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Quiz about Whos Who  Early History of Paris
Quiz about Whos Who  Early History of Paris

Who's Who: Early History of Paris Quiz

The history of Paris began as early as 8000 BC with hunting and gathering groups living in the area. Let's have a look, however, at some of the early historic people who contributed to its founding.

A matching quiz by ponycargirl. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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3 mins
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Quiz #
Dec 03 21
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8 / 10
Top 10% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 109 (10/10), calmdecember (10/10), Guest 64 (6/10).
Mobile instructions: Press on an answer on the right. Then, press on the gray box it matches on the left.
(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. Celts who lived on the Ile de la Cite c. 200 BC  
2. Julius Caesar's second in command in Gaul   
3. Arverni chieftain led a revolt against the Romans  
4. Bishop of Paris in 300s AD  
Titus Labienus
5. Germanic tribes that threatened Paris in 275 AD  
Bjorn Ironside
6. Roman ruler of Lutetia 355-360  
Salian Franks
7. Germanic group from what was then called 'Franconia' near the Rhine delta/North Sea, eventually made Paris their capital.  
8. Saved Paris from both the Huns and the Salian Franks  
9. Became King of the Franks in 486 and chose Paris as his capital  
10. Viking who led a siege of Paris in 857  

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Celts who lived on the Ile de la Cite c. 200 BC

Answer: Parisii

The Parisii were described by Julius Caesar in his "Commentarii de Bello Gallico", and, of course, the current name of Paris was taken from the name of the tribe. After founding their settlement on the Ile de la Cite, a natural island in the Seine River, the Parisii built a walled fort and a bridge across the Seine. According to the ancient Greek Strabo, the settlment was called "Lucotocia", while Ptolemy, the Roman author, called it "Leucotecia".

It is believed that both names were taken from a Celtic word for "swamp" or "marsh".

The area became an important spot on the trading network between Britain, Provence, and the Mediterranean Sea, achieving a prosperity that allowed for the making of gold coins. Caesar wrote that the group was so fiercely independent that they preferred to burn their homes rather than being taken over by the Romans.
2. Julius Caesar's second in command in Gaul

Answer: Titus Labienus

During Julius Caesar's conquest of Gaul, Titus Labienus served as his second in command, having full command of the legions when Caesar had to be elsewhere. While in service to Caesar, Labienus demonstrated his skill as both a tactician, commander, and cavalryman.

In 52 BC he defeated the Parisii and renamed the settlement "Lutetia", making it a military fort and laying it out as a Roman city. When the conquest of Gaul was complete, Caesar appointed him to serve as Governor of Cisalpine Gaul. Why, then, did Labienus choose to defect to the side of Pompey during the civil war? That answer is still cause for speculation today. Did Labienus disapprove of Caesar's move to rule Rome? Did he have a falling-out with Caesar? That answer will probably never been known. Is is known, however, that Labienus died at the Battle of Munda, which is considered to be the final battle of the civil war.
3. Arverni chieftain led a revolt against the Romans

Answer: Vercingetorix

The Parisii had appeared to capitulate to Caesar's demands but instead they joined the group of Gauls led by Vercingetorix that revolted against Roman rule. He belonged to the Arverni Gauls and served as their chief. He won the Battle of Gergovia, after which he was declared king, and was given complete control of the Gallic army. Nevertheless, his army was divided and fell to Caesar's at the Battle of Alesia.

While it seems that Vercingetorix would have made an outstanding gladiator, he was taken to Rome, imprisoned for five years, and subjected to public humiliation.

After being displayed in Caesar's victory parade, he was strangled.
4. Bishop of Paris in 300s AD

Answer: Denis

Saint Denis was sent to Paris as its bishop in the third century. Accounts recall that Saint Denis was so popular and converted so many of the people in Paris to Christianity that he became feared by the Roman governor of the area. Denis and his companions, Rusticus and Eleutherius, were arrested and eventually sentenced to death by decapitation. One of the stories tells that after being subjected to such a gruesome death, Denis picked up his head and walked several miles to the top of what is called "Montmartre" today, and delivered a sermon.

