Monday, April 3, 2017
Through History With the New Monday Quiz: the 1410s
"Time is marching on! ....and time is still marching on!"
1. By the beginning of the fifteenth century, one of the great engineering marvels of classical and medieval times had fallen badly into disrepair. Noting that this was making the transportation of grain extremely inefficient, the Yongle Emperor launched an enormous four-year restoration project that employed 165,000 workers. What key piece of infrastructure did they whip into shape?
2. Medieval history can be puzzling because there are these… entities that seem kind of like countries, but seem kind of not like countries. For instance, there was a largely independent military force that occupied the southern and eastern shores of the Baltic by the end of the fourteenth century. In 1410, however, they took on a Lithuanian/Polish army near the village of Tannenburg and suffered a resounding defeat. Centuries of decline followed, and although this organization still technically exists today, it’s more of a “club” than an “empire.”
Who are we talking about?
3. In the 1410s, a family-owned banking house based in Florence landed contracts to handle major accounts for the Papacy. Skillful use of this capital allowed it to open new branches and make highly profitable investments, and soon this bank and family were on the road to being major players on the international stage. What was the family?
4. In 1413, on the Fourth Voyage of the Treasure Fleet, his 63 ships visited to India, the Persian Gulf, modern Kenya, the Maldives, and Sumatra. Who commanded this epic voyage?
5. Since 1409, there had been three rival claimants to the Papacy. In 1414, the Council of Constance was convened to resolve this problem and reunify the Church. What was the outcome?
6. The Council of Constance also invited a Czech theology professor named Jan Hus to attend for a free and frank discussion of his criticism of Church practice. His ideas were so controversial that he might be nervous about airing them in public, so he was given a guarantee of safe conduct to and from the Council. How were Hus’s ideas received at Constance?
7. October 25, 1415 – the Battle of Agincourt! Who won? Who lost? Why?
8. In 1419, an expedition under the aegis of King Henry the Navigator set out to claim the islands of Porto Santo and Madeira, a relatively modest undertaking that however in some ways kicked off centuries of European colonialism. For what kingdom were these islands claimed?
9. July 30, 1419, was the date of the First Defenestration of Prague, a popular event in history because it has a funny name. Go ahead, say what the Defenestration of Prague was.
10. OK, now say why the First Defenestration of Prague was significant.
Through History with The New Monday Quiz: the 1400s
1. The Kingdom of Kongo was roughly where the Congos are today.
2. The Kangnido map was a Korean take on the world.
3. Rublev was one of the most famous medieval icon painters of Russia.
4. Europeans liked Timur's, despite the slaughter and butchery thing, because he slowed down the Ottomans when they seemed likely to march straight to the Atlantic.
5. The fellow mentioned as having amazing adventures was... well, I won't say, as it's the answer to #4, above.
6. We called the former Chinese Royal Palace "The Forbidden City," despite that it is neither forbidden nor a city.
7. The Armagnac and Burgundians were the factions of the French civil war.
8. The Moa and Haast's Eagle were hunted to extinction by the Maori.
9. The outcome of the Council of Pisa was that instead of two Popes, there were now three.
10. That sculpture is the Beta version of Donatello's David, the David in question being of course the Biblical king.
Out of Unwise Owl, DrSchnell, and Susan -- well, they were all awfully right, but I think the Good Doctor is the rightest by a hair. He is thus appointed Third Pope for the next two weeks.