Monday, February 6, 2017

Through History With the New Monday Quiz: the 1370s

In Shakespeare, John of Gaunt says:

Methinks I am a prophet new inspired
And thus expiring do foretell of him:
His rash fierce blaze of riot cannot last,
For violent fires soon burn out themselves;
Small showers last long, but sudden storms are short;
He tires betimes that spurs too fast betimes;
With eager feeding food doth choke the feeder:
Light vanity, insatiate cormorant,
Consuming means, soon preys upon itself.
Just a good quote, apropos of nothing.

1. The oldest active international treaty in the world – it’s been bruised a few times, but never repealed – dates (more or less) to 1373. What two European sea powers pledged eternal friendship in 1373, and then managed to more or less follow through on it over the centuries since?

2. Sometime about now, according to legend, a local woman living about 350 kilometers south of Angkor was gathering firewood when she noticed an unusual tree floating by. Fishing it out, she found statues of Buddha and Vishnu inside. This was considered highly auspicious, and a town was built on the site that would replace Angkor as the Khmer capital in the 1430s. It’s still more or less the Khmer capital today! What city was built where “Grandma Penh” was out looking for firewood?

3. In the early 1370s, co-emperor Andronikos IV Palaiologos rebeled against his father John V Palaiologos for agreeing to make their empire vassal to the Ottomans. The rebellion failed and the Ottomans pressured the father to have his son blinded. This is surprisingly typical stuff in the late history of what political entity?

4. 1374 was a big year for this important English civil servant; he was given a royal grant of a gallon of wine a day for the rest of his life (it was later converted to a cash stipend) and got an important new gig as comptroller of the customs for the port of London. We think of him today mostly as a writer, and indeed by ’74 his The Book of the Duchess (also known as The Deth of Blaunche) was probably a best-seller by the standards of the day. Who was this well-rounded guy?

5. In 1374, the weakness of the Marinid Dynasty became obvious as, following a succession struggle, the empire fragmented into two parts: the Kingdom of Fes and the Kingdom of Marrakech. What modern country is successor to the Marinids?

6. In 1376, Catherine of Sienna put a lot of effort into trying to convince Pope Gregory XI to take a major step. In 1377, he took that step, and people have been wondering ever since about how much influence Catherine had in the decision. What did Pope Gregory do in 1377?

7. John of Gaunt was among the most powerful and richest men in his country, and probably in all of Europe, in his heyday, and the 1370s were definitely part of his heyday. Who, approximately, was John of Gaunt?

8. Here are some images that people worked really hard on in the 1370s. Which one was made for the King of England, which one was made in Italy, and where were the other two made?

9. The Ayutthaya Kingdom, gradually expanding from its heartland along the Chao Phraya River, made the formerly dominant kingdom of Sukhothai its northern vassal state in 1378. The two kingdoms then merged into what modern kingdom?

10. According to a 15th century historian, Egyptian peasants in 1378 made offerings to a large idol in hopes of a good harvest. One Sa'im al-Dahr, upset by this idolatry, committed an epic act of vandalism for which he was later executed. What did Sa’im al-Dahr (and not, contrary to popular legend, Napolean’s infantry) do?

Through History with The New Monday Quiz: the 1360s

Christine M.'s answers were pretty darn good!

1. Those Darn Mongols
2. England and France
3. Iceland
4. Avignon
5. It was in English
6. India
7. Um...Lithuania?
8. The Great Wall of China
9. Um...Bavaria?
10. Some English dude...Edward Somethingorother.

Lithuania and Bavaria are both correct.  And the Black Prince, Edward, was heir to the throne and the English general at of Crécy and Poitiers, which were terrific victories if you happened to be rooting for the English and no one you knew got hurt. He died a a year before his father, so never became king.

Well done to all quiz takers, especially you lurkers out there. Cristine M. is the winner, and must now defend her title against the expanding Ottoman Empire.


DrSchnell said...

1. England and the Netherlands?
2. Phnomh Penh
3. Byzantines
4. Chaucer
5. Morocco
6. If in doubt, just say "the Mongols" -- so, he became a Mongol!
7. Isn't he the guy from the Fountainhead? No, I guess that's Galt. I dunno.
8. 1st one in Italy, second in England, third in Japan, 4th in Saudi Arabia
9. Thailand
10. knock the schnozz off of the Sphinx.

Morgan said...

1. England and Portugal!
2. Phnom Penh
3. The Byzantine Empire
4. Chaucer!
5. Morocco?
6. Hmm. Moved back to Rome?
7. Shoot, I remember reading about this guy. Was he father of the king?
8. China and Arabia?
9. Thailand?
10. ???

I tend to do better on weeks I don't study, I feel.

Anonymous said...

1 - England & Holland
2 - Pnom Penh
3 -
4 - Chaucer
5 = Morocco
6 - Moved the Papacy back to Rome
7 - Lancaster Uncle of Richard II
After your quote comes "this scept'red isle" &
much much more.
8 - 1 England 2 Italy 3 China 4 Arabia
Alas, here I give out.....susan