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How much do you know about Roman emperors? [QUIZ]

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)


The history of ancient Rome is over 1000 years of continuity of a state organism that had its beginnings as a small settlement in central Italy, on the Tiber. However, what is usually most interesting is the time of the reign of the Roman emperors, which are associated with numerous events and, above all, scandals. Check how much you know about Roman emperors!

  1. Which Roman emperor became famous for his passion for gladiator fights and even competed in the arena himself?
    1. Caligula
    2. Commodus
    3. Heliogabalus
  2. Ovid was one of the greatest Roman poets. In 8 CE, during the reign of Emperor Augustus, he was mysteriously expelled from Rome. What was one of the reasons mentioned in the ancient texts?
    1. Theft of imperial property from one of the palaces.
    2. Joking on the majesty of the ruler.
    3. Romance with Julia the Elder – daughter of the emperor.
  3. Julius Caesar was not the emperor of Rome, but his dictatorship and popularity among the people caused his successors to adopt the title “Caesar”, based on his nickname. The Julia family claimed to come directly from one of the Roman deities, thus legitimizing their strong position. What was this deity?
    1. Venus, goddess of beauty and fertility.
    2. Mars, god of war.
    3. Neptune, god of the sea
  4. Which emperor, according to the sources, was supposed to be of truly enormous size. He was supposed to measure about 250 cm, and his thumb was supposedly so big that he wore his wife’s bracelet as a ring.
    1. Maximinus Thrax
    2. Aurelian
    3. Valentinian I
  5. In 52 CE on Lake Fucine, on the order of the emperor Claudius, naumachies were held. Before the spectacle began, the convicts participating in the event were to say to the ruler: “Hail, Emperor, those who are about to die salute you”. Claudius replied in such a way that the convicts considered that they were pardoned and no longer had to fight; this led to a temporary mutiny. What was the emperor supposed to say?
    1. “Death is not always the answer”
    2. “May Jupiter come to you with protection”
    3. “Or not”
  6. Emperor Claudius in 54 CE was murdered. His wife, Agrippina the Younger, ordered his poisoning so that her son from an earlier marriage, Nero, would come to power. Emperor Claudius ate a poisoned dish, which he supposedly liked very much. What was that?
    1. Boletus
    2. Chicken meat
    3. Figs
  7. Marcus Aurelius, to this day, is considered one of the greatest Roman emperors and ancient philosophers. After the death of his wife – younger than himself Faustina – he was supposed to resist getting married again. What was the reason?
    1. Despite the large number of children he had with Faustina, the marriage was so unsuccessful that the emperor was discouraged from further relationships.
    2. He explained that he wanted to avoid any pressure from his stepmother on numerous offspring (Faustina and Aurelius had at least 12 children).
    3. The emperor believed that Faustina was his only love of life.
  8. Emperor Caracalla was known for his tough character and love of fighting. The ruler was also fascinated by the history of Alexander the Great and wanted, like him, to go east at the head of the army and defeat the Parthians. For this purpose, he ordered the formation of a special unit of 16,000 men. What unit was that?
    1. Phalanga, entirely composed of people of Macedonian descent.
    2. Roman cataphracts, who were supposed to be a response to the heavy-armed Parthian cavalry.
    3. Horse archers, recruited from the Scythians, that were supposed to enable confrontation with similar enemy troops.
  9. Constantine I was the first Roman emperor to be baptized. On his orders, his wife Fausta was sentenced to death by suffocation in an overheated bathhouse. Which of the sentences is true?
    1. The cause of her death is variously interpreted; either as a result of the rivalry of the eldest son (Crispus) for power, whom Fausta supported, or as a result of the adultery of the emperor’s wife, probably with the aforementioned Crispus.
    2. Fausta died because of her dislike of Christians and the emperor’s demands to abandon the pagan faith.
    3. It is not entirely clear why Fausta died; however, there are suspicions that Fausta practiced black magic, and the bishop of Rome openly criticized the empress.
  10. Vitelius was the ruler during the so-called “year of the four emperors” (68-69 CE). Which of the following statements correctly describes him?
    1. The emperor had homosexual tendencies and was supposed to take a passive role, which was unworthy of a Roman citizen.
    2. The emperor was very pimply, which was often ridiculed before taking power.
    3. The emperor was morbidly obese and feasted all the time. He often vomited so he could eat more and more.


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