Quiz about Legends or Legendary People
Quiz about Legends or Legendary People

Legends or Legendary People Trivia Quiz


Were the following ten people legendary in what they actually achieved - or simply people with legends built up around them? Heroes or anti-heroes? You decide.

A multiple-choice quiz by Creedy. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
Creedy
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
366,349
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
2343
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: PatElma (2/10), Nala2 (7/10), Guest 174 (9/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Historians and the romantically minded have argued back and forth for very many years over whether which English leader of a band of merry men actually existed or not. Who is this controversial figure? Hint

Jesse James
Robin Hood
Dick Turpin
Ned Kelly

2. Another legendary hero, whose very existence is also under question, is the champion archer, William Tell. With which country is this heroic figure associated? Hint

Switzerland
Norway
Austria
Sweden

3. The fictional character of Zorro was based on a famous Mexican person known as the 'Mexican Robin Hood'. What is that person's name? Hint

Speedito Gonzales
Joaquin Murrieta
Antonio Banderas
Don Diego de la Vega

4. This American man continues to fascinate people long after his death. Criminal, murderer, bootlegger - you name it, he did it. Yet he had a surprisingly different side to his character as well. Who was "Scarface"? Hint

Johnny Torrio
John Dillinger
Big Jim Colosimo
Al Capone

5. This Australian bushranger who lived from circa 1854 until 1880 is another controversial figure who is either seen as a murderer and thief, or a gallant folk hero. Famous for his suit of home made armour, who was he? Hint

Bob Hawke
Ben Hall
Ned Kelly
Captain Moonlight

6. This German woman, who lived from 1098 until 1179, is fascinating. At a time in history when women were only ever supposed to be obedient wives, dutiful mothers, or religious sisters, she was a writer, philosopher, mystic, composer, medical expert, abbess and polymath. Who was she? Hint

Hildegard of Bingen
Greta Gustafsson
Marie Magdalene von Dietrich
Clara Schumann

7. Which inspirational French figure, whose death was in 1431, was retrialled twenty-five years following his or her execution and declared innocent? Hint

Jean de Lalande
Charles de Gaulle
Joan of Arc
Jean de Brebeuf

8. Which man, considered a hero in Russia, betrayed Britain while working for Russia as a double agent? Hint

Francisco Scaramanga
Ernst Blofeld
Red Grant
Kim Philby

9. The Italian Giorgio Perlasca posed as the Spanish consul-general based in Hungary during the Second World War. During that time what did he manage to achieve? Hint

Saved 5218 Jews from transportation to Germany
Hide the King of Italy and his family for four years
Smuggle 5218 secret documents to England
Save Admiral Horthy from assassination

10. What did the great Hawaiian King, Kamehameha I, accomplish that nobody else had been able to achieve? Hint

Colonising New Zealand
Killing Captain Cook
United the Hawaiian islands into the one kingdom
Defeating the United States in battle


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Historians and the romantically minded have argued back and forth for very many years over whether which English leader of a band of merry men actually existed or not. Who is this controversial figure?

Answer: Robin Hood

All that can be stated with certainty about the elusive Robin is that the first written references (whether based on reality or not) to one Robin Hood date from the 13th century. However, the first ballad didn't appear till c. 1450. How long the oral legend had been passed down prior to these times is unknown, but if the stories about his association with England's King Richard (the Lionheart) and his brother, King John, have any basis at all, then those dates would span Richard's reign from 1189 until 1199, and John's reign from 1199 until 1216. Even Robin's real name is uncertain, as is the area of England in which he roved, and his rank in society. What seems to be a common consensus is that, if Robin existed at all, he was possibly a murderer, but definitely an outlaw, who, with his band of accomplices, roamed the countryside in various parts of England, stealing from all and sundry. There is no mention at all of the common belief that he robbed from the rich and gave to the poor. That, however, doesn't necessarily have to be untrue, just that there is no record of it, apart from the word of mouth legends and in the lyrics of the ballads.

(With thanks to Bloomsby for the following interesting snippet): There is even a suggestion that the name Robin Hood (and variants of it) may have been used in documents in England in the later Middle Ages a bit like 'John Doe' in America - as a name for any anonymous robber.
2. Another legendary hero, whose very existence is also under question, is the champion archer, William Tell. With which country is this heroic figure associated?

Answer: Switzerland

William Tell's existence cannot be verified by historians. Once again, this doesn't necessarily mean the man didn't exist, but that there is no record of him any document dating from the time when he is said to have lived. The Swiss William Tell, so the story goes, was an expert marksman with the crossbow. During the ongoing struggles between the Austrian and Swiss nations in the early 1300s, an Austrian overlord, Gessler, was installed to forcibly rule over an area in Switzerland where Tell lived. He had his hat hung on a pole in the centre of Altdof (the capital of Canton Uri) and demanded that all who passed by should bow to it. When William Tell, travelling past with his son, refused to do so, he was arrested.

