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Cambodia History Trivia

Cambodia History Trivia Quizzes

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3 Cambodia History quizzes and 30 Cambodia History trivia questions.
  Khmer Empire   top quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
The Khmer Empire enjoyed approximately 600 years of prosperity in southeast Asia. See what you know of this old empire.
Average, 10 Qns, LeoDaVinci, Jul 20 22
LeoDaVinci editor
Jul 20 22
339 plays
  Cambodian History   top quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Moving along with my ever popular series on SE Asian history we now reach Cambodia. Here are 10 questions that should cover the basics of Cambodian history pre-20th century. You'll find the basics of ancient Cambodian history here...enjoy!
Average, 10 Qns, thejazzkickazz, Mar 22 06
thejazzkickazz gold member
3391 plays
  Modern Cambodian History    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Modern Cambodian history, tumultuous and tragic as it may be, provides some fascinating reading for the history buff. Here are some important facts and figures about modern Cambodia to accompany my early Cambodian history quiz...enjoy!
Average, 10 Qns, thejazzkickazz, Aug 17 05
thejazzkickazz gold member
663 plays
Related Topics
  Cambodia [Geography] (5 quizzes)

Cambodia History Trivia Questions

1. Following the death of King Norodom in 1904, which Cambodian King succeeded to the throne?

From Quiz
Modern Cambodian History

Answer: Sisowath

Following Norodom's invitation for the French to occupy Cambodia, acquiescence became the rule for the Cambodian kings. After Sisowath took power in 1904, he further helped strengthen French rule in Cambodia and benefited himself by strengthening the now symbolic position of the King. Sisowath ruled from 1904 to 1927 when he was succeeded by his son Monivong. The years from 1904 until the death of Monivong in 1941 are referred to generally as 'the years of colonial calm'.

2. The earliest state to exist on what is now Cambodia was called Norkor Phnom (Norkor Kuork Phlouk). What did the Chinese call this distant southern land that probably was born in the 1st century B.C.?

From Quiz Cambodian History

Answer: Funan

Norkor Phnom translates into English as 'King of the Mountain'. It was during the time that Funan dominated Cambodia that we see the Indianization of its culture, with Hinduism and Sanskrit being introduced probably from the islands to the south.

3. The Khmer Empire was first declared in Mahendraparvata. Afterwards, the capital shifted a few times. The Golden Age of the Khmer Empire was associated with what great capital city north of Tonlé Sap?

From Quiz Khmer Empire

Answer: Angkor

Also called Yasodharapura, the city of Angkor was the greatest capital city of the Khmer Empire. Dedicated in the later part of the tenth century, Angkor housed two great temple complexes, Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom, by the time it was was abandoned as the capital in 1431. After an attempted revival, it was entirely abandoned in the 17th century. Today, the site of Angkor is Cambodia's greatest tourist attraction, bringing millions of people yearly to the temples and to see the ruins.

4. The Japanese occupied Cambodia in 1941 (along with the rest of French Indochina) and gave Cambodia independence in 1945. Who became king in that year?

From Quiz Modern Cambodian History

Answer: Norodom Sihanouk

Sihanouk was merely a 19 year old prince in 1945, and the grandson of Monivong.

5. By the 7th and 8th centuries A.D. another state began to develop in the midst of the decline of Norkor Phnom. The Chinese also record the existence of this empire, one they call what?

From Quiz Cambodian History

Answer: Chenla

Chenla was divided into 'Water Chenla', located around the Mekong river delta (in present day Vietnam), and 'Land Chenla', located along the Mekong south of laos (present day Cambodia). Chenla was eventually conquered and Cambodia controlled by the Sailendra Dynasty of Java.

6. Jayavarman II is generally considered to be the founder of the Khmer Empire. In inscriptions it is said that he broke the empire off of another. Perhaps based on an Indonesian island, where did Jayavarman II break off his empire from?

From Quiz Khmer Empire

Answer: Java

Inscriptions found can relate the founding of the Khmer Empire to Jayavarman II, a Khmer king who unified the fractured Khmer people and declared their independence from a place called "Java". Some historians attribute this to an empire centered on Java in the Indonesian islands called the Mataram Kingdom. Others have surmised that Jayavarman II lived in the kingdom of Sailendra and brought back teachings from there to help his quest for power. What is agreed upon is that Jayavarman II conducted an elaborate and ostentatious ritual on Mount Mahendraparvata, a holy mountain, and declared his empire. Originally called Kambuja, the name changed several times over history and all are known collectively as the Khmer Empire.

7. The new monarchy did not last long, as a successful coup occurred later in 1945. Who was the leader of this coup?

From Quiz Modern Cambodian History

Answer: Son Ngoc Thanh

Thanh's stint as prime minister also did not last long as the French soon returned to power in Cambodia, ousting Thanh and exiling him back to France. Followers of Thanh formed the non-Communist 'Khmer Issarak' (Free Khmer) to fight against French occupation, and Thanh was able to return to Cambodia in 1952 to resume his political career.

8. The greatest Cambodian empire, the Khmer, was established in the 9th century A.D. under which great king?

From Quiz Cambodian History

Answer: Jayavarman II

At the reign of Jayavarman VII, Khmer was at its greatest height.

