Total Quiz I

Archived questions and answers to AE's history contest. See the category link below for more questions

Total Quiz, as it was simply known was the first series of "Total Quizzes." The idea of Total Quiz as a quiz about historical facts and trivia was created by the user Kolovrat on Heavengames's History forum, which at that time was part of the history section on Heavengames' Age of Empires II section. The first Total Quiz was held in October 2001 and was divided into two parts. Questions from these first two events, still available in its original form[1], are given below.

Since the original Total Quiz, the contest has changed tremendously in format and style. A major difference between "old" and "new" style questions is the amount of keywords in the old questions that would lead to the answer. Gradually, as internet search engine became easier to use, the style of questions changed to include only a minimal amount of keywords that would give away the answer. Also notable is that the amount of participation at the beginning was limited compared to the participation of more recent quizzes (held in All Empires forum). The rules for the first Total Quiz was as follows: In the first 72 hours every question answered correctly is worth 1 point. For the next 24 hours remaining unanswered question are worth 2 points. After 96 hour, remaining questions would be declared unanswered and the answers would given.

-- Summary --
Total Quiz (overall) Champion: Salvatore
Total Quiz Part 2
 Date: Oct. 2001  Champion: Salvatore  Moderator: Kolovrat
Total Quiz  Date: Oct. 2001  Champion: Serge L  Moderator: Kolovrat

Total Quiz questions viewing options: Click here to hide answers

Total Quiz I

1. On the island of Wolin off the south coast of the Baltic sea, there once was a Viking fort called Jomsborg. According to the Jómsvikinga saga, the rulers of the fort, the Jómsvikingar ("Jom Vikings"), were the heroes of the North - the most ferocious, daring and brave warriors of all times. Their leader was thus the most ferocious of all men. During the beginning of the 10th century, their leader was a son of a Swedish king. The leader was feared and respected all over the North and he later married Tyra, daughter of Harald Bluetooth of Denmark. He had went viking as a teenager when his father died and the brother, and co-regent, of the leader's father took over the throne. When he (the leader) left Sweden, he vowed to return and take the throne or die. When this leader returned with his Vikings and Danish allies, his uncle had gathered every man able to fight and waited for him outside Uppsala. In the epic battle that followed at Fyrisvellir, the Walls of Fyris, the leader finally fell. What was the name of this leader, one of the greatest Vikings ever?
Answer: Björn Olofson, a.k.a. Styrbjörn the Strong.
2. "U, V, W, Y" - What do these letters of the English and other alphabets have in common, historically speaking?
Answer: They all directly or indirectly come from one sole Greek letter, Ypsilon. The latter letter derived, on turn, from a Phoenician one, which has the function of semi-consonantic u, i.e. the same sound of 'w' in Modern English...
3. During Hitler's 'Beer Hall' (or Munich) Putsch, what were the names and positions of the three High Ranking Bavarian Officials whom Hitler forced to declare the revolution with him?
Answer: General State Commisioner Gustav von Kahr; General Otto von Lossow; Colonel of Police Hans von Seisser
4. In the mid 19th century, Tea-Clippers raced between Hong Kong and London to deliver the new harvest of tea to the UK. Although Scotland and England had skilled boat-builders, the Tea-Clippers from the US (build in Boston and New York) had the fastest times at first. It took 20 years for the Europeans to find out at least the reason for the discrepancy. What was it?
Answer: The British boats had been built with a round bow, based on the traditional rules of boat-building. Those rules blocked innovative ideas because it was believed that with this concepts, the ultimate design of boats had been developed. In the US, they tested a new form of the bow with the 'Boston Schooner', a Brigg , which was small and quick, with good performance, and used for coastal trade all over the world. The bow was designed as an extreme V, a design is still in use for modern Sailing ships, called 'Yacht-bow'. The MacKay shipyard in Boston used this design first for their famous Tea-Clippers and thus beat all the rest. The V shape allowed the boats to 'cut' through water with ease.
5. Name the lands that participated in the second partition of Poland in 1793?
Answer: Russia and Prussia
6. Two places of great antiquity in two different continents that have phonetically the same name but with different spellings. The precise use of one of them is still unknown, even if both probably had religious purposes. What are they?
Answer: Karnak in Egypt, Carnac in France (Brittany), famous megalithic site with kilometers of menhir alignments
7. What did the southern population call "the ties of Sherman" ? (During Sherman's "march to the sea", 1864, American Civil War)
Answer: The army of Sherman (army of the West) marched from Atlanta (16th November 1864), and through Georgia, Carolina, Virginia, reached the sea near Savannah. Sherman marched in the rear of the South. In order to supply his army he plundered, taking anything that could be eaten and burning what was left. His soldiers "ripped" the railroads and then heated them in fire. After they distorted them around trees and left them there in order to be useless. These railway lines lying around the trees were called by the population of the South "the ties of Sherman"
8. Why did Achilles kill Thersites?
Answer: Because he made fun of Achilles having sex with the dead body of Penthesileia.
9. Which was the first Quechua Empire of South America? What agricultural innovation did the civilization of that time make, usually attributed to a another civilization? What two great innovations did they made?
Answer: Wari (not Inca). Agricultural Terraces in the hills ("Andenes"). They made good roads that were incorporated in the Inca Road System (400 years later), made great cities in Coast and Andes.
10. Which nation first developed modern concentration camps and for what?
Answer: Great Britain, during Boer war, to intern all Boer civilians
11. One time in its history, Russia was governed by two legitimate Tsars contemporarily (thus, no "Time of Trouble"). It worked well, because one of them had no interest for state affairs. Who were these two Tsars?
Answer: Peter the Great and Ivan V.
Question Authors: (user who contributed the question) 1. Styrbiorn; 2. Serge L; 3. Robert Edward Lee; 4. Targan Khan; 5. Wulfhere; 6. Claudia Gallica; 7. Salvatore; 8. Marcus Petrius Caesar; 9. JuliusCaesar; 10. Necros; 11. Kolovrat;

