Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Through History with the Monday Quiz in Exile: The 1450s

As we continue to gear up for the gargantuan beast that is Blaugust, we're proud to bring you the latest edition of the Monday Quiz, the brainchild of the Leaflocker's spiritual blogmother, Michael5000. As usual, the quiz is a closed book exam of historical knowledge, focusing this week on the 1450s.

1. The above image depicts the close of a siege that would end a political entity that had existed for almost 1500 years, if you count generously. The year is 1453, which Empire is falling?

2. Also in 1453, the battle of Castillion was the final action in which war, a conflict that had been waged (on and off) since 1337?
3. Built in the 1450's but abandoned less than a century later and not known to the outside world until the 1910's, what is the name of this royal Estate?

4. The 1450's saw the beginning of the Wars of the Roses, conflicts between the rival Lancastrian and Yorkish factions for the English throne. Henry VI, who held the throne at the beginning of the wars, was of which House?
5. The first significant mass-produced movable type book was produced in the 1450's in Mainz, modern day Germany. In which language was the Gutenberg Bible printed?

6. Debre Berhan was founded by Zara Yaqob as a shortlived permanent capital for his Empire that would soon be abandoned by his son in favour of returning to a movable encampment. Debre Berhan was supposedly named after a which 'miraculous' light seen in the sky over Ethiopia in 1456?

7. Ōta Dōkan wrote the following words about which fortress (ruined but still partially extant today) that he designed and built starting in 1457?
The abode of mine
Adjoins a pine grove
Sitting on the blue sea
And from its humble eaves
Commands a view of soaring Fuji.
8. According to Antarctic ice records, at some point in the 1450's there was enormous volcanic activity somewhere on Earth, the second largest volcanic activity in recorded history. Exactly where is a matter of contention, but one of the most likely candidates is Kuwae, which used to connect Epi and Tongoa prior to its collapse. In which modern day Pacific nation is Kuwae situated?

9. 1451 saw the birth of the Portugese explorer Bartolomeu Dias, first European recorded to have achieved which feat of navigation?

10. The below is an extract from 1452's Dum Diversas, seen as one of the most important documents in the history of African slavery. Can you name the author or recipient of the document?
We grant to you full and free power... to invade, conquer, fight, subjugate the Saracens and pagans,other infidels and other enemies of Christ, and wherever established their Kingdoms, Duchies, Royal Palaces, Principalities and other dominions, lands, places, estates, camps and any other possessions, mobile and immobile goods... and to lead their persons in perpetual servitude, and to apply and appropriate ... goods of this kind to you and your use and your successors.
Please leave your answers in the comments below. Thanks for playing and for dropping by, and I hope to see you (and visit your blog) during Blaugust 2017.


John said...

Okay, let's do this!

1) By the most generous, 1500-ish interpretation, that's the Roman Empire (or at least its longer-lived eastern half, also known as the Byzantine or Greek Empire after the end of the rule of the emperors in the west).

2) Given the Spanish-sounding place name and the rough times involved, I'm going to guess the Reconquista, the war waged by Castile, Aragon, and other Spanish kingdoms to drive the Moors from Iberia.

3) Machu Picchu?

4) Henry VI (and the two previous Henries besides) was Lancastrian.

5) It's a tricky one since this is right around Reformation time (and I doubt the Papacy cared much for the implications of print) but I'm nonetheless going to guess Latin.

6) I'm guessing a supernova, since SN 1456 does have a nice ring to it.

7) Argh, I'm useless with Japanese castle names. Himeji?

8) Tonga seems too obvious (given the similarity to "Tongoa"). I'll guess Kiribati.

9) I suspect circumnavigation of the globe, even though Magellan gets all the credit despite dying halfway into the trip (albeit after the dangerous unknown waters part was done with).

10) This is almost certainly authored by a pope, and most likely to the monarchs of the great naval powers of the time, Portugal and not-quite-Spain-yet Castile/Aragon/Leon/etc - but I'm not sure I can name any of the monarchs specifically. Alexander VI is a tempting pope to go for just because he's so notorious but honestly all of the popes were political beasts anyway (and I think perhaps he was a century or so later on). Could one of the recipients be Henry the Navigator, by any chance?

Also these quizzes are amazingly neat and make me feel ashamed of having ignored the original quiz for so long.

Michael5000 said...

1. The Roman Empire, of course.
2. Would that be the Hundred Year's War?
3. Oh, in the picture! Err... Machu Pichu?
4. Great question. I think he was a Lancaster, but it's a suspect chain of reasoning gets me there.
5. Damn, another great question. I'm thinking Latin.
6. ETHIOPIA!!! Oh crap, the question took a left turn. Let's say Haley's Comet, and they didn't know how to spell "Haley's."
7. Like, Kyoto Palace?
8. Well, I'm going to have to try Tonga.
9. First around the Cape o' Good Hope, I think
10. Dear Henry the Navigator of Portugal, Love, The Pope.

Yeah, these quizzes ARE amazingly neat. GREAT IDEA COUGH COUGH