Ancient History: Rome : The Great Fire of Rome

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : The Great Fire Of Rome

Considered one of the more controversial Roman emperors, __________________ had his mother murdered during his rise to power, and is blamed by some for starting the Great Fire of Rome in 64 CE.

Possible Answers:

Marcus Aurelius

Nero

Tiberius

Augustus

Trajan

Correct answer:

Nero

Explanation:

Historians consider Nero one of the most notorious of the Roman emperors. His rule is marked by several violent and questionable acts. The other answers are incorrect, as historians rank them as some of Rome's greatest emperors.

Example Question #2 : The Great Fire Of Rome

Which of the following emperors is known for corruption, extravagance, and being responsible for the Great Fire of Rome?

Possible Answers:

Romulus

Caligula

Marcus Aurelius

Nero

Correct answer:

Nero

Explanation:

Nero was considered one of the most corrupt emperors to rule over the Romans and he was - according to popular legend- personally responsible for the Great Fire, so he would be the best choice. Marcus Aurelius lived about a century after the Great Fire, so he would not be a good choice. Caligula is an emperor remembered for excesses, however he lived before the Great Fire, so he too would not be a good answer. Lastly, Romulus is the largely mythological founder of Rome, so he would not be a good choice.

Example Question #3 : The Great Fire Of Rome

In what year did the Fire of Rome occur?

Possible Answers:

100 BCE

None of these

64 CE

124 CE

50 BCE

Correct answer:

64 CE

Explanation:

The fire happened under Nero's reign in 64 CE. We can start by ruling out the options that are BCE. The Fire of Rome happened in the later years of the Early Roman Empire. When we look in the common era, it can be tricky to choose between 64 and 124 CE. It's key to remember the fire happened early enough in this era to restart the Roman Empire. 

Example Question #4 : The Great Fire Of Rome

The Roman pantheon was rebuilt after a fire and finally completed during the reign of __________.

Possible Answers:

Nero

Caligula 

Augustus Caesar

Marcus Aurelius 

Hadrian

Correct answer:

Hadrian

Explanation:

The Roman pantheon was destroyed in a devastating fire in 80 CE. It was later rebuilt and completed during the reign of Hadrian in 128 CE. The Roman pantheon was a large temple to the Roman Gods. It was first built by Marcus Agrippa, during the reign of Augustus Caesar.

Example Question #5 : The Great Fire Of Rome

The Great Fire of Rome took place during the reign of __________.

Possible Answers:

Vespasian

Diocletian

Domitian

Nero

Caligula

Correct answer:

Nero

Explanation:

The Great Fire of Rome took place in 64 CE, during the reign of Emperor Nero. There are many different historical accounts of the incident, with many primary sources claiming that Nero himself gave orders for the fire to be started. Nero, for his part, denied responsibility and blamed the fire on Rome’s Christian community. This led to a widespread persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire.

Example Question #6 : The Great Fire Of Rome

Rome’s anti-Christian campaign was first accelerated during the reign of __________.

Possible Answers:

Caligula

Constantine

Julius Caesar

Tiberius

Nero

Correct answer:

Nero

Explanation:

Rome initially viewed Christianity as a heretical religion and a minor threat to Roman society, but the Roman Empire at the time was vast and there were many heretical sects springing up all over the place. As Christianity grew rapidly in the first century, it began to attract more and more attention. By the reign of Nero, there were many Christians living in the city of Rome, and religious and ethnic tensions were growing. After the Great Fire of Rome in 64 CE, Nero tapped into this anti-Christian feeling and blamed the Christian population for deliberately and malevolently starting the fire. This led to a prolonged campaign of persecution against Rome’s Christian population.

Example Question #7 : The Great Fire Of Rome

According to Emperor Nero, who was responsible for starting the Great Fire of Rome?

Possible Answers:

Christians living in Rome

Carthaginian arsonists

The Gods

Jews living in Rome

Germanic barbarians

Correct answer:

Christians living in Rome

Explanation:

The Great Fire of Rome took place in 64 CE and ravaged the city. Emperor Nero, who was widely disliked and distrusted by the Roman people, found himself being blamed for the fire, and so, attempted to turn this attention on to Rome’s Christian community. Nero publically blamed Christians for starting the fire and began a campaign of persecution against the Christian population.

Example Question #8 : The Great Fire Of Rome

During the reign of Titus, __________.

Possible Answers:

there was a massive slave uprising in Roman Greece and Egypt

Attila the Hun invaded the Roman Empire

the Roman Forum was destroyed by a mob

a great fire destroyed much of the city of Rome

the Ostrogoths sacked the city of Rome

Correct answer:

a great fire destroyed much of the city of Rome

Explanation:

Titus was the second emperor of the Flavian Dynasty. Although he ruled briefly, from 79 to 81 CE, his rule is important because it coincided with the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and a terrible fire in Rome. Titus was remembered fondly by the Romans for leading the disaster relief campaign in the wake of these two catastrophes.

Example Question #9 : The Great Fire Of Rome

After the Fire of Rome, what religious group did Nero blame for the fires?

Possible Answers:

the Ottoman Muslims

the Christians

the Jewish 

the Protestants

the Atheists

Correct answer:

the Christians

Explanation:

Nero blamed the fire on the Christians. This initiated the persecution of the Christians under his reign. This question is tricky because your first instinct is to choose the Ottomans. Remember that the Ottomans didn't invade under Nero's rule. We can also rule out the Atheists and the Jewish options, because these were not prevalent in the Roman empire at the time. 

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