Total Quiz X

Archived questions and answers to AE's history contest
Contents »
The Total Quiz X Series consisted of four separate quizzes held from June 2004 to April 2005.

-- Summary and Results --
Total Quiz X (Series) Champion: Dawn
Quiz Title Date Champion Moderator
Total Quiz X-4 April 2005
Total Quiz X-3
Jan. 2005 
Total Quiz X-2 
Sept. 2004
Total Quiz X-1 June 2004 Fastpawn Styrbiorn

Total Quiz questions viewing options: Click here to hide answers

Total Quiz X Part 1

1. What was the original family name of the one who won at the Pyramids and near Ulm? 2)What is the literal meaning of that name? 3) How was that meaning used at that time for a joke?
Answer: 1) Buonaparte, which later became "Bonaparte" (without the "u") to cover his Corsican origins. 2) Corsican is a dialect of the Italian group and the original meaning should have been something like "from a good stock", but in current Italian it also means "the most part" "a good deal of", "good part 3) With reference to the fact Napoleonic troops used to confiscate and bring to France treasures and works of art in the lands they conquered, Italians (Sources do not agree on the inventor of this joke, which maybe originated either in Venice or Rome or Naples or elsewhere) started to say "Tutti i Francesi sono ladri? No, ma Buonaparte sì!" (Are all Frenchmen thieves? no, but the most part/Bonaparte yes!) This double sense works in French too: "Quand l'armée de Bonaparte a envahi l'Italie, les italiens commentaient : Tous les français ne sont pas des voleurs, ma. Buonaparte" ( There was also another variant: "Napoleon saw a peasant who was working in a field and asked ' Hey , peasant, is it true or not that all Italians are thieves?' The peasant, who realized his life was on the line, answered, 'Sir, all, no, but the most part (bonaparte) yes!' Napoleon, realizing the intelligence of the peasant, spared his life and continued on his way." As you can see, Napoleon was considered either both French and Italian, due to his Corsican origin. N.B. the battles mentioned are: July 21st 1798: Battle of the Pyramids, French troops overcame Egyptians on the ground. A great success, partially compromised by the fact that the French fleet was defeated some days after (August 1st) by English admiral H. Nelson. October 20th, 1805: Battle of Ulm, where Napoleon, by maneuvering his forces around the 40,000 Austrians in the city of Ulm and cutting their supply lines, forced General Karl Mack into an untenable situation."
2. There was once an Admiral who led his fleet through the 3 oceans and many sees only to find humiliating defeat which induced his government to make peace. What is the name of this admiral?
Answer: Admiral Rojdestvensky, the defeat the well-known Tsushima battle
3. Which American president called himself Cyrus?
Answer: Harry S. "I am Cyrus" Truman. Alternative Answer: the 10th president of the United States under the Articles of confederation was actually named Cyrus.
4. What were the Xiongnu states founded in Northern China?
Answer: Houzhao, Xia, Beiliang and Loulan (A few other states such as the Qiangzhao were also accepted by the Moderator).
5. Who became the first astronaut/cosmonaut of his/her country, by answering a commercial advertisement, and taking part to a foreign space program?
