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Quiz about Best of the Best  Elite Soldiers
Quiz about Best of the Best  Elite Soldiers

Best of the Best: Elite Soldiers Quiz


Toy soldiers are commonly used as decoration on Christmas trees. Throughout history, however, soldiers have guarded borders and kept leaders safe. Let's have a look at some of the elite fighting soldiers from times past.

A multiple-choice quiz by ponycargirl. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
ponycargirl
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
395,334
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
792
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Guest 76 (7/10), ramses22 (8/10), Guest 125 (7/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. Within the ancient Egyptian army was an elite fighting force known as the Medjay. Eventually the Medjay contained soldiers from all places in the Egyptian empire, but from what region did the group originate? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. Much has been written about the military accomplishments of the ancient Spartans, but there was another polis in ancient Greece that produced a group of elite soldiers. In which city-state was the Sacred Band found? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. A group of 10,000 infantrymen, this Persian guard received its name from the fact that when one of them fell, he was immediately replaced. By what name was the group of soldiers known? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. From Macedonia, the King's Companions, also called the Hetairoi, were a vital part of Alexander the Great's military. Which of the following best describes their role? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. The Praetorian Guard, ancient Rome's early elite unit, was sworn to protect the emperor, however, they reportedly took part in in the assassination of which of the following? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. What name was given to the elite group of Viking warriors who historians believe were associated with a bear cult? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. The Vigla, established as early as the late 4th century, was an elite force found in which of the following empires? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. What was the name of the Mongol elite force, charged with guarding Genghis Khan and his successors? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. One group of elite soldiers in the Aztec Empire actually wore animal skins into battle. By what name were they known? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. How were the Ninjas of feudal Japan different from the Samurai class of warriors? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Within the ancient Egyptian army was an elite fighting force known as the Medjay. Eventually the Medjay contained soldiers from all places in the Egyptian empire, but from what region did the group originate?

Answer: Nubia

The Nubians were the neighbors of the ancient Egyptians to the south in what is northern Sudan today. Named because they came from Medjay, documents show that Nubian soldiers began serving the pharaoh during the Old Kingdom (approximately 2575 BC to 2150 BC).

By the time of the Middle Kingdom (1975 BC to 1640 BC) the Medjay were more of a cultural group representing nomadic tribes who worked on many different levels (traders, servants, temple employees) for the Egyptians. By the time of the 18th Dynasty (1550 BC to 1292 BC) of the New Kingdom they had become an elite fighting force in the military. Used for a variety of purposes, the Medjay protected tombs and cemeteries, the pharaoh's family and palace, capital cities, and borders. Originally members of the force came from a particular tribe; over time, however, other Egyptians were allowed into the Medjay.
2. Much has been written about the military accomplishments of the ancient Spartans, but there was another polis in ancient Greece that produced a group of elite soldiers. In which city-state was the Sacred Band found?

Answer: Thebes

The historian Plutarch wrote quite a bit about the Sacred Band of Thebes. He said that it came into existence c. 378 BC, and was organized by the general Gorgidas. The group was made up of 150 male couples; only the soldiers who were the best of the best were invited to join. Typically a younger man was paired with a veteran.

The idea was that soldiers who were romantically linked would fight harder to save their partners than heterosexual soldiers who didn't have as much to lose. Gorgidas apparently used the group to serve in the front rank of his phalanx formation, but eventually the band became an assault group that led the attack.

Their first recorded victory was against an ally of Sparta in 375 BC, and they defeated Sparta's army in 371 BC at the Battle of Leuctra.

The group ceased to exist after their defeat at the hands of Philip II, his son, Alexander, and the Macedonians in the 338 BC Battle of Chaeronea.
3. A group of 10,000 infantrymen, this Persian guard received its name from the fact that when one of them fell, he was immediately replaced. By what name was the group of soldiers known?

Answer: Immortals

The name "Immortals" comes from the Greek historian Herodotus who wrote about the infantry unit, who not only served as the king's royal body guards, but also a regiment of the army. Equipped with bronze breastplates and helmets, the Immortals were armed with a variety of weapons, including short spears, bows, arrows, swords, and shields; they also had specially armored horses at their disposal. So high was their status that their entourage included servants and special supplies that were only to be used by members of the group.

Interestingly, the group was so revered that its name has been revived several times since the fall of the First Persian Empire by several different leaders, including Napoleon, and in modern-day Iran until the 1979 revolution.
4. From Macedonia, the King's Companions, also called the Hetairoi, were a vital part of Alexander the Great's military. Which of the following best describes their role?