The place where he stopped preaching is believed to be the site of Saint Denis Basilica. He is venerated today as one of the patron saints of France.
5. Germanic tribes that threatened Paris in 275 AD

Answer: Alemanni

A Germanic tribe which previously had lived on the Rhine River, the Alemanni, believed to have been a confederation formed from many Germanic tribes, became enemies of the Roman Empire during the reign of Emperor Caracalla. Although they moved into modern-day northern Switzerland and Alsace in France, the Alemanni invaded Roman Gaul several times in the two hundred years before the fall of the Roman Empire in the west.

They were so feared that in 275 the residents of the west bank of Lutetia left that part of the city and returned to the Ile de la Cite, dismantling many of the buildings on the west bank and using the stones to build a wall around the settlement there as well as new structures.
6. Roman ruler of Lutetia 355-360

Answer: Julian

Julian was the nephew of Emperor Constantine who became the western Caesar, or, according to the terminology of the time, the emperor-in-training. According to the plan in place, he was to learn how to become emperor, or Augustus, while he was a Caesar, and would ultimately become the Augustus. Julian was proclaimed Augustus after his victory over the Alemanni in 357, and for three years Paris was considered to be the capital of the western Roman Empire.

In 293 Emperor Diocletian divided the Roman empire into two sections after deciding that it was too extensive for one person to rule effectively. The empire in the West was centered on Rome, while the empire in the East was centered around the Byzantine Empire. An "Augustus" was assigned to rule each part, and a "Caesar", who was the assistant to the "Augustus", was appointed as well. The plan was that the Augustus would rule for 20 years, and then retire in favor of his Caesar. A good plan in theory, this ended up resulting in more civil conflict.
7. Germanic group from what was then called 'Franconia' near the Rhine delta/North Sea, eventually made Paris their capital.

Answer: Salian Franks

The Salian Franks, led by Childeric I, laid siege to Paris in 461. This was a time when the city was in a period of decline. The Roman Empire had been weak and unable to withstand the invasions of the Germanic tribes, although the remnants of Roman rule remained in some areas.

In addition the Huns had traveled all the way to France, finally choosing Orleans to attack rather than Paris. Childeric and the Salian Franks laid siege to the city for ten years. However, they eventually were repulsed. Years later his son would make Paris his capital.
8. Saved Paris from both the Huns and the Salian Franks

Answer: Genevieve

Saint Genevieve is credited with having saved Paris on two occasions. When faced by the possibility of being conquered by the Huns, many of the people in Paris planned to leave the city. She encouraged them, however, to pray instead. Rather than attacking Paris, the Huns went to Orleans. During the Salian Franks' siege of Paris, Genevieve not only broke the blockade, bringing badly needed supplies into the city, she also negotiated with the leader, Childeric I, to gain fair terms for prisoners of war. Genevieve's permission was granted before Paris was made the capital of the Salian Franks.

She became a patron saint of the city soon after her death.
9. Became King of the Franks in 486 and chose Paris as his capital

Answer: Clovis

Clovis, the son of Childeric I, united the Frankish tribes under his leadership, conquered much of what was left from the old Roman Empire, and became king, founding the Merovingian Dynasty. He entered Paris and made it his capital in 508, but only after he received permission from St. Genevieve to do so. Prior to that, however, Clovis had been baptized a Christian, inspired to do so by his Christian wife.

He also won a battle, he believed, with the help of the Christian God. By doing this and encouraging his people to convert, Clovis gained a very powerful ally - the Catholic Church.

He is considered to be the first king "of what would become France".
10. Viking who led a siege of Paris in 857

Answer: Bjorn Ironside

It seemed that any coastal area was fair game for the Vikings in the 800s, but their boats, easy to maneuver in more shallow waters and even carry if necessary, made cities like Paris, built on a river, vulnerable as well. In addition, Paris was considered to be the wealthiest northern European city at the time, and was consequently a Viking target. Years earlier, the Frankish King Charles had paid Bjorn's father, Ragnar Lothbrok, 7000 pounds of silver to leave. Apparently Bjorn thought there was more wealth to take when he arrived in 857.

The raiding was so destructive that there wasn't much left of the city when the Vikings retreated. Even so, they came back two more times, but were unsuccessful in their attempts to subjugate the city.
Source: Author ponycargirl

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