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Quiz about Khmer Empire
Quiz about Khmer Empire

Khmer Empire Trivia Quiz


The Khmer Empire enjoyed approximately 600 years of prosperity in southeast Asia. See what you know of this old empire.
This is a renovated/adopted version of an old quiz by author thejazzkickazz

A multiple-choice quiz by LeoDaVinci. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
LeoDaVinci
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
23,107
Updated
Jul 20 22
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
437
Awards
Top 10% Quiz
Last 3 plays: jonathanw55 (6/10), matthewpokemon (7/10), lones78 (5/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. 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? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. 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? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. 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? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. 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? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. 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? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. 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? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. 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? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. At its height, the Khmer Empire occupied the majority of the Indochinese Peninsula. Of the following modern countries, which of them did it occupy the least (in terms of land area)? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. 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? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. 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? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. 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?

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.
2. 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?

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.
3. 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?

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'.
4. 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?

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.
5. 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?

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.
6. 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?

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.
7. 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?

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.
8. At its height, the Khmer Empire occupied the majority of the Indochinese Peninsula. Of the following modern countries, which of them did it occupy the least (in terms of land area)?

Answer: Myanmar

The Khmer Empire had significant clout in the Indochinese Peninsula. It occupied all of modern Cambodia, where the heart of the empire always was. The empire stretched down south and east to the coast occupying half of modern Vietnam. It occupied all but the northern tip of modern Thailand, and even the southern tip of modern Myanmar. It also had significant holdings in modern Laos.

At its height, the Khmer Empire was surrounded by other significant kingdoms. The Song Dynasty was leading China at the time and the two countries had diplomatic relations between them. Dai Viet and Champa eventually held the eastern part of the peninsula and Burma was to the west. In the south was the Srivijayan Empire which also held significant clout. The first king, Jayavarman II, was said to have spent time there in court learning how to lead a country.
9. 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?

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.
10. 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?

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.
Source: Author LeoDaVinci

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