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Trivia Quiz Questions About Ancient Rome

Trivia quiz questions and answers about Ancient Rome.

 

Trivia Quiz Questions About Ancient Rome

What is Ancient Rome?
A: In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD.

According to legend, Rome was founded in 753 BC by whom?
A: Romulus and Remus.

Who raised the twins?
A: A she-wolf.

The new king, Amulius, feared Romulus and Remus would take back the throne, so he ordered them to be what?
A: Drowned.

A she-wolf (or a shepherd's wife in some accounts) saved and raised them, and when they were old enough, they did what?
A: They returned the throne of Alba Longa to Numitor.

The twins then founded their own city, but Romulus killed Remus in a quarrel over what?
A: The location of the Roman Kingdom, though some sources state the quarrel was about who was going to rule or give his name to the city.

 
Romulus became the source of what?
A: The city's name.

In order to attract people to the city, Rome became a sanctuary for whom?
A: The indigent, exiled, and unwanted.

This caused a problem, in that Rome came to have a large male population but was bereft of what?
A: Women.

Romulus visited neighboring towns and tribes and attempted to secure what?
A: Marriage rights, but as Rome was so full of undesirables he was refused.

The city of Rome grew from settlements around a what?
A: A ford on the river Tiber, a crossroads of traffic and trade.

According to archaeological evidence, the village of Rome was probably founded when?
A: Some time in the 8th century BC, though it may go back as far as the 10th century BC.

 
Who was it founded by?
A: By members of the Latin tribe of Italy, on the top of the Palatine Hill.

The Etruscans, who had previously settled to the north in Etruria, seem to have established political control in the region by the late 7th century BC, forming what?
A: An aristocratic and monarchical elite.

Roman tradition and archaeological evidence point to a complex within the Forum Romanum as the what?
A: The seat of power for the king and the beginnings of the religious center there as well.

Numa Pompilius the second king of Rome, succeeding Romulus, began Rome's building projects with his what?
A: His royal palace the Regia and the complex of the Vestal virgins.

According to tradition and later writers such as Livy, the Roman Republic was established around what time?
A: 509 BC, when the last of the seven kings of Rome, Tarquin the Proud, was deposed by Lucius Junius Brutus.

What was then established?
A: A system based on annually elected magistrates and various representative assemblies.

A constitution set a series of checks and balances, and what?
A: A separation of powers.

 
The consuls had to work with the senate, which was initially a what?
A: An advisory council of the ranking nobility, or patricians, but grew in size and power.

Other magistrates of the Republic include what?
A: Tribunes, quaestors, aediles, praetors and censors.

The magistracies were originally restricted to patricians, but were later opened to whom?
A: Common people, or plebeians.

In the 4th century BC, Rome had come under attack by whom?
A: The Gauls.

On 16 July 390 BC, a Gallic army under the leadership of a tribal chieftain named Brennus, met whom on the banks of the Allia River just ten miles north of Rome?
A: The Romans.

Brennus defeated the Romans, and the Gauls marched to where?
A: Directly to Rome.

Most Romans had fled the city, but some barricaded themselves upon the Capitoline Hill for what?
A: A last stand.

 
The Gauls looted and burned the city, then laid siege to what?
A: The Capitoline Hill.

The siege lasted seven months, the Gauls then agreed to give the Romans peace in exchange for what?
A: 1,000 pounds (450 kg) of gold.

According to later legend, the Roman supervising the weighing noticed that the Gauls were using what?
A: False scales.

The Romans then took up arms and defeated the Gauls; their victorious general Camillus remarked what?
A: "With iron, not with gold, Rome buys her freedom."

The Romans gradually subdued the other peoples on the Italian peninsula, including whom?
A: The Etruscans.

The last threat to Roman hegemony in Italy came when Tarentum, a major Greek colony, enlisted the aid of whom?
A: Pyrrhus of Epirus in 281 BC, but this effort failed as well.

The Romans secured their conquests by founding Roman colonies in strategic areas, thereby establishing what?
A: Stable control over the region of Italy they had conquered.

 
In the 3rd century BC Rome faced what new and formidable opponent?
A: Carthage.

What was Carthage?
A: Carthage was a rich, flourishing Phoenician city-state that intended to dominate the Mediterranean area.

The two cities were allies in the times of Pyrrhus, who was a menace to both, but with Rome's hegemony in mainland Italy and the Carthaginian thalassocracy, these cities became what?
A: The two major powers in the Western Mediterranean and their contention over the Mediterranean led to conflict.

The First Punic War began in 264 BC, when the city of Messana asked for Carthage's help in their conflicts with whom?
A: Hiero II of Syracuse.

After the Carthaginian intercession, Messana asked Rome to do what?
A: To expel the Carthaginians.

Although the Romans had experience in land battles, to defeat this new enemy, what would be necessary?
A: Naval battles.

Carthage was a maritime power, and the Roman lack of ships and naval experience would make the path to the victory what?
A: A long and difficult one for the Roman Republic.

 
After more than 20 years of war, Rome did what?
A: Defeated Carthage and a peace treaty was signed.

The Second Punic War is famous for what?
A: Its brilliant generals: on the Punic side Hannibal and Hasdrubal; on the Roman, Marcus Claudius Marcellus, Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus and Publius Cornelius Scipio.

Rome fought this war simultaneously with what other war?
A: The First Macedonian War.

The second Punic war began with the audacious invasion of Hispania by whom?
A: Hannibal, the Carthaginian general who had led operations on Sicily in the First Punic War.

Hannibal, son of Hamilcar Barca, rapidly marched through Hispania to the Italian Alps, causing what?
A: Panic among Rome's Italian allies.

Hannibal's invasion lasted how long?
A: Over 16 years, ravaging Italy.

Finally, when the Romans perceived that Hannibal's supplies were running out, what did they do?
A: They sent Scipio, who had defeated Hannibal's brother Hasdrubal in Spain, to invade the unprotected Carthaginian hinterland and force Hannibal to return to defend Carthage itself.

 
What was the result?
A: The result was the ending of the Second Punic War by the famously decisive Battle of Zama in October 202 BC.

At great cost, Rome had made what significant gains?
A: The conquest of Hispania by Scipio, and of Syracuse, the last Greek realm in Sicily, by Marcellus.

When in 151 BC Numidia invaded Carthage, Carthage asked for what?
A: Roman intercession.

Ambassadors were sent to Carthage, among them was Marcus Porcius Cato, who after seeing that Carthage could make a comeback and regain its importance, ended all his speeches, no matter what the subject was, by saying: what?
A: "Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam" ("Furthermore, I think that Carthage must be destroyed").

As Carthage fought with Numidia without Roman consent, the Third Punic War began when Rome did what?
A: Declared war against Carthage in 149 BC.

Carthage resisted well at the first strike, with the participation of whom?
A: All the inhabitants of the city.

However, Carthage could not withstand the attack of Scipio Aemilianus, who did what?
A: Entirely destroyed the city and its walls, enslaved and sold all the citizens and gained control of that region, which became the province of Africa.

 
All these wars resulted in Rome's first what?
A: Overseas conquests (Sicily, Hispania and Africa).

After defeating the Macedonian and Seleucid Empires in the 2nd century BC, the Romans became the what?
A: The dominant people of the Mediterranean Sea.

The conquest of the Hellenistic kingdoms brought the Roman and Greek cultures in closer contact and the Roman elite, once rural, became what?
A: A luxurious and cosmopolitan one.

At this time Rome was a consolidated empire, in the military view, and had no what?
A: Major enemies.

Foreign dominance led to what?
A: Internal strife.