Answer: British Chemist Helen Slater. It's worth noting that the UK still has no official national astronaut program, unlike most other developed countries.
6. What was the full name of the leader who led the resistance against the Italians in the inner desert during the First World War and who later became the king of his country?
Answer: Sayyid Muhammad Idris, Leader of the Sanusi Brotherhood and later king of Libya. Transcriptions from Arabic may vary
7. Which Germanic king was converted form Arianism to catholicism in 560 AC?
Answer: Suevian king Ariamir (Suevian Kingdom was conquered by Visigoths in 585 AC) However. Sources are not entirely consistent, and some claim Theodomir, king of the Suebi, converted in 560. Other sources claim Theodomir was in fact the same person as Ariamir, and other claim they were brothers.
8. In his bestselling book "War and Peace", Lew Tolstoi describes the Russian wars with Napoleon. For the 1812 campaign he wrote that the first French unit to enter Moscow were the Hussars of Württemberg. Why is that impossible and what was really the first French unit to enter Moscow in 1812?
Answer: Württemberg had no hussars at all. The first unit was 10th Regiment of Hussars of Duchy of Varsovia commanded by colonel Umiñski (not a part of the Vistula Legion).
9. One member of this family of "dogs" was the patron of one of the most famous writers of the Renaissance. This family was also a powerful one, but the son of the mentioned patron went too greedy for land. Though dogged and initially successful, he lost much of the family empire and marked the start of its fall - the last family lords were two of his great-grandsons who were deposed by a republic built on stakes. Which family am I talking about?
Answer: Della Scala, rulers of Verona. The males of the family often wore canine names, such as Cangrande (Big-Dog), Mastino (Mastiff) and Cansignore (Lord Dog) and the like. The writer and his patron were Dante Alighieri and Cangrande della Scala respectively. Mastino II overextended himself and started the downfall of the once large North-Italian domain, and the last lords were the brothers Brunoro and Antonio, who was dethroned by the Venetians conquering Verona.
10. A ship named after an old Celtic town. Crossing the Atlantic ocean in a large fleet, she was singled out and crippled by three smaller ships, and eventually sank by her companions in order to prevent the enemy to capture her cargo - a large load of gold, supposed payment for arms and ammunition. The name of the ship?
Answer: A British cruiser, the venerable HMS Edinburgh. Escorting a convoy in the North Atlantic she was struck by German torpedoes in April 1942 and isolated from the convoy. Attacked by three German destroyers, she was severely crippled and sunk by her own companions - she was carrying Russian gold, payment for American arms and ammunition. The gold was salvaged in 1981.
11. This Czar had noisy habit of ringing bells around the countryside.
Answer: Feodor I the Bellringer
12. Which Byzantine successor state recaptured Byzantium from Venice.
Answer: The Empire of Nicaea
Question Authors: (user who contributed the question) 1. Serge L; 2. TJK; 3. Cyrus Shahmiri; 4. Ihsan; 5. Serge L; 6. TJK; 7. TJK; 8. Temujin; 9. Styrbiorn; 10. Styrbiorn; 11. Glinert; 12. Glinert;

