Ancient History: Rome : Conquest and Expansion

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for Ancient History: Rome

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Conquest And Expansion

What was the name of the battle in which Roman forces led by Julius Caesar defeated a large force of Gauls led by Vercingetorix, effectively marking the end of Caesar's Gallic conquests?

Possible Answers:

Battle of Thapsus

Battle of Alesia

Battle of Pharsalus

Battle of Gergovia

Battle of Munda

Correct answer:

Battle of Alesia

Explanation:

The Battle of Alesia was fought in 52 BC between the forces of Julius Caesar and a large conglomeration of Gallic tribes under the leadership of the Gaul Vercingetorix. Vercingetorix was paraded through the streets of Rome, spent five years in prison, and was then executed by strangulation.

The battle was won by Julius Caesar, and was a tremendous success for him both politically and militarily. This basically marked the end of Caesar's Gallic conquests and allowed him to return to Rome in a time of great political tension. His return to Rome by crossing the Rubicon precipitated the start of the Roman Civil War, which would ultimately be resolved in Caesar's favor.

Example Question #2 : Conquest And Expansion

The Wars of the Second Triumvirate were __________.

Possible Answers:

fought to consolidate the power of Julius Caesar after the death of Pompey the Great

fought to consolidate the power of Julius Caesar after the death of Marcus Crassus

nominally fought to avenge the assassination of Julius Caesar

fought to consolidate the power of Octavian after the death of Mark Antony

nominally fought to avenge the murder of Pompey the Great by Ptolemy XIII

Correct answer:

nominally fought to avenge the assassination of Julius Caesar

Explanation:

The Wars of the Second Triumvirate broke out in the wake of the assassination of Julius Caesar. They were fought between an alliance of Octavian, Mark Antony, and Marcus Lepidus and the forces loyal to Brutus and Cassius. Octavian, Mark Antony, and Marcus Lepidus claimed they were avenging the murder of Julius Caesar, and perhaps that is partially true, but they were really fighting to consolidate their own political power.

Example Question #3 : Conquest And Expansion

What was the final fate of Vercingetorix?

Possible Answers:

He was defeated and paraded through the city of Rome in chains, before being executed.

He was defeated and killed on the battlefield.

He surrendered his forces and committed suicide.

He surrendered his forces and served Julius Caesar with distinction for two decades.

He was defeated and forced into exile.

Correct answer:

He was defeated and paraded through the city of Rome in chains, before being executed.

Explanation:

Vercingetorix was the leader of the Gauls during the waning years of the Gallic Wars. He was decisively defeated at the Battle of Alesia. Vercingetorix was captured and imprisoned for five years before eventually being paraded through the city of Rome in chains and then strangled on Caesar’s orders.

Example Question #4 : Conquest And Expansion

The Gallic Wars were of great significance to Rome because __________.

Possible Answers:

the Republic was mired in civil war and needed a positive distraction

the army had suffered a series of defeats and confidence needed to be restored

none of these answers are correct

the Republic was suffering from widespread famine and needed a positive distraction

the Republic had previously been vulnerable to constant invasions from Gaul

Correct answer:

the Republic had previously been vulnerable to constant invasions from Gaul

Explanation:

Prior to the Gallic Wars, the people of mainland Italy and the city of Rome were under constant threat of barbarian invasions from Gaul. The conquest of Gaul was therefore of immense significance to the Roman people, because it offered them protection and peace of mind. For this reason, Caesar’s conquest of Gaul made him especially popular with the Roman people.

Example Question #5 : Conquest And Expansion

What relation was Octavian to Julius Caesar?

Possible Answers:

step-father

brother

uncle

adopted son

grandson

Correct answer:

adopted son

Explanation:

Octavian was born Gaius Octavius, a member of a lesser noble Roman family, and great-nephew to Julius Caesar. He was eventually adopted by Julius Caesar and proclaimed heir to Caesar’s personal fortune and political power. When Caesar died, Octavian took control of his army and also took his name. After a protracted civil war with Mark Antony, Octavian solidified power and became the first Roman Emperor — Augustus Caesar.

Example Question #6 : Conquest And Expansion

The Wars of the Second Triumvirate consolidated the power of __________.

I. Mark Antony

II. Marcus Lepidus

III. Julius Caesar

IV. Octavian

V. Marcus Crassus

 

Possible Answers:

I, IV, and V

II, III, and IV

II, IV, and V

I, III, and V

I, II, and IV

Correct answer:

I, II, and IV

Explanation:

The Wars of the Second Triumvirate consolidated the power of Mark Antony, Marcus Lepidus, and Octavian. In the wake of Julius Caesar’s murder, many different individuals controlled different areas of the Roman Republic. Notably, Brutus and Cassius controlled the eastern portion of Roman territory. Octavian, Lepidus, and Mark Antony defeated Brutus and Cassius and consolidated their control over the Roman Republic. The wars also witnessed Octavian taking considerable amounts of political power from Marcus Lepidus, who was gradually outmaneuvered by the young upstart.

Example Question #7 : Conquest And Expansion

During his time as proconsul, Julius Caesar administered __________.

Possible Answers:

Rome

Epirus

Achae

Egypt

Gaul

Correct answer:

Gaul

Explanation:

Julius Caesar rose to prominence in the Roman Republic through his conquest of Gaul. After Caesar finished the conquest of Gaul in 50 BCE, he was declared proconsul (governor) of the newly acquired territory. This gave him immense political power and led him to eventually seize power in the city of Rome itself.

Example Question #8 : Conquest And Expansion

Which of these divisions within the army of the Roman Republic matches the following description: experienced infantry units who formed the core of the army and were expected to reinforce and relieve the hastati in battle.

Possible Answers:

hoplites

skirmishers

velites

principes

triarii

Correct answer:

principes

Explanation:

The hastati were frontline, inexperienced infantry troops who led the first charge into battle and were expected to hold the line. If the hastati tired or were struggling to hold the line, they would be reinforced by the more experienced principes. The principes were relatively wealthy Roman soldiers who could afford high quality armor and who were well-trained. In the event that the principes were also unable to hold the line, they would be reinforced by the most experienced members of the Roman army — the triarii.

Example Question #9 : Conquest And Expansion

Which of these most accurately describes Vercingetorix?

Possible Answers:

the ruler of Corinth during the Roman conquest of Greece

the last Ptolemaic ruler of Egypt

the ruler of the Iceni tribe during the Roman conquest of Britain

the leader of the Gauls during the final stages of the Gallic Wars

the leader of the penultimate slave revolt in the history of the Roman Republic

Correct answer:

the leader of the Gauls during the final stages of the Gallic Wars

Explanation:

Vercingetorix was the leader of an alliance of Gallic tribes who fought against Julius Caesar and the Roman Republic in the Gallic Wars. At the Battle of Gerovia, Vercingetorix actually defeated Caesar and the forces of the Roman Republic. This was a short lived victory, however, for later that year Vercingetorix and the Gauls were decisively defeated at the Battle of Alesia, bringing to an end the Gallic Wars.

Example Question #10 : Conquest And Expansion

Which of these governing bodies in the Roman Republic could constitutionally declare war?

Possible Answers:

the Council of Plebeians

the Centuriate Assembly

the Curiate Assembly

the Council of Proconsuls

the Praetor Assembly

Correct answer:

the Centuriate Assembly

Explanation:

The government of the Roman Republic was divided into several distinct executive, judicial, and legislative bodies — each with their own customs, rules, and spheres of authority. The Centuriate Assembly was one of the most important governing bodies in the Roman Republic. Among many other responsibilities and powers, the Centuriate Assembly was the assembly which could constitutionally declare war.

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