9. The early Khmers were influenced by the Devaraja Hindu philosophy, especially the first emperor, Jayavarman II. This established what as a god in the Hindu pantheon?

From Quiz Khmer Empire

Answer: King

Devaraja was adopted as the main belief in the early Khmer Empire. This established the emperor, Jayavarman II, and his lineage, as gods, as per the philosophy. This helped cement the power and authority of the Khmer rulers (styled as kings and then emperors) and gave the people of the empire a reason to put their faith in their leaders. Mount Mahendraparvata, established as the holy mountain, became the home of the gods and was where Jayavarman II declared his reign. The Brahmin scholar Sivakaivalya was made the first high priest who declared the king as the Lord of the Universe, or 'chakravartin'.

10. Cambodia officially won its independence from the French in 1953, and elections were held in 1955 to form the National Assembly. One party won all of the seats in this National Assembly, what was it called?

From Quiz Modern Cambodian History

Answer: Sangkum Reastr Niyum

The Sangkum Reastr Niyum (People's Socialist Community) was neither socialist nor run by the people. King Sihanouk essentially ran the party and the country as he saw fit, modernizing where necessary in order to help uplift the people whom he called his children.

11. The Khmer empire was centered on a great capital, famous for its water works. What was this capital called?

From Quiz Cambodian History

Answer: Angkor Thom

At its height, hundreds of thousands of people lived within the walled city of Angkor Thom (whose name is derived from the Sanskrit term 'nagara', meaning 'city'). Interestingly, though Angkor contained massive temples and other stone structures, no one lived within these buildings. Instead, people lived in wooden buildings nearby. The stone structures were reserved for religious purposes, and all of these structures were connected by a series of moats and reservoirs, the most famous being Angkor Wat.

12. Indravarman I was the son of Jayavarman III and the ruler of the Khmer Empire. In his time, the Empire grew and flourished, especially financially through strong agriculture. What did Indravarman I order built that helped his Empire grow strong?

From Quiz Khmer Empire

Answer: Irrigation and canals

Indravarman I was the third ruler of the Khmer Empire and (most likely) the grandson of the founder, Jayavarman II. He rose to the throne around 877 or 878 CE and reigned for around twelve years. One of his first acts as the ruler was to create irrigation canals for the rice fields by digging up a giant reservoir to provide water in the dry seasons and to divert water in the monsoon months. Called the Indratāṭaka, it was the largest dammed reservoir of the time and was a revolutionary way of strengthening his kingdom by improving the agriculture.

13. The Khmer empire began to decline by the 14th century due to internal rebellions, economic mismanagement and the introduction of Theravada Buddhism. People of which nation brought the empire to its knees by invading the capital in 1353?

From Quiz Cambodian History

Answer: Thailand

The Thais again invaded Angkor in 1430-31, and the city was abandoned soon afterward.

14. Many of the Khmer rulers built massive temples dedicated to themselves. With a central peak surrounded by four other peaks, what mythical sacred Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist mountain were these temples said to represent?

From Quiz Khmer Empire

Answer: Mount Meru

In order to cement the legitimacy of their rule as king-gods, the rulers of the Khmer Empire built temples, massive structures, dedicated to themselves and thus deifying themselves. Temples were seen not as a place of congregation but more as a place to house the spirits of the gods to which they were dedicated. Each temple was not only dedicated to the kings, but also to their families and other prominent gods. The temples were built in the five-peaked style of the legend of the sacred Mount Meru. In Khmer, "Phnom Preah Someru" was seen as the center of the universe and the temples emulated that holy mountain, making their empire the center of the world.

15. The Cambodian Communist party began to develop strength in the mid-1960s, in the midst of further destabilization in Indochina. What was this party called?

From Quiz Modern Cambodian History

Answer: Khmer Rouge & Khymer Rouge

'Khmer' refers to the great Khmer empire of Cambodia's past, and rouge of course means 'red' in French, symbolizing Communism.

16. Cambodia further declined as a vigorous nation when in the 1620s, the Vietnamese conquered the former Cambodian dominated Mekong delta region. Which people were also displaced in this Vietnamese power move?

From Quiz Cambodian History

Answer: Champa

The Champa, former rivals of the Khmers who existed in the Mekong delta region. From this time, the Vietnamese Nguyen dynasty exercised extensive influence over Cambodia.

17. Suryavarman II was a Khmer king who built a temple to Vishnu so massive, it is still considered the prominent national symbol of Cambodia and on the flag. What is the temple built by Suryavarman II called?

From Quiz Khmer Empire

Answer: Angkor Wat

King Suryavarman II ascended to the throne in 1113 CE who had a strong claim to the throne despite not being of direct royal lineage to the previous kings. The previous king, Dharanindravarman I, his great uncle, was seen as inept and weak. Aside from a strong military presence and foreign policy, Suryavarman II brought with him internal reforms that helped strengthen his people's identity. One of the prominent things that he did was to build up Yaśodharapura, the capital. Angkor Wat was built as both a temple mountain and a gallery and was dedicated to Vishnu, the first Khmer temple to be thus dedicated. The temple complex is surrounded by a massive moat and the walled temple itself has four outer towers and a central larger tower representing the holy Mount Meru. It was the largest religious monument in the world and had not been surpassed in 2022.

