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Quiz about Tales of Ancient Capitals
Quiz about Tales of Ancient Capitals

Tales of Ancient Capitals Trivia Quiz

Many times in history the major economic or religious center of a region became its capital. Let's see if you can match the ancient capital to the area or people it served.

A matching quiz by ponycargirl. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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4 mins
Match Quiz
Quiz #
Dec 03 21
# Qns
Avg Score
8 / 10
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Guest 61 (10/10), Guest 80 (10/10), Guest 184 (8/10).
(a) Drag-and-drop from the right to the left, or (b) click on a right side answer box and then on a left side box to move it.
1. Constantinople  
  Aksumite Empire
2. Memphis  
3. Hattusa  
  Byzantine Empire
4. Knossos  
  Assyrian Empire
5. Pasargadae  
6. Hebron  
7. Xi'an  
  Persian Empire
8. Assur  
9. Aigai  
10. Axum  

Select each answer

1. Constantinople
2. Memphis
3. Hattusa
4. Knossos
5. Pasargadae
6. Hebron
7. Xi'an
8. Assur
9. Aigai
10. Axum

Most Recent Scores
Mar 25 2024 : Guest 61: 10/10
Mar 22 2024 : Guest 80: 10/10
Mar 18 2024 : Guest 184: 8/10
Mar 16 2024 : PurpleComet: 10/10
Mar 14 2024 : Guest 12: 10/10
Mar 04 2024 : Guest 73: 10/10
Mar 02 2024 : Guest 31: 7/10
Feb 29 2024 : RebeccaQ: 6/10
Feb 26 2024 : kented: 10/10

Score Distribution

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Constantinople

Answer: Byzantine Empire

Originally founded as a Greek colony called Byzantium, Constantinople was chosen as the capital of the eastern Roman empire, the Byzantine Empire, when Constantine the Great became emperor. Possessing some natural similarities to Rome, such as being located on seven hills, the city was built so that it was comparable to Rome with a palace, forum, temples, and stadiums.

The city had a great strategic position that was bordered on three sides by water; the only land approach was fortified with three walls, three miles long and 25 feet wide by the Emperor Theodosius II. For centuries Constantinople was an important trade center in the Mediterranean; today it is known as Istanbul, Turkey.
2. Memphis

Answer: Egypt

Located at the meeting point of the ancient kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt, Memphis was chosen by Narmer, or Menes, to be the first capital of the ancient unified Egypt during the Old Kingdom. With an excellent location at the mouth of the Nile Delta, Memphis was not only an important commercial and trading center, but it was also a religious center.

The god Ptah, god of creation and craftsmen, was the city's patron, and his temple was the focal point of the city. During the New Kingdom, the capital was moved to Thebes, however, Memphis remained an important city in ancient Egypt even into Roman times.

When Egypt came under Muslim rule in 641, however, Memphis was abandoned, and many of its great buildings were dismantled and the stones used for other structures.
3. Hattusa

Answer: Hittites

With origins that date back to approximately 2,000 BC, the small trading town of Hattusa was chosen by the Hittite king, Hattusili I, to be the administrative center of his empire. Archaeological evidence suggests that by 1650 BC, the city was surrounded by a stone wall that was 25 feet thick, and had a gate that was similar to the famous Lion Gate of the Mycenae in ancient Greece. One of the important discoveries was a cuneiform tablet library, which contained one of the accounts of the famous peace treaty made between the Hittites and the Egyptians after the Battle of Kadesh.

The Hittite empire fell sometime around 1200 BC, and its capital fell into ruins. Today the site is near the modern city of Boğazkale, Turkey.
4. Knossos

Answer: Minoans

It is believed that King Minos ruled from his palace complex at Knossos, which was not only the political center, but also the cultural center of the Minoan people. The palace complex, which contained approximately 1300 rooms, was unique in the fact that it not only appears to have housed the king and his family, but also apparently all of the other people, businesses, temples, and other buildings that a thriving city would require. Considered today to be Europe's oldest city, Knossos was excavated by Sir Arthur Evans, who found beautiful columns, frescoes, pottery, and other artifacts; the exact fate of the city, however, is still unknown. Destroyed by an earthquake around 1500 BC, the palace was rebuilt, but the evidence that remains indicates that it was destroyed a short time later, possibly by looters; some historians believe the ancient Mycenaeans are to blame for the downfall of the Minoan civilization.
5. Pasargadae

Answer: Persian Empire

Pasargadae was established as the capital of the Persian Empire by its founder, Cyrus the Great. It must have been a lovely place, as it is believed that our word "paradise" comes from Pasargadae. Archaeologists excavated the ancient city in the early 1900s.