Knowing of Tell's legendary skills with the crossbow, Gessler ordered that Tell's punishment should be to prove his skill at that instrument - and shoot an apple off the head of his son. Tell did so, but informed Gessler that his next arrow was earmarked for Gessler himself. According to legend, that's exactly what took place at a later date. For this act, and his overall rebellion against a harsh ruler, William Tell is considered today to be an inspirational and patriotic Swiss hero.
3. The fictional character of Zorro was based on a famous Mexican person known as the 'Mexican Robin Hood'. What is that person's name?

Answer: Joaquin Murrieta

Zorro is a dashing hero of fiction who saves damsels in distress left and right as he goes about his merry way of fighting assorted villains and corrupt Spanish officials, up hill and down dale, during the era of the late Spanish rule in the Americas. Joaquin Murrieta, upon whom that character is said to be based, lived from 1829 until 1853. Depending on point of view, he is either considered to be a wicked scoundrel or a patriotic Mexican.

After he was driven off his mining claim by the authorities, and his wife was subsequently raped, his brother hanged, and he himself horse whipped for daring to protest, Murrieta had had enough.

He became a thief, bandit and murderer. He and the gang he gathered around him attacked and robbed settlers and wagon trains, murdered at least forty-one people (Chinese and Gringos), and generally went on one very colourful criminal rampage. All this and more, following his early death, led to his being eventually looked upon as a symbol of resistance and an upstanding Mexican hero.
4. This American man continues to fascinate people long after his death. Criminal, murderer, bootlegger - you name it, he did it. Yet he had a surprisingly different side to his character as well. Who was "Scarface"?

Answer: Al Capone

Al Capone began his criminal career following his expulsion from school at the age of fourteen. As he rose up the ranks to become one of the most wanted criminals in the United States, his criminal activities included murder, smuggling, theft, bootlegging, running prostitution rackets, bribery of city officials, and anything else illegal he could muscle his way into. The height of his career was in Chicago, but one could say he served his apprenticeship in New York, where he was born in 1899. He became known right throughout Chicago for his snappy dress suits, his jewels, his mistresses, big cars, manner of speech and the scars that marred the left side of his face as a result of a night club brawl. All this and more was Al Capone.

Yet this big time criminal, apart from his dalliances with his mistresses, was a devoted family man, husband and father; he pushed for the free supply of fresh milk to school children, and he made hefty donations to the many charities in his city. Far from being repelled by his criminal activities, many people openly admired him. He gave them what they wanted with his illegal alcohol and gambling establishments, and one suspects, with his tongue in his cheek, described himself as a businessman satisfying a public demand. With the authorities unable to nab him on any other charge, Al Capone was finally arrested, charged and sentenced to eleven years in prison for the somewhat (in comparison) minor crime of tax evasion. While there, the syphilis he had contacted as a young man progressed, and, by the time he was released, he was a broken man, both in body and mind. He spent his last days at his family mansion and died there on January 25, 1947, surrounded by the family he loved.
5. This Australian bushranger who lived from circa 1854 until 1880 is another controversial figure who is either seen as a murderer and thief, or a gallant folk hero. Famous for his suit of home made armour, who was he?

Answer: Ned Kelly

Kelly's father was an Irish Catholic convict who had been transported to Australia to serve his sentence of seven years for the crime of stealing two pigs. After his release, he worked hard until he managed to own a small property, then married and had seven children. Alas, hounded by the British Protestant controlled authorities at the time, he didn't stay on the straight and narrow however, and, influencing his sons in like manner, they became experts at cattle and horse stealing. While still a boy, Ned himself stole some 280 horses. The continual victimisation of his father by the police, and his subsequent death, had a strong effect upon Ned as he grew up, and by the time he was a young man, he was rebellious, openly defiant of the law, immensely strong, and more than willing to use violence as a means of survival and defence.

Ned and his mother, young sisters and brothers continued to be hounded mercilessly by the police following his father's death, leading to several charges being brought up against Ned, some of which were extremely dubious - and all this while he was still only a young teenager. On his release from prison, his behaviour had deteriorated, he was openly defiant and, yes, brutal and brutish in his actions - and dangerous. The extreme harassment and provocation of the family by the police continued and it all eventually came to a head, when, following a trumped up charge of murder, Kelly took to the hills where, with his brother and two friends, the newly formed Kelly gang became bushrangers. Remarkably successfully so.