Total Quiz X Part 2

1. Who was the general who was referred to as the demon of the civil war, sent out to purge and eventually also killed - all by the very same man?
Answer: Mikhail Tukhachevsky. The man who did all those things to him was no other than Josef Stalin.
2. Who are the Three Great Unifiers of Japan
Answer: Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Tokugawa Ieyasu. Since the Japanese habit of putting the surname first may cause some confusion, answers with only the first-name of one or two of the unifiers were provided. These three are generally refered to as the Three Great Unifiers, even though the first really did not succeed completely, being assassinated just before. His vassal, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a peasant's son lacking both home and name until he came into Nobunaga's service, would complete his former master's ambition.
3. This American "adventurer" set out with around 50 men and captured a province of a foreign nation. He quickly lost the territory and was charged for illegally waging war, but shortly after, he set out with another force of about 50 men and seized control of a civil war-torn country, which he installed himself as its president for almost 5 years. Who was he?
Answer: William Walker.
4. Long-haired revolt leader, fighting for freedom lost against a state known today as a very powerful one. Praised by the same man who wrote about some famous albeit not very successful horsemen, the revolt shocked the oppressors but was eventually crushed and the leader, whose name we are searching, ended up dead. The mentioned name?
Answer: Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni. With a waist-long hair, this red-head lead a huge revolt against the Roman oppressors. Successful at first, annihilating the XIth Legion to the last man, capturing Camoludunum (Colchester) and Londinium and slaughtering its Roman inhabitants, the uprising was eventually crushed by the disciplined Roman army at a now unknown location. Exactly how Boadicea died is unknown as well, but died she did, in conjunction with this showdown, either by poison or disease. The man who wrote about her was Lord Tennyson, author of The Charge of the Light Brigade.
5. Multi-part question: (1.) A ruler visited the home of a man who was rumoured to be the best shot of the land and ended up forcing this man to shoot an arrow through an apple placed at the head of his son - or else he would loose his head. The marksman picked up a few arrows, and shot one successfully through the apple. First part of the question is, who was the ruler and the marksman, and what was the intent of picking up more than one arrow? (2.) The marksman brought up a boy of royal lineage. The boy, who apparently had a noteworthy shape in some of his hair, grew up and became a mighty a ruler as his regal fathers, and also became the father of an even more powerful ruler-to-be. The stepson of the marksman died just after getting hold of another noble title. Who was the stepson, and who was his father? (3.) The mentioned son of the stepson gained enough power to have himself crowned. The building in which he was crowned have been destroyed on quite a few occasions - which was the last time?
Answer: (1.) Toki Palnesson, aka Palnatoki, who was a former herdsman and famous berserk of the king of Denmark. Being as skilled at boasting as with sword and bow - especially after some of his beloved beer - king Harald Bluetooth forced him to proove his showing off about being the best archer in the world - by shooting an arrow through an apple placed on the head of his son. He succeeded. When the king answered why he had picked up several arrows, Toki replied they were meant for the king, had the first arrow struck the boy. This happened in the late 10th century. The story is to be found in the Jómsvikinga saga and writings of the Danish historian Saxo, but there are doubts whether it is based on an even older story. Whichever it is, whoever wrote about Wilhem Tell had a liking for Scandinavian sagas... (2.) The stepson is Sven Forkbeard. Supported by his stepfather, he eventually drove away his biological father Harald Gormsson Bluetooth (same guy as in former question ), to become king of Denmark, and later he also conquered England - although he died only weeks after his throne-seizing. (3.) Svein's son Knut the Great ("Canute" in English) ended up being king of Denmark, England, Norway and parts of Sweden. He was chrowned in no other building than the Cathedral of St Paul. Its last event of destruction was the Great Fire of London in 1666.
6. Jebe was one of Chinggis Qa'ans best commanders and soldiers. what was his real name and what does Jebe mean?
Answer: real name: Jirkho'adai (many possible spellings). Jebe means 'weapon'(?), 'arrowhead', 'arrow'
7. This person had arranged for him/her to be buried in Westminster Abbey lived to become unnaturally old.
Answer: Thomas Parr, living to an age of 153 years. The man got married his first time at the age of roughly 80, and did penance at the age of 100 for producing an illegitimate child. His age was famed, and he was brought to London to meet the king. However the environmental change and filth of the city killed him; The king arranged for him to be buried in Westminster Abbey.
8. In what year and in what department did the English "government" start consistently making copies of its letters
Answer: 1199. " ...systematically mailing copies and keeping them." "the Chancery clerks began to keep copies ,on rolls of parchment,of most of the letters- and certainly all of the important ones-sent out under the great seal."
9. It was in September almost 90 years ago. It's a story of immigrants, rum running, murder, a pair of hangings and maybe a little romance. Stories, plays and songs have been written about it (in the most recent, a play with songs). An "Emperor" was involved and an officer of the law was mudered. A woman was one of those executed, the only one in the history of this area. Who was the lawman, the emperor, and the woman. When and where did the murder take place.
Answer: The shooting of constable Steve Lawson by Emperor Pic-Emelio Picorillo and Florence Losandro took place on September 21,1922 on the main street of Coleman Alberta . The Opera is called Fillamena. Florance was the only woman hanged in Alberta and one of the last in Canada.
10. In 1118 the Knights Templar Order was founded by Bernard of Clairvaux. Who was the first Templar Grand Master? When is the feast day for Bernard of Clairvaux?
Answer: Hugues de Payens, 20th of August
11. Which early American film director was charged of attempting to create a mutiny and was subsequently jailed? What did he do that got him in trouble
Answer: Robert Goldstein. He directed "Spirit of '76", a film about the American Revolution that portrayed the British in a negative way. In light of WWI, President Wilson thought that such depictions of a war ally was unacceptable and thus had him arrested. (He remained in jail until 1923).
Question Authors: (user who contributed the question) 1. Kapikulu; 2. Gubookjangoon; 3. Imperator Invictus; 4. Styrbiorn; 5. Styrbiorn; 6. Temujin; 7. Glinert; 8. Dawn; 9. Dawn; 10. rider; 11. Imperator Invictus;

