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Quiz about How Many Years Can Some People Exist
Quiz about How Many Years Can Some People Exist

How Many Years Can Some People Exist Quiz

A Brief History of the Western Roman Empire

Empires come and go, with some lasting a lot longer than others. This quiz will examine ten major events that took place in the history of the Western Roman Empire.

An ordering quiz by ponycargirl. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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3 mins
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Quiz #
Jul 08 24
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Avg Score
8 / 10
Last 3 plays: Guest 98 (10/10), Guest 212 (10/10), KingLouie6 (7/10).
Mobile instructions: Press on an answer on the right. Then, press on the question it matches on the left.
(a) Drag-and-drop from the right to the left, or (b) click on a right side answer, and then click on its destination box to move it.
These events and their consequences are still studied by students of Roman history today. Start with the earliest event in the history of the Western Roman Empire and proceed forward.
What's the Correct Order?Choices
(753 BC)
Founding of Rome
(509 BC)
End of the Pax Romana
(146 BC)
Beginning of the Republic
(44 BC)
Death of Julius Caesar
(27 BC)
Octavian is crowned Emperor
(1 AD)
Constantine legalizes Christianity
(180 AD)
Diocletian splits the Roman Empire
(293 AD)
Birth of Christ
(313 AD)
End of the Punic Wars
(476 AD)
Western Roman Empire falls

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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Founding of Rome

According to Virgil, the history of the Rome began after the fall of Troy. Aeneas and a small group of survivors made their way south and settled on the land on which Rome was eventually built after the Latin tribes that lived there had been subjugated. Centuries later, based on the myth of Remus and Romulus, the twin sons of the god, Mars, and the vestal virgin, Rhea Silvia, the city of Rome was founded on April 21, 753 BC, a date which continues to be celebrated annually.

The boys were abandoned on the banks of the Tiber River by their evil uncle; they were rescued by a kind shepherd who took them home, and, with his wife, raised the boys to adulthood. After learning their true identity, the brothers decided to build a new city on the banks of the same river where they had been abandoned. During an argument over who would be the city's ruler, Romulus killed Remus, gave the new city his name, and became its first legendary king.

It must be stated that modern historians do believe that the Etruscans originally built the city of Rome. Over time the Latins overthrew the Etruscans, but kept many of their customs, blending them with their own.
2. Beginning of the Republic

There were seven legendary kings altogether who represented different groups of people who lived around Rome - the Latins, Sabines, and Etruscans. The last of the seven kings, Tarquinius Superbus, was an Etruscan who apparently ruled with quite the iron fist. The people rebelled in 509 BC, and instituted a new form of government - a republic. From that time on, any talk of monarchy was strictly prohibited, and the name "rex", or king, was considered a dirty word.

Two officials called consuls were the leaders of the new Republic; the use of two was a type of a checks and balances on their power. Each had the power to veto the other's actions, and they took turns ruling; in times of peace they alternated monthly, while during war time, they alternated daily. If the situation in Rome became too dire, a dictator would be appointed to exercise absolute power, but only for a period of six months. Apparently, no one wanted the job. It was too much like being a rex.
3. End of the Punic Wars

The Romans began to either conquer or make alliances with their neighbors, and quickly expanded their influence throughout central Italy, and, eventually, beyond. The struggle, however, for complete control of the Mediterranean Sea was a long and difficult one with Rome's greatest rival, Carthage.

A series of three wars were fought altogether; the first Punic War, beginning in 264 BC, ended in 241 BC with a truce that did not stay in place for long. Angry and with something to prove, the Carthaginian general, Hannibal, even made it with his men and war elephants into northern Italy during the Second Punic War (218-201 BC). Prior to the Third Punic War (149-146 BC), the Romans had defeated the Carthaginians at the Battle of Zama in 150. After being asked to evacuate their city, the Carthaginians refused. A blockade was imposed upon Carthage, and the people were starved into submission. By 146 BC the city was destroyed, razed to the ground, and the people were either killed or sold into slavery. The Romans could then call the Mediterranean "Mare Nostrum", Our Sea, as it was, finally, truly their sea.
4. Death of Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar was stabbed to death on the floor of the Roman Senate on the Ides of March 44, BC. Why? There were people who believed that, in spite of all his reforms that seemed to help the floundering Republican system - reducing debts and taxes, lowering interest rates, and giving away free land in places that had been conquered to army veterans, to name a few - he was becoming too powerful. They still despised the idea of having an absolute leader and feared that was what he planned to be.

Even though there was really no evidence to support the belief that Caesar wanted to be king, there were people, even his friends and allies, who plotted against his rule and planned his death. The power struggle that took place afterwards showed that perhaps what the conspirators really wanted was the power that Caesar had held.

While it is not possible to imagine what would have happened had Caesar been allowed to remain in power, one must remember that his successor, Octavian, carefully followed Caesar's lead as far as reforms and policies were concerned, and Octavian's time as emperor had a major impact on the history of the next two hundred years. In addition, interestingly, Caesar's death did bring about the end of the Roman Republic, an event that the conspirators were supposedly trying to avoid.
5. Octavian is crowned Emperor

Caesar's power, authority, and army were inherited by his young grandnephew, Octavian. At first Octavian made an agreement with Caesar's friend and co-consul, Mark Antony, and Lepidus, a proconsul from Spain. They agreed to rule Italy together and divided the rest of Roman territory among themselves in an alliance called the Second Triumvirate. (The First Triumvirate, you may recall, was an agreement between Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus to divide the power). To seal the deal, Mark Anthony married Octavian's sister, Octavia.