Answer: Cavalrymen

Also called the Hetairoi, the King's Companions are considered by many historians to be the first shock, or assault troops in history, as well as the best ancient cavalry. The group, originally formed by Philip II, consisted of native Macedonian noblemen trusted by the king to be his elite guard; it was necessary to use the wealthy because each man had to be able to afford the upkeep on his horse, armor, and weapons. Over time the number of Companions was expanded and included other people in the Macedonian Empire. Alexander the Great often led the Hetairoi, numbering an estimated 2600 men, into battle, where the phalanx would engage the opponent's infantry, and the Companions would attack the flank or from behind.
5. The Praetorian Guard, ancient Rome's early elite unit, was sworn to protect the emperor, however, they reportedly took part in in the assassination of which of the following?

Answer: Caligula

Special guards were used during the time of the Roman Republic to protect military leaders on the battlefield, however, the Praetorian Guard was not officially established as the emperor's personal elite guard until Augustus became emperor in 27 BC. They were used in a variety of ways, including fire fighting, controlling crowds at the games and even participating in some, and the emperor's secret police force. Even though the Praetorian were charged with the protection of the emperor, they were not afraid to assassinate one who was unpopular, such as Caligula (41 AD), or make their own choice for the next emperor, as they did with his uncle, Claudius.

The members of the Praetorian Guard became well-known for their interference in Roman politics, and the group was sometimes difficult even for an emperor to control. Eventually the elite force was disbanded in 312 after being defeated by Constantine's army.
6. What name was given to the elite group of Viking warriors who historians believe were associated with a bear cult?

Answer: Berzerkers

As if being attacked by the Vikings wasn't fearsome enough, unfortunate opponents also had to deal with groups called Berzerkers. These Vikings went into battle in a state of blood lust rage which might have been induced by the use of some sort of hallucinogenic mushroom or alcoholic beverage. Writers have said that while in this rage a Berzerker was invincible, that weapons would just glance off their bodies. During this time they are described as having had the strength of a bear, and this power lasted for as long as a day. Once the rage wore off, however, they were especially weak and vulnerable. Norse sagas suggest that were typically twelve members in each band that was used as a personal guard for the leader or shock troops in battle.
7. The Vigla, established as early as the late 4th century, was an elite force found in which of the following empires?

Answer: Byzantine Empire

An elite cavalry regiment formed by Byzantine Emperor Constantine V, the Vigla was part of the emperor's main army. He needed loyal bodyguards at the palace and troops to help defend his empire. When they weren't on a campaign, members of the Vigla were stationed in Constantinople to help defend the palace and the city walls.

The leader of the group, the Droungarios of the Watch, was first appointed around 791; this official's importance is validated by the fact that lists of people who held the office still survive.

He always traveled with the emperor and even participated in some ceremonies. Historians are still debating the number of men in the Vigla; while some believe it could have been as many as 4000, however, others say that 1000 is a more realistic number.
8. What was the name of the Mongol elite force, charged with guarding Genghis Khan and his successors?

Answer: Kheshig

When Genghis Khan first chose men for the Kheshig, he chose ethnic Mongols. It was a common practice that Mongols would assassinate rival leaders, and being nomadic horsemen with no permanent home, a type of protective wall was needed for safety. Members of the group were swordsmen, and their only job was to guard their leader.

The group was 1000 members strong in the beginning, but Genghis Khan increased its number to 10,000. It was divided into a day guard (Torguud) and a night guard (Khevtuu). Unlike some of their counterparts, members of the Kheshig did not belong to the regular army.

When battles occurred, they would stay behind to guard their leader and his family, which was considered to be a supreme honor.
9. One group of elite soldiers in the Aztec Empire actually wore animal skins into battle. By what name were they known?

Answer: Jaguars

In order to be a Jaguar, a warrior had to be one of the fighters who who brought back at least four captives after battle. Capturing the defeated enemy, rather than killing him, was more honorable to the gods, as it was more difficult. In addition, it meant that more human sacrifice would take place.

When inducted to the group, the soldier rose to the ranks of nobility if he wasn't already a noble. In addition, he was able to wear jaguar skins that were believed to give the wearer the powers of the jaguar during battle.

But the Jaguars were more than soldiers. They also served as a police force when not participating in war and participated in the ritual sacrifices that were held. Another elite force in the Aztec empire was a group called eagle warriors.
10. How were the Ninjas of feudal Japan different from the Samurai class of warriors?

Answer: Ninjas specialized in covert operations.

While both Ninjas and Samurai were elite warriors in feudal Japan, the Samurai followed a completely different path. Their code of ethnics, known as Bushido, was strictly followed and enforced. They were typically noblemen, who saw their job of guarding the emperor as one of honor; they rarely accepted pay for their work. Known for their swordsmanship, Samurai thought it was more honorable to fight face-to-face. Ninjas, on the other hand, usually came from the lower class.

They would give their services to whoever paid them, and followed no code of ethics as far as fighting was concerned. Smaller weapons, such as Ninja stars, were more useful in their sneak attacks.
Source: Author ponycargirl

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