Total Quiz I Part 2

1. While the USSR was the first durable communist state, two short-lived regimes had aready existed in Europe. What were they? What was the second lasting communist state?
Answer: Short lived communist governments in Bavaria and Hungary after the end of WWI. Mongolia was the second communist state to last.
2. What ancient Peruvian civilization is famous for skull operations? Where did they live? What other 3 characteristics of this civilizations are remarkable?
Answer: Paracas. Paracas-Ica, Coastal Central Peru. They deformed their skulls, they had excellent textiles and they were buried in "fardos funerarios" in the fetal position.
3. Why did the German soldiers in the Afrika korps call "the Ancient Man" ("Alter Man" in German)?
Answer: The canned food (meat) the German soldiers were eating in Afrika Korps originated from the Italian reserves. On the can there were the letters "AM" standing for "Amministrazione Militare". These two letters (AM) the German soldiers translated it as Alter Man/Ancient man, a term which actually referred to food
4. Some sailors in the 19th and early 20th century got the nick-name 'Cape Hornier'. This nick was only given to sailors who made a passage around this famous, stormy island, and was only given to sea-men on a sailing ship. Even today, many people sail on different boats (small yacht to tall-ship) around the Cape, but no one is entitled to this nickname. There are just a small number of people left who are proud of their status. What was the prerequisite to get this nickname?
Answer: The prerequisite to get the nick 'Cape Hornier' was and is only given to sailors, who where on sailing boats carrying real freight. Since no one those days is trading goods anymore on sailing ships, no one who just sails around the Cape is getting the nick.
5. Robert Edward Lee did not qualify as the top of his class at West Point - he came in second. Who did come top?
Answer: Charles Mason - He never applied for an Army Commission (despite the fact that somebody topping Lee at West Point would be in great demand). Little however, is known of his life after graduating, he became a professor, then a Lawyer . The rest is a bit hazy
6. To which divinity was the city of Naples entitled?
Answer: "The city of Naples (Neapolis, in Latin) was originally founded by Greek colonists; the meaning of the name is "New city" (Nèa Pòlis). So what was the old city's name? Even if actual proofs are at best scarce, the tradition indicates that it was Parthenope (even in modern Italian the inhabitants of Naples are called "Napoletani" or "Partenopei"), i.e. "The Virgin", a typical attribution of the Goddess Athena"
7. The temple Parthenon in Athens is considered the most beautiful example of ancient Greek architecture. It remained quite intact for a long time, but in the late 1600s the city of Athens were under siege from the Venetians. The defending Turks used the ancient temple as gunpowder stores, and when it was hit by a stray shell from the Venetian artillery, large parts of the temple were turned into smithereens. Now, the question: Who was the commander of the Venetian army? (hint: the commander was a Swedish general)
Answer: Otto Wilhelm Königsmarck (his father was also a commander, who among other things sacked Prague during the Thirty Years' War).
8. Who, a writer, from the classics of world literature was condemned to death (but fortunately, not executed)
Answer: Dostoevskij
Question Authors: (user who contributed the question) 1. Necros; 2. JuliusCaesar; 3. Salvatore; 4. Targan Khan; 5. Robert Edward Lee; 6. Author: Serge L; 7. Styrbiorn; 8. Kolovrat;

(The questions have been edited from their original state for grammar and clarity.)

References and Notes:
  1. ^ The forum topics for the first Total Quiz can be found at,3606,30,all and,3614,30,all