two, certainly. Is this a trick question and it's 300? Well...30,000 seems large for the 1170s so I want to say 3,000. But that seems small for a key battle. So let's say 30,000.
8. Prestor John didn't exist. Not even in Ethiopia. And isn't it spelled Prestor with an O?
9. Sounds like a lunar eclipse, though either something else was going on too, or a lot of flourish was added to the description.
10. Mayapan, eh? Is that in like Indochina? Or Central America? EIther way I can't think of the name of a ruin from either area from about this time, other than Angor Wat.