However, probably the most spectacular find there was in the 1960s. Called the Pasargadae Treasure, a hoard of 1162 pieces silver and gold jewelry was found. The most important remaining example of architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is believed to be the tomb of Cyrus the Great.

It is said that when Alexander destroyed the later nearby Persian capital of Persepolis, he entered the building, finding several gold artifacts, and an inscription (according to Strabo) that said, "Passer-by, I am Cyrus, who gave the Persians an empire, and was king of Asia. Grudge me not therefore this monument". Today both Pasargadae and Persepolis are in ruins.
6. Hebron

Answer: Hebrews

Considered to be the world's oldest Jewish community, Hebron is located about nineteen miles from the better-known Hebrew capital of Jerusalem. It was chosen as King David's capital for the first seven and a half years of his rule; at that time, Jerusalem became David's capital because it was more centrally located and easier to defend. King Herod built a structure, which was later expanded into a mosque, over the Cave of Machpelah, believed to be the burial site of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, as well as Jacob and Leah. Said to be the oldest building in the world that still maintains its original purpose, the site is held holy by Jews and Muslims alike.
7. Xi'an

Answer: China

Considered to be the first capital of China, Xi'an was at the eastern end of the famous silk road. The traditional founding of the city is considered to be 202 BC, by Emperor Liu Bang of the Han Dynasty. To this day, Liu Bang's palace, called the Weiyang Palace, is considered to be the largest palace ever built; the site, however, is mostly an open field today. Still thriving today as the capital of Shaanxi Province, one of the most popular sights near the city is the Tomb of the First Emperor, built for Qin Shi Huang.

The Terracotta Army, discovered in 1974 and consisting of more than 1,000 figures of men and horses, can be viewed in the Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum.
8. Assur

Answer: Assyrian Empire

An important city on the Mesopotamia-Anatolian trade route, Assur, also spelled Ashur, was originally built by the Akkadians in approximately 1900 BC. Named after Assur, the Assyrian god of war, it was ruled by many ancient peoples, including the Amorites and Mitanni, until being chosen by the Assyrian King Adad Nirari I (c. 1295-1264 BC) as his capital. Approximately five hundred years later, during the time of Sennacherib, it was written that the city contained 34 temples, three palaces, as well as libraries and archives of information. Even so, he moved his capital to the well-known city of Nineveh. Assur continued to thrive until 612 BC, when it was destroyed during a great revolt against the Assyrian Empire.

It was rebuilt to some degree, however, it was abandoned sometime during the 1300s.
9. Aigai

Answer: Macedonians

Unlike many other ancient capital cities, Aigai was probably never a huge city; some believe it was more like a collection of small villages. During the time the area was occupied by the Persians (513 to 480 BC) it did become a mecca for philosophers, poets, and artists.

As the first capital of the Macedonian Empire, a monumental palace was built on the site that is considered to be the largest ancient building constructed in ancient Greece. It remained a sacred site after the capital was moved to Pella because of the royal palace and tombs (over 300 grave mounds have been found) that were located there. That is why Phillip II was at Aigai to attend the marriage of his daughter when he was assassinated in the theater there.

A tomb was discovered in 1977 which is believed to have been his burial site. Of course, Aigai is also the place where Alexander the Great was proclaimed king!
10. Axum

Answer: Aksumite Empire

Axum was the capital of the Aksumite Empire, also called the Kingdom of Axum or Aksum, which ruled the northern part of Ethiopia from approximately 400 BC into the 10th century. Being located on the Red Sea made the city a major trading center, handling merchandise such as ivory, animal skins, and gold, as well as agricultural goods.

The location of the kingdom also gave traders access to Arabia and the Roman Empire. During the reign of King Ezana, called the Golden Age of Axum, it became the first state in Africa to convert to Christianity.

Invading Arab armies in the Mediterranean Sea area eventually contributed to the decline of the Kingdom as their wars interferred with already-established trade routes. Incidentally, the Queen of Sheba is said to have been born in Axum, and some believe the Ark of the Covenant was taken there.
Source: Author ponycargirl

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