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History Multiple Choice #6

Can you answer these multiple choice questions about world history?
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: July 27, 2023
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First submittedJuly 27, 2023
Times taken4,986
Average score66.7%
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1. Was Confucius a real person?
Yes
No
2. How many wives did Muhammad have during his life?
None
1
11
Over 700
3. Which of these paintings is from the 1400s?
4. The Nazi empire was known as the Third Reich. What was the First Reich?
Holy Roman Empire
Persian Empire
There wasn't one
5. Whose last words were reportedly "monks, monks, monks"?
Henry VIII
John F. Kennedy
Marie Antoinette
6. How many voyages did Columbus make to the New World?
1
4
17
7. What happened to Laika, the first animal to orbit Earth?
She was given a Hero of the Soviet Union medal
She died in orbit, as planned
She "defected" to the United States
8. What happened to Leon Trotsky?
He was given a Hero of the Soviet Union medal
He bought a theater in Paris
He was killed with an ice axe in Mexico City
9. Who, according to Shakespeare, said "I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him"?
Brutus
Julius Caesar
Mark Antony
10. Which invention enabled a much higher world population than was previously thought sustainable?
Bessemer process
Daguerreotype process
Haber process
The Haber process fixed Nitrogen from the atmosphere, allowing the creation of artificial fertilizers
11. Which one of these cities DIDN'T experience a gold rush?
Johannesburg
Melbourne
Rio de Janeiro
San Francisco
12. What is generally thought to be the first American country to be visited by Europeans?
Brazil
Canada
Cuba
The Vikings explored Canada around 1000 AD - half a millenium before Columbus
13. Where was coffee first brewed?
Austria
Mexico
Yemen
14. Which of these countries has never occupied the Philippines?
China
Japan
Spain
United States
15. What happened during the three Defenestrations of Prague?
A fence was torn down
All the trees were chopped down by invading armies
Someone was thrown out of a window
+1
Level 77
Jul 27, 2023
Argh… I knew the one I missed. Ah well. Fun quiz.
+3
Level 78
Jul 27, 2023
Poor Laika, she must have been terrified.
+3
Level 77
Jul 27, 2023
They did commemorate her, just not in the way the multiple choice question iterated.
+3
Level 84
Jul 27, 2023
For the record, there isn't unanimous agreement that Confucius was a real person. As with Buddha and Jesus, Confucius is only known only through a collection of sayings and anecdotes recorded by his followers. With no contemporary accounts about these people, it's possible that their followers chose to attribute their collective works to a single, fictional, enlightened individual.
+7
Level ∞
Jul 27, 2023
Where are you getting this from? There is, as far as I know, zero serious dispute about the historicity of Confucius. If there is, it's certainly not mentioned in the Wikipedia article. You should at least provide a citation.

There's also this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confucius#Descendants

"Confucius's family, the Kongs, have the longest recorded extant pedigree in the world today. The father-to-son family tree, now in its 83rd generation, has been recorded since the death of Confucius."

+1
Level 84
Aug 7, 2023
I mean, there is Google but, if you insist. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1999/04/confucius-and-the-scholars/377530/

"Jensen [author of Manufacturing Confucianism, which won an award from the American Academy of Religion] does not believe that Kongzi even existed. “I think he’s a literary trope,” Jensen says. “He’s a figure who came to stand for certain things.” Jensen is currently researching the possibility that Kongzi—whose birth, like that of Jesus, is the subject of many miraculous tales—had his origins as a mythological figure of ancient Chinese fertility cults."

"Most Sinologists these days would agree that Confucius, if he existed at all, has left little concrete evidence of what he was like"

+1
Level ∞
Aug 7, 2023
Thanks. I did some more research. Jensen's book does NOT claim that Confucius (Kongzi) was not a real person.

His central claim is that the modern conception of Confucius was shaped by Jesuit missionaries in the Ming and Qing dynasties based on the historical figure of Kongzi.

I think the parallel with Jesus is a good one. Few if any serious historians doubt that Jesus was a real person. But that doesn't mean they accept the story in the Bible either.

Likewise, Kongzi was almost certainly real. But are all the details of his biography correct? Almost certainly not.

+1
Level ∞
Aug 7, 2023
Here's GPT-4 on the question of "Are there any serious historians who claim that Confucius isn't real?"

"The vast majority of historians accept Confucius (Kong Fuzi/Kongzi) as a historical figure who lived during the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history (approximately 551–479 BCE). He is traditionally believed to have been a teacher, editor, and philosopher, and his thoughts have profoundly influenced Chinese culture and other East Asian societies for over two millennia."

"However, like many figures from ancient times, the details of Confucius's life are a mix of historical record, later interpretations, and legendary embellishments. Given the distance in time and the paucity of contemporary records, some scholars have debated specific details of his life and teachings."

+2
Level 84
Aug 9, 2023
"Jensen does not believe that Kongzi even existed" seems pretty clear that he is claiming that Confucius was not a real person, but I haven't read the book, so I'll take your word for it if you have.

As for "few if any serious historians doubt that Jesus was a real person", I have to disagree with that one. I don't know any serious historian who thinks that there was a historical Jesus. Given the lack of contemporary accounts, and the historical inaccuracies in the gospels, I used to be among them. Christopher Hitchens convinced me otherwise.

Hitch pointed out that the census that supposedly required Joseph to move to Bethlehem never occurred, and the idea of having to move to be counted is ridiculous. So why make up such a ridiculous story? Why not say that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, unless Jesus of Nazareth was a real person? The messiah had to be born in Bethlehem, so the census was made up to explain how a Nazarene was born in Bethlehem.

+2
Level 77
Jul 29, 2023
For the record, it is not true that the only contemporary accounts of Jesus are from his followers. There are at least two others - Pliny (the younger, I think) and Josephus, the Jewish historian.
+2
Level 84
Aug 7, 2023
Pliny the Younger was born in 61 AD, at least three decades after Jesus died. Josephus was born in 37 AD, between four and seven years after Jesus died. A contemporary account is from the time. Josephus reported what he had heard about Jesus from his followers. There are no accounts about Jesus during his lifetime, which is remarkable given the Biblical accounts of Palm Sunday.
+1
Level 59
Oct 6, 2023
I interpreted the question about the first american country to be visited by Europeans to be about today's tourism... And still got it right somehow.

Great quiz though!