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History by Letter - U

Name these historical people, places, and things beginning with the letter U.
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: March 26, 2024
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First submittedJuly 31, 2014
Times taken73,756
Average score65.0%
Rating4.19
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Hint
Answer
Country that declared itself independent in 1776
United States
Country formed when Great Britain merged with Ireland in 1801
United Kingdom
Friendly nickname of Joseph Stalin
Uncle Joe
Term for a German military submarine
U-Boat
Perfect society envisioned by Thomas More
Utopia
Largest of the Muslim empires
Umayyad Caliphate
Country ruled by Idi Amin
Uganda
Novel by James Joyce once considered obscene
Ulysses
Name of 8 popes
Urban
Name of two Italian kings
Umberto
Once the largest city of the Netherlands
Utrecht
Destination of Mormon pioneers
Utah
The world's first of these opened in Bologna in 1088
University
Phoenician colony in Tunisia which a city in New York is named for
Utica
Nickname of mail bomber Ted Kaczynski
Unabomber
Celestial object discovered by William Herschel in 1781
Uranus
Pagan center of Sweden where human sacrifices were hung from trees
Uppsala
One of the letters of the Greek alphabet
Upsilon
German city whose cathedral was briefly the tallest building in the world
Ulm
Army that wore blue in the U.S. Civil War
Union Army
50 Comments
+11
Level 76
Jul 31, 2014
This Moroccan university was founded in 859.
+13
Level 49
Oct 15, 2017
Oldest university is Taxila university in Pakistan-India opened around 600BC, closed around 500 AD
+1
Level 67
Oct 16, 2017
Thanks for the info.
+1
Level 65
Apr 4, 2019
Thank you. Come again.
+65
Level 78
Aug 4, 2014
Loved Pope Urban...not to be confused with Pope Suburban, who rode around in a minivan instead of the Popemobile.
+13
Level 59
Oct 28, 2014
I should not have been drinking as I read this... water everywhere...
+1
Level 42
Oct 31, 2014
Ha ha :)
+15
Level 77
Oct 15, 2017
Dropping off cardinals at soccer practice.
+9
Level 90
Jul 31, 2020
Pope Rural rides around in a pickup truck.
+9
Level 67
Jul 31, 2020
Wouldn't Pope Suburban drive a Suburban? These are important theological questions.
+4
Level 55
Oct 28, 2014
"The world's first of these opened in London in 1863" is, I feel, a fair question. "The world's first of these opened

in Bologna in 1088" is not. It's getting on for a thousand years ago, so there isn't much of a context for people to latch onto. I think it needs a better clue. Possibly 67% of people might agree.

+24
Level 82
Oct 31, 2014
And the fact that all answers begin with U really reduces the number of things it could be. I didn't think that one was too hard given this context.
+2
Level 78
Jul 31, 2020
It's one of these facts that stick if you take many Jetpunk quizzes.
+4
Level 82
Mar 27, 2024
It’s a completely fair trivia question. You either know it or you don’t. Now you do. You learned something, be happy.
+1
Level 82
Oct 28, 2014
Got 100% but had to think on some for a second. And, in spite of just finishing a biography on Josef Stalin I had to guess completely on that one. Don't recall hearing it before. But the guy had a ton of different nicknames so maybe that one just got lost in the shuffle.
+1
Level 78
Oct 30, 2014
Rats.. Ummayid did not work.
+1
Level 44
Dec 19, 2014
I tried Umayyah but it didn't work.
+2
Level ∞
Dec 20, 2014
Added some more spellings for Umayyad.
+7
Level 33
Dec 5, 2016
Very good quiz. Just one thing: Bologna is not the oldest university 'in the World', as the universities of al-Azhar in Cairo and Qarawiyin in Fez predate Bologna by more than a century (and were a model Bologna followed) and are still thriving. Bologna is the oldest university in Europe, though.
+9
Level ∞
Jan 21, 2017
The older universities weren't universities (in the modern sense of the word). Here's what Wikipedia says:

Other institutions of higher learning, such as those of ancient Greece, ancient Persia, ancient Rome, Byzantium, ancient China, ancient India and the Islamic world, are not included in this list owing to their cultural, historical, structural and juristic dissimilarities from the medieval European university from which the modern university evolved.