This was significant because Antony's treatment of Octavia - the subsequent divorce and marriage to Cleopatra - is what caused the Second Triumvirate to fall apart, and brought Rome and Egypt to war. Octavian was declared the first Roman emperor in 27 BC, and given the title Augustus. The Empire Period had begun.
6. Birth of Christ

The Bible chronicles the birth of Christ during the reign of Augustus in Luke 2:1-20, but the fact that Christ was born during the reign of Augustus was the only hint as to the exact date of his birth. In 525 AD Dionysius Exiguus, a monk and astronomer, invented what is commonly called Anno Domini dating, that is, arranging the calendar according to how events took place in relation to 1 AD, which he called "the year of our Lord" - or, in other words, the year that Christ was born.

Although modern scientists think that Exiguus was probably off by about four years, putting the year of Christ's birth at about 4 BC, his method of keeping track of time was later adopted by Pope Gregory XIII in 1382, and a new calendar, the Gregorian calendar, based on Anno Domini dating, came into existence. It is used in most nations of the world today.

It was difficult for Christianity to take hold within the Roman Empire. The worship of the emperor was an important part of the polytheistic Roman religion, so the idea of worshiping only one God seemed even treasonous. In addition, Christians got into trouble when they refused to serve in the Roman army. Those who converted readily were found suspect. Consequently, they were blamed and persecuted for many problems the Romans faced.
7. End of the Pax Romana

When Octavian became emperor in 27 BC, he began a period of peace and prosperity within the Roman Empire that lasted for about two hundred years. Octavian set the example for his successors of being a strong ruler who was very careful to never appear to assume too much authority, and this worked for a time. Called the Pax Romana, it was a period when the Romans continued to expand their land boundaries.

Although wars did take place during this time, they were not civil wars like the ones that had been taking their toll at the end of the Roman Republic. Trade in the Mediterranean was also extended to all areas of the sea, and, during this time, the Roman economy flourished. The Pax Romana ended with the death of Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

One thing that Octavian didn't do during his reign, however, was establish rules for succession. He did begin the tradition of trying to choose a well-qualified successor, which those who succeeded him continued to do. Sometimes it worked better than others, but choosing a successor hadn't caused civil discontent until the death of Marcus Aurelius. After 180 AD civil wars began to break out again, and Rome began to experience a number of problems. The Empire began to fall into a period of decline.
8. Diocletian splits the Roman Empire

Diocletian, declared to be Roman Emperor by his troops, ruled from 285-305. In 293 AD, he attempted to solve the problem with succession that had been plaguing the Romans for years. He decided that the empire was too large for one person to successfully administer, so he divided it into two parts, based largely on the culture of each. The western part, mostly Latin in culture, continued to be governed by Rome; the eastern part, more Greek and Middle Eastern, became the Byzantine Empire that was ruled from Constantinople.

Call the Tetrarchy, each part of the Empire would be ruled by an Augustus, and an emperor-in-training, called a Caesar, would also be selected for each part. After ruling for twenty years the Augustus would step down, the Caesar would become the new Augustus, and a new Caesar would then be selected. While each Tetrarch took care of the day to day business in their region of the empire and ruled from a designated capital, all the laws and rulings were issued jointly by both Augusti, and were supposed to be uniformly enforced. Just as he had planned, Diocletian stepped down from his position and retired after twenty years. By 313, however, only two Augusti remained, and in 324 Constantine reunited the empire and role as the sole Augustus.
9. Constantine legalizes Christianity

Constantine famously became the first Christian Augustus of the Roman Empire after receiving a sign from the Christian God that he believed helped him to win a battle. According to the story, there was a period of time, however, after his conversion, when he was reluctant to make his choice public. He chose to worship privately until 313 AD, when he issued the Edict of Milan.

The document essentially made it legal to practice Christianity in the Roman Empire, and it also stated that other religions would be tolerated as well. In 381, the Emperor Theodosius made Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire, outlawing all non-Christian places of worship and ordering the end of any practices, such as the Olympic Games, that were viewed as being pagan in nature.
10. Western Roman Empire falls

It is surprising that Rome was able to continue for as long as it did after the Pax Romana. There were civil wars over succession. There was an economic crisis that was brought about from the use of slavery, which did not promote new technological ideas. Romans found that many of their old trading partners no longer had any interest in their goods. In addition, as barbarians began to attack areas within the Roman Empire, trade routes began to break down. Taxes were raised to the point where many citizens became bankrupt. There wasn't always money to pay the army. From 250-270 the Plague of Cyprian killed as many as 5,000 people a day in the city of Rome. As the Huns continued their invasion into Europe, many Germanic peoples were displaced. The Romans could not contain them, nor could they find a way to get along with the new settlers and rule them in a fair manner.

One Germanic tribe, the Visigoths, accomplished the unthinkable in 410 AD, by sacking and looting the once great city of Rome. In 455, the city was pillaged again by another Germanic tribe, the Vandals. By 476 AD, a third group of Germans, the Ostrogoths, threatened the city once again, and the Emperor of the West, Romulus Augustulus, was forced to leave the city. The Western Empire had fallen.
Source: Author ponycargirl

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor trident before going online.
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