AP World History : Environmental Interactions 600 BCE to 600 CE

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP World History

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Environmental Interactions 600 Bce To 600 Ce

In 541, a devastating outbreak of bubonic plague exploded in the Byzantine Empire killing over 25 million inhabitants. Which ruling Byzantine emperor was this outbreak named after?

Possible Answers:

Theodosius

Justin

Justinian

Constantine

Julian

Correct answer:

Justinian

Explanation:

The Plague of Justinian was the first ever outbreak of bubonic plague and would continue to spread exploration westward into Europe. 1340 saw an explosion of bubonic plague that would persist for sixty years, killing a third of the population of Europe. This outbreak would become known as the Black Death.

Example Question #2 : Environmental Interactions 600 Bce To 600 Ce

During the latter years of Justinian’s reign the population of the Byzantine Empire _____________.

Possible Answers:

declined dramatically due to a severe outbreak of the plague

increased dramatically due to agricultural innovation and a flourishing merchant society

declined slightly due to widespread famine and climate change

declined dramatically due to the destructive raids carried out by Germanic tribes

declined slightly due to the destructive raids of the Ottoman Empire

Correct answer:

declined dramatically due to a severe outbreak of the plague

Explanation:

The Plague of Justinian occurred from 541 - 542 CE Like the later Black Death - which devastated the population of Europe in the fourteenth century - the Plague of Justinian was a widespread epidemic caused by the transmission of the Bubonic Plague. Modern historical estimates range from twenty million to fifty million deaths globally. The population of the Byzantine Empire declined dramatically as a result of the plague. It is called the Plague of Justinian because it occurred during his reign (he was himself afflicted, but he survived).

Example Question #3 : Environmental Interactions 600 Bce To 600 Ce

Population growth and state building in Sub-Saharan Africa was hindered by __________.

I. The prevalence of insect-borne diseases

II. A wildly fluctuating climate

III. The absence of organized religion

IV. Geographical barriers, like the Sahara Desert

Possible Answers:

I and IV

I, II, and IV

III and IV

II and III

I, II, and III

Correct answer:

I, II, and IV

Explanation:

Population growth and state building have long been hindered in Sub-Saharan Africa by obstacles that simply do not exist in other parts of the world. The extreme prevalence of insect-borne diseases like malaria, which humans are extremely vulnerable to, has had a catastrophic impact on Sub-Saharan human history. Furthermore, the climate of Sub-Saharan Africa fluctuates wildly, including prolonged periods of drought, which made agricultural societies all but impossible until fairly recently. Finally, the massive geographic barrier that is the Sahara Desert kept this region isolated from the rest of Afro-Eurasia until the arrival of Arabs and Europeans. This meant that the people living in Sub-Saharan Africa were not exposed to the same diversity of ideas, resources, and innovations as the rest of the world.

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