+10
Level 65
Oct 23, 2019
I think that is a wee bit of a cop out. If the modern university is based on the European medieval institutional model (which I think is too narrow a claim to make with credibility), then it would still improve the clue to read "the oldest European university" or even European-style. That way, the truth of these other places as institutions of higher learning and scholarly discourse are not unnecessarily marginalized by yet another European-focus.
+11
Level 86
Jul 31, 2020
That's a typical western bias. Muslims had large schools that were in many ways similar to European universities, but the Christians like to believe that they invented them. Of course, in the middle ages, these schools mostly teached religious stuff, but the muslim ones were clearly the most open-minded at the time.
+2
Level 55
Aug 1, 2020
The one in Morroco is recognized as the first, and still functions as a University today. Probably doesn't fit the narrative of the discourse though... especially since it was founded by a woman.
+8
Level 70
Oct 12, 2022
It's not a cop out.

For example: both cathedrals and mosques are places of worship, but if a particular cathedral predated a particular mosque, you wouldn't say that cathedral is an older mosque. They're both very similar in purpose, but they're not one in the same.

There's enough difference to warrant distinction, and that's what's happening here. Without establishing some basic definitions, though, it's hard to take the conversation much further.

+6
Level 83
Apr 10, 2017
surprisingly easy, I had expected U would require more obscure answers.
+2
Level 52
Apr 10, 2017
Stalin tried to conquer my country Finland in WWII with his million army (didn't succeed) and he was called nickname "Isä aurinkoinen" (which means "Father sunny") here in Finland. Never heard about Uncle Joe, but thats my shame.
+2
Level 29
May 29, 2017
I still don't get why people think the UK is a country and not a body consisting of four separate countries.
+16
Level 82
Oct 15, 2017
Try looking up "country" on Wikipedia.
+22
Level 75
Oct 15, 2017
People call the USA a separate country when it's really a body consisting of 50 different states, some of which were former countries, although Texas and Hawaii aren't allowed to send their own teams to world sporting events. The Netherlands is called a country even though it also includes Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Maarten. People think the UK is a country because it is.
+1
Level 37
Jul 11, 2019
The Netherlands is also a Kingdom. Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten are countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Netherlands Country consists of the Netherlands on the European Continent and Bonaire, St. Eustatius (Statia) and Saba in the Caribbean Sea.
+6
Level 75
Aug 2, 2020
5 countries #MakeCornwallGreatAgain
+1
Level 78
Oct 12, 2022
It does make it strange when the UK can send any of its four constituent countries to the Olympics, World Cup, etc., but other countries can't send their states/provinces, etc., only their dependencies/external territories.
+2
Level 60
Mar 6, 2024
but they don't. Oddly the UK sends just one team to the olympics and for some reason they call it Team GB but it includes athletes from Northern Ireland which is not part of Great Britain. As the Americans say, 'go figure'.
+1
Level 79
Mar 26, 2024
And they send 4 countries to the world cup because they're the oldest national football teams. They started international football.
+3
Level 75
Apr 2, 2024
Team GB was actually named in honour of ex-Prime Minister Gordon Brown, such was his universally acclaimed status as an iconic national treasure and political titan.
+2
Level 72
Oct 16, 2017
all I could think of for a town in New York named after a Phoenician colony was Syracuse :(
+1
Level 83
Mar 27, 2024
Syracuse was a Greek colony, not Phoenician.
+6
Level 67
Jul 16, 2018
I'd like to thank the steamed hams skit for helping me get the Utica question
+2
Level 66
Dec 1, 2018
Is there nothing it can't do?
+2
Level 65
Apr 4, 2019
Rock Mountain in Australia _____________.
+1
Level 62
Oct 21, 2019
Ayers rock?
+3
Level 86
Jul 31, 2020
Not a bad idea, but you'd need a more historical clue for this quiz.
+2
Level 48
Jul 31, 2020
That's more geography than history.
+1
Level 68
May 22, 2020
yooo I was just guessing randomly for Urban whattt
+2
Level 68
May 22, 2020
it is hard to spell but i still wish more people got Umayyad :(
+6
Level 63
Aug 16, 2021
Umayyad bro?
+1
Level 64
Jul 31, 2020
I was about to give up without #2, but then I remembered...the answers all start with U.
+2
Level 75
Aug 1, 2020
Biden might want to think about changing his nickname.
+1
Level 78
Oct 12, 2022
Very fun.
+4
Level 67
Mar 26, 2024
There was definitely a temple in Uppsala, but as I understand it, there's only one account of human sacrifices there and archaeologists doubt it.

I also find it really amusing that your main association with Uppsala is "pagan human sacrifice" and mine is "kind of annoying to get to because train services from Stockholm end early".