SAT II World History : Historical Figures of Greece and Rome

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT II World History

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Historical Figures Of Greece And Rome

The Ptolemaic Dynasty was the branch of Alexander the Great’s army that ruled

Possible Answers:

Persia.

Greece.

Macedonia.

Egypt.

Syria.

Correct answer:

Egypt.

Explanation:

As Alexander the Great conquered most of the known world in the fourth century BCE, he left behind thoroughly Hellenized rulers in all of the places he conquered. In Egypt, he left behind the Ptolemaic dynasty, named after its progenitor Ptolemy I Soter, which replaced the traditional Pharoahs and then demanded to be called the Pharoahs themselves. The Ptolemies ruled Egypt until it was conquered by Rome under Augustus in 30 BCE.

Example Question #2 : Historical Figures Of Greece And Rome

Which of these individuals is not an ancient or classical historian?

Possible Answers:

Thucydides

Liu Xiang 

All of these individuals were ancient or classical historians.

Herodotus 

Livy 

Correct answer:

All of these individuals were ancient or classical historians.

Explanation:

All of these men were ancient or classical historians. Thucydides famously wrote about the Peloponnesian War that was fought between Sparta and Athens; Herodotus is often considered “the Father of History” and wrote extensively on the history of wars between Greece and Persia; Livy was a Roman historian who wrote a colossal history of the Roman Empire; and Liu Xiang was a Chinese historian who lived from roughly 75 BCE to 6 BCE.

Example Question #3 : Historical Figures Of Greece And Rome

Which of these conquerors is credited with spreading Greek ideas around the world?

Possible Answers:

Leonidas of Sparta 

Julius Caesar 

Darius the Great

Alexander the Great 

Xerxes I

Correct answer:

Alexander the Great 

Explanation:

Darius and Xerxes were Persian emperors who were more concerned with destroying Greek culture and influence than spreading it. Julius Caesar was a Roman General and then later, briefly, an emperor. Leonidas is the man immortalized in the story of the battle of Thermopylae who lead a small force of Spartan soldiers against the seemingly endless might of the Persian Empire. Of the provided answer choices, only Alexander the Great was both Greek and a conqueror. Alexander the Great lead Greek and Macedonian forces on a massive campaign across North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia that did not end until he reached Northern India. He is often partly credited with the overwhelming influence that Greek culture has had on the world’s languages, cultures, religions, philosophies, and politics. 

Example Question #4 : Historical Figures Of Greece And Rome

Which of these Ancient Greeks is a famous dramatist?

Possible Answers:

Pericles

Thucydides 

Aristotle 

Sophocles

Socrates 

Correct answer:

Sophocles

Explanation:

Of these famous ancient Greek individuals, only Sophocles is famous for his dramatic, specifically tragic, plays. Socrates and Aristotle are both famous for their philosophical and scientific writings and teachings (Socrates taught Plato, who taught Aristotle, who taught Alexander the Great). Pericles was the most famous political figure in Republican Athens. Finally, Thucydides is remembered for his historical writings, particularly his History of the Peloponnesian War, a chronicling of a war that was fought between Athens and Sparta in the fifth Century BCE.

Example Question #5 : Historical Figures Of Greece And Rome

Along with Julius Caesar, which two men made up the First Triumvirate of Rome?

Possible Answers:

Scipio Africanus and Pompey Magnus

Octavian and Marcus Aurelius

Pompey Magnus and Marcus Crassus

Octavian and Mark Anthony

Mark Anthony and Augustus Caesar

Correct answer:

Pompey Magnus and Marcus Crassus

Explanation:

The First Triumvirate of the Roman Empire was formed between Julius Caesar, Pompey Magnus, and Marcus Crassus. The Triumvirate had no legal authority and was formed solely to consolidate the power of these three men against the legal authority of the Roman Senate. Following Crassus' death, a civil war erupted betwen Pompey and Caesar that ended with Pompey's defeat and Caesar assuming the role of dictator of Rome until his assassination ten years later. 

Example Question #6 : Historical Figures Of Greece And Rome

Draco and Solon are credited with __________.

Possible Answers:

promoting women’s rights in nineteenth-century Europe 

undermining the Nazi war effort in Eastern Europe during WWII

discovering the pyramids of Egypt 

inventing the world’s first viable vaccination against polio 

helping institute democracy in the Athenian city-state 

Correct answer:

helping institute democracy in the Athenian city-state 

Explanation:

Draco and Solon are somewhat enigmatic figures in Ancient Athenian history. They were both lawmakers. Draco came first and extended democratic rights to those Ancient Greeks who were wealthy enough to afford armor (not the arbitrary distinction this might seem now, as these were the men who fought for/funded the defense of Athens). However, his laws were extremely harsh - prescribing punishment by death for just about every crime. It is from his name that we get the English word “draconian.” Draco’s legal system did little except pit the poor against the rich in Ancient Greece and so the Athenians turned to Solon to revise the political system in Athens. Although neither Draco nor Solon themselves created the institution of democracy in Athens, their legal codes and political reforms were the foundations upon which the original Athenian democratic society was able to grow. 

Example Question #7 : Historical Figures Of Greece And Rome

The Ancient Greek Thucydides is most famous for __________.

Possible Answers:

his historical writings on the Peloponnesian War

leading the defense of Marathon against the Persian forces

his historical writings on the invasion of Troy

his writings on logic and reason 

his advances in mathematical understanding 

Correct answer:

his historical writings on the Peloponnesian War

Explanation:

Thucydides is probably the most famous classical era historian. He is most famous for his writings on the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta in the fifth century B.C.E. 

Example Question #8 : Historical Figures Of Greece And Rome

Euripides, Sophocles, and Aeschylus are three famous Greek __________.

Possible Answers:

politicians

philosophers 

teachers

tragedians

comedians

Correct answer:

tragedians

Explanation:

Euripides, Sophocles, and Aeschylus are the three Greek tragedians whose work has survived. Sophocles is probably the most famous of the three, although this is somewhat subjective, and he gave us the story of Oedipus. 

Example Question #9 : Historical Figures Of Greece And Rome

Which of these Ancient Greeks is often referred to as the Father of Western Medicine?

Possible Answers:

Phillip of Macedon

Hippocrates

Pericles

Socrates

Thucydides

Correct answer:

Hippocrates

Explanation:

Hippocrates is often considered to be the "Founder of Western Medicine." Among other things, Hippocrates is credited with advancing physiological and anatomical understanding. He also proposed the Hippocratic Oath which continues to influence doctors to this day. 

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