Total Quiz X Part 3

1. On a certain hour in 1967 this country changed from left- to right-hand driving. When, where and why was it done at this particular time.
Answer: Sweden. Until 1967, driving was done on the left-hand side on roads in Sweden. The conversion to right-hand was done on a weekday at 5 p.m. All traffic stopped as people switched sides. This time and day were chosen to prevent accidents in which drivers would have gotten up in the morning and been too sleepy to realize it was the day of the changeover. The main reason for the change was to do something about the disastrous accident rate, caused by driving to the left AND having the steering wheel on the left side of the car! It was a success, the accidents halved overnight. Other reasons were complaining neighbours: the many roads going to Norway had not the border marked, which meant drivers had to guess where they were and drive on the corresponding side. (Note: The moderator decided to accept answers about why the actual hour was changed, as well as some reasons of the change in the first place.)
2. I can be considered a great guerrilla leader. I was married twice and left my infant son to inherit my titles. I lost many a battle but finally won a big one to win my country independence. I did not die in battle; some contemporaries say I died of "unclean ailments." Be that as it may, most of my body was buried in one place but part went elsewhere or so tradition says. Who am I?
Answer: Robert I of Scotland - the Bruce
3. After whom was Benito Mussolini named?
Answer: Mexican revolutionary Benito Juárez
4. In the 19th century linguistics discovered that a Romance language was nearly extinct. There was only one speaker of the language alive. He was not a native speaker but had learned it at a late age. Linguists started to use him for information about the language he hadn't spoken for 20 years.He had also lost most of his teeth and was nearly deaf. He died in 1898 after he stepped on a landmine. 1) What his name? 2) What was the name of the language.
Answer: 1) Tuone Udaina (Antonio Udina in Italian) 2) Dalmatian
5. Which French general is said to have defeated the Dutch navy, frozen in a harbor, using hussars?
Answer: Charles Pichegru. Also accepted: Lieutenant-General Baron Lahure who admittedly was not a general at the time, but he did lead the hussars. Link provided by Serge and TJK:
6. When the USA invaded Panama in 1989, Manuel Noriega sought refuge in the embassy of which country?
Answer: The Vatican State
7. I was born in a house with a name that sounds like a singer. I died in a field that sounds like it's biblical. Almost my whole life was spent in war pursuits and for this I got a statue that was damaged by another war. Who am I?
Answer: Major General James Wolfe - born 1727 in Macartney House, Kent, died 1759 on The Plains of Abraham, Quebec, Canada
8. This little thing which most people in the developed part has seen was invented by Medieval monks to make their tasks more efficient and to shorten them. It goes under many names in different countries, though many collectively refer to either end of different animal's bodies. What is this thing?
Answer: The @ symbol. Known in different countries as (elephant's)trunk-a, cat's tail, pig's tail etc, this little sign was invented by monks to shorten the very long word "at"
9. A women who lived during the Plague, and was married four times. The first was a forced marriage while she was very young, and this marriage would eventually cause her death. She held a very impressive title, perhaps the most holy of wordly titles. She was of a French family, but lived her whole life in another country, and her husbands were from three others. Who was she?
