We're going to take a break from the march of decades until the new year, so everyone's brains have a chance to cool down.
1. On December 14, 557, a major earthquake damaged the dome of the Hagia Sophia, which would subsequently collapse half a year later. The city walls were also severely damaged, which would make them vulnerable to invading Huns in 559. What city did the earthquake hit?
2. In the "Sweet Dew Incident," on December 14, 835, the emperor agreed with his chancellor and leading general that they would have the powerful imperial eunuchs slaughtered. Word got out, the eunuchs killed the chancellor and general. Although the emperor ruled on in principle, governmental power was firmly in the hands of the eunuchs. In what country?
3. In St. Lucia's flood, on December 14, 1287, a breached dike let in a torrent of sea water, drowning tens of thousands and permanently flooding what we now call the Zuiderzee. Where?
4. On December 14, 1542, Mary Stuart became queen of her country. That's why she is called _______________.
5. On December 14, 1911 -- a date clearly chosen to be close to the December solstice -- the team of Roald Amundsen, Olav Bjaaland, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel, and Oscar Wisting became the first guys to do what?
6. Christopher Parkening was born on December 14, 1947. After the death of Andrés Segovia, Parkening was probably the most famous ____________________ in the world.
7. On December 14, 1962, Mariner 2 became the first spacecraft to go where?
8. On December 14, 1994, construction began on a civil engineering project that would displace more than 1,250,000 people. Today, it is the world's single largest power-production facility. What is it?
9. It was an "American comedy heist film... directed by Steven Soderbergh and featuring an ensemble cast including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Andy García, and Julia Roberts." And it was released on December 14, 2001. What's the film?
10. The Millau Viaduct, which takes the A75 over the valley of the River Tarn, is the tallest bridge in the world. It opened on December 14, 2004, in what country?
Through History with The New Monday Quiz: the 1190s
1. Barbarosa, the Holy Roman Emporer, drowned on his way to the Third Crusade.
2. Minamoto no Yoritomo was the first shogun.
3. Enrico Dandolo was the Doge of Venice.
4. The Yellow River or Huang He, changed course in 1193.
5. The Chartres Cathedral had a fire in 1194.
6. Alexius III Angelus was the Roman Emperor, or at least the Byzantine Emperor.
7. Most things kept in the National Széchényi Library in Budapest are in Hungarian. I assume.
8. Stefan Nemanjić was king of Serbia.
9. Being placed under interdict means that you aren't allowed to participate in church sacraments. If that sounds like "Yay! We can sleep in on Sundays," keep in mind that it could well mean that if you died before interdict was lifted, your soul would writhe in torment in hell for all eternity. (There was a loophole for last rites, but fat lot of good that does you if you get clobbered unexpectedly.) To avoid the negative "buzz" about the 1198 interdict, the Norwegian King forged letters saying that the interdict was cancelled. Clever, but theologically tricksy.
10. Richard the Lion-Hearted is the guy who took the arrow in his shoulder. I guess The Lion in Winter isn't as widely watched as I thought.
The way I count it, Susan, Morgan, and DrSchnell were all tied up as of going to press. Susan kind of almost wins, except that she said "4 - Yangtse -- Yellow River," which are two different rivers. Morgan kind of wins for scoring 5 when he thought he had 2, but also kind of let down his Hungarian heritage. DrSchnell would have won if I thought that "Merchant of Venice" was a wry comment on Dandolo's sharp dealing to come, but I think it was a brain fart and so choose to give him grief about it. It's a three-way tie between smart people!!