The rest of Kelly's story is way too detailed to include here. It became not only an ongoing battle of a small gang of bushrangers against the combined forces of the Victorian police, but also a struggle of Irish Catholics against British Protestants, and a struggle for self rule against British control. This is what makes Ned Kelly's story so fascinating. It all ended in June 1880 however when Kelly and his gang were ambushed by several train loads of police in a shootout at a hotel in Glenrowan. Such was their determination to capture the rebel who was amassing sympathy and support right throughout the colony, that the police even came equipped with a cannon. Kelly came out in his armour to face them alone and was brought down in a hail of bullets to unprotected areas of his body. Poignantly so, around his waist he wore a green sash that had been awarded to him, as a boy, when he had saved another child from drowning. The three other members of the gang were all killed. Wounded and bleeding profusely, Kelly was treated, taken to prison, given a hasty trial, and, with the authorities totally ignoring a petition signed by 30,000 colonists to spare his life, was hanged by the neck in November 1880.
6. This German woman, who lived from 1098 until 1179, is fascinating. At a time in history when women were only ever supposed to be obedient wives, dutiful mothers, or religious sisters, she was a writer, philosopher, mystic, composer, medical expert, abbess and polymath. Who was she?

Answer: Hildegard of Bingen

Hildegard (1098-1179) was born as the youngest of ten children into a family of minor German nobility. As early as the age of four, she began experiencing what she would later describe as visions, and it was these that influenced her family into putting the poor little thing into the care of a nun at the young age of eight, in an establishment where which she was completely shut off from the rest of the world. However, Jutta, the nun into whose care she was given, was kind to the child, and taught her to read and write, among other skills. During this time, Hildegard also taught herself music and how to play the psalter. These early music skills formed the basis she would later develop into her impressive compositions. When Jutta died in 1136, Hildegard, who had by then spent thirty years reading, learning and studying, took her place as head female teacher and then Prioress at the convent.

From this time on, she began to write - and write - and write some more. Her works include three volumes on theology, a vast array of musical compositions, an incredible amount of correspondence to all the leading European minds of the time, her sermons, the liberal arts, two volumes on medical work (particularly with a focus on the natural power of healing), two works on the saints, an invented language, gospel works, and a huge number of accounts of her continuing, rather fascinating visions which always instructed her to write down all she had learned, heard and seen. These latter also dealt with the creation, the structure of the universe, science, the relationship between body and soul and many other deep theological messages all of which were breath-takingly universal in scale. Wow! And yet this inspirational creature described herself as a simple unlearned woman.
7. Which inspirational French figure, whose death was in 1431, was retrialled twenty-five years following his or her execution and declared innocent?

Answer: Joan of Arc

Considered today one of the leading figures in French history and declared a Roman Catholic saint by the Vatican, Joan of Arc was born in France, circa 1412, to a peasant farming family. This birth took place during the period of the 100 Years' War between France and England (1337-1453). Joan began experiencing visions at the age of twelve. These were of Saints Michael, Catherine and Margaret, and in these, she was instructed to ensure that the Dauphin of France was crowned King - and to lead the French army to drive the English out of France.

Following this, Joan, after meeting initial resistance by the French authorities, led their army in a series of amazing victories against the English, and did indeed see the Dauphin crowned on 17th July, 1429. By late that year, the English settled for a truce. However, when hostilities recommenced in May the following year, Joan was captured by the enemy. During the trial that followed, Joan's remarkable intellect was displayed to its fullest, and she answered her interrogators with such wisdom that, in order to stop a wave of support and intervention for Joan from the public, the remainder of the trial was carried out behind closed doors. She was found guilty as a matter of course and burned at the stake on 30th May, 1431. To ensure nothing was left of the troublesome Joan, the English then burned her remains two more times, before tossing her ashes into the Seine.

Between 1452-1456, Joan was given a posthumous retrial by order of the then pope, and declared innocent - and a martyr - on 7 July, 1456. The French venerated Joan of Arc, but how did the English see her?
8. Which man, considered a hero in Russia, betrayed Britain while working for Russia as a double agent?

Answer: Kim Philby

Kim Philby (1912- 1988) was astonishingly successful at his work as a KGB operative working in Britain for the British intelligence department during the height of the Cold War. Born in British India, Philby was educated in England at Aldo preparatory school, Westminster, and later at Cambridge University. Initially he worked in Vienna aiding Nazi refugees in the lead up to World War II, and it was at this time he was introduced to Communism when he he fell in love there with an Austrian-Hungarian Jewish communist woman. The man had a love life like a rabbit, just in passing. The pair married and moved back to England in 1933, where she quickly put her besotted husband in touch with Soviet agents who recruited him to work for their intelligence sector.

