History Guild General History Quiz 140
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History Quiz 140

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The stories behind the questions

1. Who did the 1521 Edict of Worms decree was “a notorious heretic”?

Martin Luther – The Edict of Worms was issued by Emperor Charles V, declaring:

For this reason we forbid anyone from this time forward to dare, either by words or by deeds, to receive, defend, sustain, or favour the said Martin Luther. On the contrary, we want him to be apprehended and punished as a notorious heretic, as he deserves, to be brought personally before us, or to be securely guarded until those who have captured him inform us, whereupon we will order the appropriate manner of proceeding against the said Luther. Those who will help in his capture will be rewarded generously for their good work.

2. Where was the Epic of Gilgamesh written?

Mesopotamia – Originally written in Sumerian, the Epic of Gilgamesh was translated into Babylonian, the 12 volume saga becoming one of the most famous Babylonian works.

3. What is the estimated total length of Roman roads?

400,000km – At the peak of Rome’s power 29 great military highways radiated out from the capital. The Empire’s 113 provinces were interconnected by 372 great roads.

4. The failure of which crop caused a famine in Ireland in 1845?

Potato – The mould potato blight infected crops, resulting on their failure from 1845 to 1852. This lead to the deaths of almost 1 million Irish, as well as the emigration of over 2 million. Potato’s were first introduced to Ireland about 1585, from South America.

5. Which of these cities was established by Greek colonists?

Marseille – Founded around 600 BCE by Greek settlers from Phocaea, Marseille is the oldest city in France, as well as one of Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited cities.

6. At Mers-el-Kébir in 1940 the British Royal Navy sunk a fleet from which country?

France – In the wake of the defeat of France in 1940 Britain attempted to ensure that French ships couldn’t be used by the Germans or Italians. The French Navy was the second largest in Europe, and could have swung the odds against the Allies, particularly in the Mediterranean. The French repeatedly refused British requests to place the fleet in British custody or move it to the French West Indies, out of German reach. The British then attacked the French naval base at Mers-el-Kébir, Algeria, sinking a battleship and damaging five other vessels, with the loss of 1,297 French servicemen.

7. Garibaldi was a key figure in the creation of which country?

Italy – Giuseppe Garibaldi was an Italian revolutionary who played an important role in the campaign that lead to Italian unification and the creation of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.

8. The dictator Antonio Salazar ruled which country from 1932 to 1968?

Portugal – Salazar’s rule was conservative, corporatist and nationalist. During this time Portugal remained largely underdeveloped, its population relatively poor and less educated than the rest of Europe. Salazar fought hard, but unsuccessfully, to retain Portugal’s colonial possessions. This saw significant wars in Angola, Goa, Mozambique, and Guinea-Bissau.

9. When did the British monarch last block legislation by withholding Royal Assent?

1708 – The Scottish Militia Bill 1708 is the last bill to have been refused royal assent. Queen Anne withheld it as she and her ministers believed that the proposed militia may be disloyal.

10. Which military order ruled Malta from 1530 until 1798?

Knights Hospitaller – Also known as the Knights of Saint John, the order was founded in 1099 in Jerusalem. They were active in the Holy Land until 1522, when they were evicted from the Island of Rhodes by Ottoman forces lead by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. In 1530 Emperor Charles V donated the Islands of Malta and Gozo to the order, which they ruled until Malta was captured by Napoleon in 1798.

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