Ancient History: Rome : Crisis and Downfall

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

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Crisis And Downfall

The assassination of Julius Caesar was famously orchestrated by which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Augustus Caesar

Marcus Junius Brutus

Marcus Aurelius

Romulus

Pompey the Great

Correct answer:

Marcus Junius Brutus

Explanation:

Marcus Junius Brutus is most well-known for the assassination of Julius on the Ides of March, so he would be the best answer. Marcus Aurelius lived many years after the death of Julius, so he would not be a good choice. Augustus Caesar was Julius's adopted son and successor, so he too would not be a good choice. Pompey the Great was an ally of Julius Caesar before he crossed the Rubicon, so he would not be a good choice either. And finally Romulus is the mythological founder of Rome, and if he did live it was centuries before Julius, so he would not be a good choice.

Example Question #2 : Crisis And Downfall

The First Triumvirate of Rome included __________.

I. Julius Caesar

II. Augustus Caesar

III. Mark Antony

IV. Pompey the Great

V. Marcus Crassus

 

Possible Answers:

I, IV, and V.

II, III, and IV.

I, III, and IV.

II, IV, and V.

I, II, and III.

Correct answer:

I, IV, and V.

Explanation:

The First Triumvirate of Rome was an unofficial political alliance between three prominent Roman noblemen, Julius Caesar, Pompey the Great, and Marcus Crassus, all of whom were seeking personal advancement and gain. The actions of the First Triumvirate contributed to the downfall of the Roman Republic and the emergence of the Roman Empire.

Example Question #3 : Crisis And Downfall

The brothers Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus are primarily remembered for __________.

Possible Answers:

their failed attempts at political and class-based reform

serving as the first two consuls of the Roman Republic

leading an unsuccessful rebellion against the Roman Republic

organizing the defense of Rome during the First Punic War

leading the conspiracy to assassinate Julius Caesar

Correct answer:

their failed attempts at political and class-based reform

Explanation:

Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus were both populares in the latter years of the Roman Republic. This means they relied on the support of the common people to acquire political power. They both served as plebeian tribunes and led failed attempts at political and class-based reform in the Roman Republic.

Example Question #4 : Crisis And Downfall

Gaius Marius was the primary rival of __________.

Possible Answers:

Lucius Sulla

Julius Caesar

Marcus Lepidus

Augustus Caesar

Mark Antony

Correct answer:

Lucius Sulla

Explanation:

Gaius Marius is an extremely important figure in the history of the Roman Republic. He is perhaps most notable for the reforms he enacted to professionalize the Roman army. He was also the primary rival to Lucius Sulla. The two competed for control of the city of Rome during the First Civil War of the Roman Republic.

Example Question #5 : Crisis And Downfall

Ptolemy XIII is notable for __________.

Possible Answers:

organizing the assassination of Mark Antony

conquering the island of Sicily for the Roman Republic

ordering the construction of the Great Library of Alexandria

organizing the murder of Pompey the Great

ordering the construction of the Great Lighthouse of Alexandria

Correct answer:

organizing the murder of Pompey the Great

Explanation:

Ptolemy XIII was one of the last rulers of Hellenistic (Greek) Egypt. He is most notable, in a study of Roman history, for organizing the murder of Pompey the Great when the latter was unfortunate enough to seek refuge in Egypt. Ptolemy thought that murdering Pompey would please Julius Caesar (who was Pompey’s main rival for power), but it actually greatly offended Caesar who ordered that Pompey be brought back to Rome for a proper burial.

Example Question #6 : Crisis And Downfall

During the history of the Roman Republic, dictators were likely to be appointed __________.

Possible Answers:

during famine and drought

none of these answers are correct; dictators were never appointed in the history of the Roman Republic

by holy men and priestesses

during times of war

through a plebiscite

Correct answer:

during times of war

Explanation:

During the history of the Roman Republic, not including the exceptional rise to power of Julius Caesar, dictators were usually appointed by the Roman Senate to lead the Republic during times of crisis or warfare.

Example Question #7 : Crisis And Downfall

Which famous Roman general crossed the Rubicon in 49 BCE?

Possible Answers:

Romulus

Augustus Caesar

Remus

Marc Antony

Julius Caesar

Correct answer:

Julius Caesar

Explanation:

Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon in 49 BCE, in open opposition of the Senate, and by doing so essentially declared war on them, so he would be the best choice. Augustus Caesar was Julius's adopted son, and while he was a general in his own right he did not cross the Rubicon in a famous manner, so he would not be a good choice. Marc Antony was an ally and then an enemy of Augustus, but he did not cross the Rubicon with Julius, so he too would not be a good choice. Romulus is the mythological founder of Rome and Remus is his brother, so neither of them would be good choices.

Example Question #8 : Crisis And Downfall

The First Triumvirate, a political alliance between three Roman generals that lived just before the Roman Empire, was composed of all of the following EXCEPT _________________.

Possible Answers:

Julius Caesar

Pompey the Great

None of these

Constantine the Great

Marcus Linius Crassus

Correct answer:

Constantine the Great

Explanation:

Julius Caesar, Pompey the Great, and Marcus Crassus were the members of the original Triumvirate. The alliance grew out of a mutually beneficial arrangement between Caesar and Pompey wherein both agreed to block legislation or actions by the Senate that would hurt either one. Constantine the Great, however, lived centuries after the First Triumvirate and was himself a Roman emperor, so he was clearly not alive just before the establishment of the Empire. Therefore, Constantine the Great would be the best answer.

Example Question #9 : Crisis And Downfall

Why did the conspirators assassinate Julius Caesar?

Possible Answers:

In an attempt to prevent the division of the Roman Empire into an eastern half and a western half

Because they disagreed with his reforming of citizenship in the Roman Empire

In an attempt to preserve the Roman Republic

Because they wanted to dissolve the Senate and establish a new legislative assembly

None of these reasons accurately describes why the conspirators assassinated Julius Caesar

Correct answer:

In an attempt to preserve the Roman Republic

Explanation:

Julius Caesar was infamously murdered on the floor of the Senate by a group of renowned Roman noblemen. Caesar had recently had himself declared dictator for life (an unprecedented move in the history of the Roman Republic) and the conspirators feared Caesar’s immense popularity with the Roman people. In an attempt to preserve the Roman Republic, and their own personal power, the conspirators murdered Julius Caesar.

Example Question #10 : Crisis And Downfall

Which of these men became the first emperor of the Roman Empire?

Possible Answers:

Octavian

Marcus Crassus

Lucius Sulla

Pompey the Great

Mark Antony

Correct answer:

Octavian

Explanation:

All of these men in some way or another contributed to the downfall of the Roman Republic and the emergence of the Roman Empire, but it was Octavian (later called Augustus Caesar) who would eventually consolidate power and have himself crowned as the first emperor of the Roman Empire.

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