Answer: Jeanne d'Anjou, Queen Regnant of Naples, Sicily and Sardinia, Queen of Jerusalem, etc, etc. She was involved in the murder of her first, very hated, Hungarian husband. Forty years later the relatives to the murdered husband avenged him, killed Jeanne and seized her lands, all on the pope's approval.
10. The answer here is a land of which the actual location is not exactly known. Some trivia about it: the place was known for two wise men's gifts, one of which once was used by a medicianal father to save Athens from a plague. People of the Nile occasionally traded with the country. Further, it is connected with the stories of a somewhat unfortunate man of the seas.
Answer: Punt. The Egyptians sent several trading expeditions to acquire among other things myrrh and incenses - the latter which Hippocrates, father of Medicine, used to cure Athens from the plague. The Shipwrecked Sailor also tells of this land.
11. An island covered with man-made monstrosities, and even though it completely lacks wood to build ships the inhabitants once were among the greatest sailors of the world. Many of its ancient secrets were uncovered to the public by a Norwegian adventurer. The name of the island?
Answer: Easter Island. The monstrosities are of course the stone heads. The people's ancestors were sea-faring Polynesians, but they used up all the wood and thus was stuck on the island. Adventurer Thor Heyerdahl got to know the locals and uncovered many secrets - including the fact the islanders still knew how to erect the huge stoneheads.
12. Considering their name one might suspect these people had similar habits as modern day hippies, but their name, which was given by the people of the greatest native empire of the area, had probably more to do with their unusually pale looks and place of living. Little remains of their civilization today, as they were not only conquered by the mentioned conquerors, but later even these were overtaken by people from over the seas.
Answer: The Chachapoya ,the Cloud People, and old culture with impressive cities high up in the Andes, that eventually was conquered by the Incas. Nowadays only ruins remains as well as artifacts and mummies, which sadly are very desired and exposed to art thieves.
13. Jules Verne is often, and correctly, accredited with the invention of the Science Fiction genre. However, a man living much earlier had written on a similar sort of novel, in which some of the action were taking place far out in the universe. Unfortunately he often did not complete his ambitious projects, and this was one of them. Nonetheless he is directly or indirectly known by most people over the world - but less so in the Anglo part of it, since these people have a habit of keeping old ways of evaluating things. What is the name of the man, and what was this mentioned place far out in the universe?
Answer: Anders Celsius , inventor of the Celsius/centigrade scale and adherent thermometre. The place was the Sirius star . Maybe I was a little dirty here - "Anglo" should really have been American, but since the Commonwealth nations switched rather recently I let it pass.
14. I was killed by the first bomb dropped on Berlin by the allies. Who/what am I?
Answer: A poor elephant! The very first bomb dropped by the Allies on Berlin during World War II killed the only elephant in the Berlin Zoo.
Question Authors: (user who contributed the question) 1. Dawn; 2. Dawn; 3. Mixcoatl; 4. Mixcoatl; 5. Mixcoatl; 6. Mixcoatl; 7. Dawn; 8. Styrbiorn; 9. styrbiorn; 10. Styrbiorn; 11. Styrbiorn; 12. Styrbiorn; 13. Styrbiorn; 14. Dawn;