18. Pol Pot was an early leader of the Cambodian communists. What was his real name?

From Quiz Modern Cambodian History

Answer: Saloth Sar

Saloth Sar became known as Pol Pot, his nom de guerre, in 1976.

19. In the late seventeenth century, a king arose who would later be characterized as the 'king who left religion'. What had actually happened to this fellow?

From Quiz Cambodian History

Answer: Converted to Islam

This Cambodian king, named Ibrahim, had married a Malay woman and accepted Islam as his religion. This had been the first time a Cambodia had had a non-Buddhist ruler and it did not sit well with the people. He was assassinated by his own nephew and vilified by future Cambodian historians, illustrating the power of Buddhism in Cambodian life.

20. The last temple to be build in Angkor was Bayon, built by king Jayavarman VII. What made it different from the other temples constructed in Angkor?

From Quiz Khmer Empire

Answer: It was the first Buddhist Temple to be constructed by the kings

Built at the very center of Angkor Thom, Bayon was the first temple to be dedicated mostly to the Buddhist deities. Until that point, the temples built celebrated Hindu deities, including the deification of the king himself. This marked a departure from that and a shift in the religious policy. Bayon is built along the east-west axis at the heart of the city and likely displaced many of the citizens living there. Angkor Wat, conversely, was built outside the city limits. In the walls of the temple one can find bas-relief carvings of what seems to be events from a regular day, historical events, mythological events, and the gods themselves. Most striking are the huge stone faces on the towers of Bayon, said to resemble king Jayavarman VII himself.

21. In 1970, a bloodless coup succeeded in at-last officially removing the Cambodian king from power. Which pro-American fellow took control at this point?

From Quiz Modern Cambodian History

Answer: Lon Nol

Lon Nol was previously the defense minister in Sihanouk's government, but was supported in this power grab by the United States. Sihanouk was away in France seeking medical treatment at the time, and later formed a government in exile in Beijing.

22. In 1779, a six-year-old boy was selected as the new king of Cambodia. In 1794, he was crowned as king in an official ceremony in Bangkok, the first time a Cambodian king had ever been crowned by a foreign power. Who was this young king?

From Quiz Cambodian History

Answer: Ang Eng

With Ang Eng's crowning in Bangkok, Cambodia's role as a Thai puppet state was firmly established. However, this puppet had two puppet masters! Following Ang Eng's death in 1796 (he was only 23) his son, Ang Chan, was crowned king (in 1805, at the age of 15). Ang Chan was soon courted by the Vietnamese, who sent him an official Vietnamese court seal. Thus were Cambodian monarchs to play one power off of another for the next 80 years, while being controlled by both.

23. In the year 1863, which country established a protectorate over Cambodia?

From Quiz Cambodian History

Answer: France

The Cambodians were forced to accept French suzerainty as a way of fending off its Thai and Vietnamese neighbors, both of whom continued to threaten its borders. French rule would last about 90 years.

24. In 1431, the Khmer Empire succumbed to an invasion by the Ayutthaya Kingdom marking the end of their dominance. The Ayutthaya are considered to be a precursor to which people?

From Quiz Khmer Empire

Answer: Thai

In the late 14th century, the Ayutthaya became a kingdom after a merchant king called Uthong managed to unite some of the city-states that existed to the south of the Khmer Empire and established a capital in the rebranded city of Ayutthaya. This had originally been a Khmer city in the Lower Chao Phraya Valley where three rivers met. The member states of the Ayutthaya union were held together by family ties and realized that they would be stronger united. A series of successful campaigns saw the Ayutthaya Kingdom attack Angkor and take it several times, the last in in 1431. Their surprising success forced the Khmer to move the capital to Phnom Penh and this marked the beginning of the end for the Khmer. Severe economic instability due to a decline in income from agriculture also speeded up the demise of the Khmer.

25. Who was the last monarch of a free Cambodia, prior to the colonial period?

From Quiz Cambodian History

Answer: King Norodom

Norodom had 'asked' for French protection, essentially inviting the colonial power to take control of his nation, an unusual example of voluntary colonization.

26. Much of the history of the Khmer Empire was passed down as oral tradition. What was written down was done in inscriptions and etchings. What language were these inscriptions done in, the precursor to the Khmer language?

From Quiz Khmer Empire

Answer: Sanskrit

Old Khmer language evolved from both Sanskrit and Pali. Sanskrit was the language that the sacred texts of Hinduism were written in as well as the holy language of Buddhism. When the Empire was founded by Jayavarman II, it was originally a Hindu kingdom that gradually converted to Buddhism. Since the temples were built as places to house the holy spirits of the kings of the Khmer, it stands to reason that the inscriptions in these temples would be in Sanskrit. Other than the temple inscriptions, there is very little written history to go by. Much of the history of the Khmer Empire was orally handed down.

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Last Updated Feb 21 2024 1:59 PM
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