Ancient History: Rome : Separation of the Western and Eastern Empires

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Separation Of The Western And Eastern Empires

By the fifth century CE, the eastern half of the Roman Empire was referred to as the ___________________.

Possible Answers:

Byzantine Empire

Hunnic Empire

Persian Empire

Ottoman Empire

Hephthalite Empire

Correct answer:

Byzantine Empire

Explanation:

The eastern half of the Roman Empire, initially ruled by Constantine I, was named the Byzantine Empire due to its largely Greek-speaking population. Before Constantine named the capital city Constantinople (330 AD), it was referred to as Byzantium. The other answers are incorrect because they refer to empires that either existed before (Persian), elsewhere during (Hunnic and Hephthalite), or after the Byzantine Empire's reign (Ottoman).

Example Question #2 : Separation Of The Western And Eastern Empires

Which of these statements about Valentinian I is accurate?

Possible Answers:

He was the first Roman Emperor to inherit the position from his father.

He reunited the Roman Empire at the end of the Crisis of the Third Century.

He was assassinated on the orders of Octavian during the Wars of the Second Triumvirate.

He divided the Roman Empire once again and placed his brother on the throne of Constantinople.

He led the rebellion against Roman authority in Britain in the second century.

Correct answer:

He divided the Roman Empire once again and placed his brother on the throne of Constantinople.

Explanation:

Valentinian I ruled the Western Roman Empire during the fourth century. He is sometimes remembered as the last good emperor, although this is most likely because the empire collapsed shortly after his reign. He, notably, divided the Roman Empire once again (it had been previously divided under Diocletian, before being somewhat reunified under Constantine) and placed his brother, Valens, on the throne of Constantinople.

Example Question #3 : Separation Of The Western And Eastern Empires

The city of Byzantium was perfectly situated to benefit from __________.

Possible Answers:

the natural protection offered by the Urals

trade between Europe and Asia

the natural protection offered by the Apennines

trade between North Africa and Italy

the natural protection offered by the Alps

Correct answer:

trade between Europe and Asia

Explanation:

The city of Byzantium (also called Constantinople) was made the capital of the Roman Empire in the fourth century by the Emperor Constantine. The city is located on the European side of the Bosphorus; a body of water which connects the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It was thus perfectly situated to benefit from the trade between Europe and Asia. The city would grow immensely wealthy from control of this trade.

Example Question #4 : Separation Of The Western And Eastern Empires

The permanent division of the Roman Empire, into east and west, took place following the death of __________.

Possible Answers:

Romulus Augustus

Nero

Diocletian

Constantine I

Theodosius I

Correct answer:

Theodosius I

Explanation:

The Roman Empire had become too large to be ruled by one emperor by the third century (this was one of the causes of the Crisis of the Third Century). It was divided, by Emperor Diocletian, into a tetrarchy. This tetrarchy was then dissolved in favor of an Eastern and Western Roman Empire. During the reign of Theodosius I, in the late fourth century, the two empires were reunited once again under his rule. But, when he died, Theodosius left the eastern portion to one of his sons and the western portion to another of his sons. This was the final, permanent division of the Roman Empire into a western and an eastern half. The Western Roman Empire would not last another century, whereas the Eastern Roman Empire would continue for more than one thousand years.

Example Question #5 : Separation Of The Western And Eastern Empires

Which of these Roman emperors moved the capital of the Roman Empire to the eastern-half?

Possible Answers:

Constantine

Diocletian

Trajan

Vespasian

Nerva

Correct answer:

Constantine

Explanation:

The Roman Empire was divided into an eastern half and a western half in 285 CE by the Emperor Diocletian. It was the Emperor Constantine in 330 CE, however, who moved the capital of the Roman Empire to Byzantium (Constantinople), in the Eastern Roman Empire.

Example Question #6 : Separation Of The Western And Eastern Empires

The Tetrarchy was created by __________.

Possible Answers:

Caligula

Augustus Caesar

Constantine

Julius Caesar

Diocletian

Correct answer:

Diocletian

Explanation:

The Tetrarchy (“rule of four”) was created by Diocletian in 293 CE. In the third century, the Roman Empire had grown too large and impossible to administer. To solve this problem, Diocletian divided the Roman Empire into four distinct territories, each to be governed by a different ruler. This brought to an end the Crisis of the Third Century and stabilized the Roman Empire. The Tetrarchy did not last long, and within twenty years was dismantled, in favor of a permanent division between an Eastern Roman Empire (led by Constantine) and a Western Roman Empire (led by Licinius).

Example Question #7 : Separation Of The Western And Eastern Empires

After Diocletian retired from office, __________.

Possible Answers:

the Roman Empire experienced a prolonged period of peace and prosperity

the Roman Empire experienced a destructive civil war

the Roman Empire was reunited

mercenaries were permitted to serve in Roman armies

the Roman Empire declared war on the Parthian Empire

Correct answer:

the Roman Empire experienced a destructive civil war

Explanation:

Diocletian was the fifty-first Roman Emperor and was one of the most significant. His leadership brought to an end the so-called Crisis of the Third Century. He notably created the Tetrarchy, dividing the Roman Emperor into distinct territories, each to be administered by a different ruler. He abdicated power in 305 CE, and due to competing claims for authority in the Roman Empire, a destructive civil war soon broke out.

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