Philby had a remarkably diverse career for the next few years, earning himself a medal from Spain's General Franco along the way, a country in which he worked for a time, pretending to be a Fascist sympathiser. At one stage he was working for British intelligence, the Russians, and the Fascists as well - in addition to carrying out several different romances, marriages and affairs. Part of the group of the infamous Cambridge Five (Russian spies working in England), Philby eventually found himself back in England working full time for the British as part of their counter intelligence section in the War Office there. To be honest, if one could overlook his massive betrayal of his country, the man was utterly fascinating. In that capacity he climbed further and further up the chain of command until he was in charge of several important departments - all the while passing information back to the Russians while continuing to work for them as well. Moving to the US in 1949, he worked there for British intelligence (and the Russians) while liaising with the CIA into the bargain! Unbelievably, while suspected of being a double agent several times during his long career, he was cleared each time.

The massive amount of deceit so much a part of his daily life eventually took a toll on Philby. He began drinking heavily, became deeply depressed, sobbed incoherently at times, until suddenly, without any warning, he defected overnight to the Soviet Union in 1963. He wasn't particularly welcomed there however. Instead, suspecting him of perhaps secretly still working for the British, the Russians basically kept under house arrest for years. Oh how ungrateful! There he wrote his memoirs, continued to drink heavily, vaguely attempted suicide once or twice, became more and more depressed, and was prone to stating publicly (when he was allowed out on supervised outings) that the only thing he missed about England was mustard, hot sauce and cricket. He died in that country in 1988, and only after he had safely kicked the intelligence bucket, did the Russians award him several of their top medals - and gave him a hero's funeral.
9. The Italian Giorgio Perlasca posed as the Spanish consul-general based in Hungary during the Second World War. During that time what did he manage to achieve?

Answer: Saved 5218 Jews from transportation to Germany

Perlasca (1910-1992 was born in Italy. He was a keen supporter of Fascism for the first part of his life, so much so that he fought for both Italy and then Spain in the wars in Africa carried out by those countries. His skill and bravery was such that General Franco of Spain awarded him safe conduct to all Spanish embassies wherever he wished to go. By 1938 however, Perlasca was growing very disillusioned with Fascism, particularly by its ever increasing ties to Nazism. When the Italian antisemitic laws were passed later that year, Perlasca could stomach no more and decided to switch his alliances to the side of the allies. While visiting Hungary, he was subsequently arrested, but used the pass he had been granted by Franco to seek asylum in the Spanish embassy there.

By 1944, he was posing as the Deputy for all Spanish affairs in that country, and it was in this capacity that he managed to hide and feed thousands of Jews - and smuggle another 5,218 out to safety. Following the war, and keeping his mouth closed about his wartime activities, Perlasca returned to Italy where he lived a quiet life with his family. It wasn't until a group of Jews he had rescued finally located him in order to express their gratitude that the extent of his heroism was finally revealed. He was then given many awards by officials in Spain, Italy and Hungary, but perhaps the award he cherished most of all was the honour accorded to him by Israel - "Righteous Among the Nations". Villain turned hero or hero turned villain? Victors write the histories. If the tide of the war had turned against the Allies, with a vastly different outcome, Perlasca would probably have been executed by a firing squad for those same heroic efforts.
10. What did the great Hawaiian King, Kamehameha I, accomplish that nobody else had been able to achieve?

Answer: United the Hawaiian islands into the one kingdom

Kamehameha lived from 1758 until 1819. Under his powerful leadership and skills at fighting, the splintered Hawaiian islands, prone to fighting and bickering with one another, were finally brought together under the one rule. By doing this, Kamehameha not only united his people into the one coherent whole, but because of his subsequent negotiation and diplomacy skills with the colonial powers all hungrily eyeing off his land at that time, he managed to preserve Hawaii's independence as that nation for many years. Amazingly so, this great man also set about establishing a unified set of laws right throughout the kingdom, established fair and equitable trade practices with Europe and the United States, refused to allow non-Hawaiian to own land in his kingdom (thereby protecting the country's independence), ended human sacrifice, maintained the island's religious belief structure in the face of determined evangelism efforts from the west, and put steps in place to ensure his country remained as an independent entity even after his death.

Perhaps the most impressive thing of all this leader did, in a move far ahead of other world powers at that time, was to establish, as his very first law in the country's constitution, the "Law of the Splintered Paddle". This protects the rights and safety of all non-combatants in times of war. Today, one of the titles by which the mighty Kamehameha I is remembered is the "Napoleon of the Pacific". Hero indeed.
Source: Author Creedy

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