Total Quiz X Part 4

1. I proclaimed myself king and was declared a traitor. I sought help from those that should have been my enemy if I sided with the anointed ruler. One of the fellows sent to put down my revolt was to lead a revolt of his own in turn and executed. I eventually had to surrender but not before outliving said ruler. Who am I and who is the ruler?
Answer: Hugh O'Neill, 2nd Earl of Tyrone and Elizabeth I of England.
2. Where did the word Stalin, from Joseph Stalin(1879~1953), come from and what does it mean?
Answer: Russian- Stal meaning "steel" and "in" originating form either Lenin or a possesive suffix "-in", "Man of Steel"
3. According to legend, what food item, very popular in some parts of the world, were used as a communication device for a rebellion? Name the food and the empire that it helped overthrow.
Answer: It is said that Moon cakes were used to carry messages in the Ming rebellion against the Yuan Dynasty.
4. In a one of the most notable battles of its time in which a well supplied and outnumbering army was defeated, one of the commander on the winning side lost one of his arms. Then another commander on the winning side said he also lost an arm. Name the two commanders who "lost" one of their arms.
Answer: Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee. Jackson was wounded and had his arm amputated, from which he later died. Upon his death, Lee said something like "He has lost his left arm, but I have lost my right arm," (Showing the significance Jackson was to Lee).
5. What did Toyotomi Hideyoshi do while he started out as one of the 3 great unifers of Japan?
Answer: He looked after Oda Nobunaga's Sandals. More info provided by Dawn (Quiz Participant): During the wintertime, when Nobunaga was about to walk outside, the common soldier Hideyoshi prepared a shoe which had been warmed by Hideyoshi. (Nagahara 58) Nobunaga appreciated Hideyoshi's offering, and in return Nobunaga trained Hideyoshi as his general (Editor: While this question was answered without problem, the original question is unclear).
6. Father and Son. Had his father been alive and still in power, by the time the son fought for the independence of his adopted homeland, they would have been on opposite sides. In any case, the liberation of a certain country from its colonial power came more than hundred years before that of their country of origin, which some argue is still not fully completed. Who are they, and what are the two countries?
Answer: Ambrose O'Higgins , Governor-General of Chile from 1788-1796 under Spanish rule and Bernado O'Higgins , First President of Independent Chile from 1818-1823 Both were Irish
7. His first reign lasted ten years until his people had enough and exiled him into the wilderness. But he came back, and this time, it was personal: His second term as ruler saw the streets running with blood, and the stench of the decomposing bodies of his enemies hung heavy in the air. But he couldn't care less anyway and reigned for another seven years until his long suffering subjects made sure there wasn't another sequel and killed him. Who was he and what treasure did he carry around with him, when he came back?
Answer: Byzantine Emperor Justinian II Rhinometus (685-695, 705-711), He was first deposed in 695, his nose was cut off and he was sent to exile to the Khazars. When he came back for his second spell, he was wearing a golden strap-on nose
8. What ancient people founded the city of Bologna? What was the original name of the city? And what is the meaning of the present name?
Answer: 1) Etruscans 2) Felsina 3) Abundance, from the Latin "Bononia" . On #3, I have also accepted the answer city or fort, seeing many sites claiming Bononia itself might have been derived from Bona, Celtic for fortified.
9. Which humble object did the Anglo-Saxons describe the shape of the world as resembling
Answer: A bead. Again I have accepted an alternative answer, the flat disc. I have seen many references to that, so I accepted it.
10. Among several different marriage ceremonies, one of the most peculiar was the following one. The bride was abducted at night, carried to the groom's house, where some people had to remove her dress, replace them with crude masculine clothes, shave her head bald and close her in a small cell-like room, as dark and ugly as possible, with just some straw as bed. After some time, the future husband came into that cell and brought her to his bedroom, where they consumed their marriage. Odd enough, despite this quite brutal use, the overall status of women in that country was comparatively good, compared to what was common in bordering countries at that age, and in antiquity in general, since women nearly enjoyed the same rights as men. Could you name that country?
Answer: Sparta. See, for instance: fsparta.html
11. Which country outlawed singing the lyrics of its own anthem?
Answer: The German Democratic Republic (aka DDR, East Germany) . The lyrics of the anthem was outlawed since it didn't fit the Communist ideals of the DDR, but the tune was still kept and played
12. After leading a trans-Atlantic flight, an avenue in New York was named after him. A few days after his country declared war, which he initially didn't support, he was killed by friendly fire. Who am I talking about?
Answer: Italo Balbo
13. I was a military genius, yet my reign ended my country's military prowess. In the decisive battle, which I lost, I could not mount my horse. Who was I and which battle did I lose?
Answer: Charles XII , king of Sweden, in the battle of Poltava. The reason the king was not able to mount his horse was that he was wounded and from that feverish. Thus he could not command, and watched the battle from a litter (which, being his lucky day, was hit by Russian artillery killing both horses pulling it).
14. During a war which saw the destruction of many towns and villages, sometimes so atrocious even the contemporaries were shocked over the brutality, this town was delivered from destruction through most unusual means, namely by quaffing. The question is, what is the name of the town, the general who threatened it and the man who saved the day
Answer: During the Thirty Years' War, the Protestant town of Rothenburg ob der Trauber was saved from the Imperialists under Tilly by the so called Meistertrunk, Master Drought. After the town had resisted Tilly's orders of opening the gates and serve as winter quarters for his army, he threatened to execute the council and raze the town. However, on a whim he offered to save the town if someone could drink a whole cup of wine from the huge ceremonial goblet, some 3.5 litres, in one drought. An ex-mayor of the town, Georg Nusch , accepted and baffled everyone by succeeding. The event is celebrated in Rothenburg to these days.
Question Authors: (user who contributed the question) 1. Dawn; 2. demon; 3. Imperator Invictus; 4. Imperator Invictus; 5. Gubuk Janggoon; 6. Komnenos; 7. Komnenos; 8. Serge L; 9. Paul; 10. Serge L; 11. Mixcoatl; 12. Mixcoatl; 13. cavalry4ever; 14. Styrbiorn;