AP World History : Political and Governmental Structures 600 BCE to 600 CE

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP World History

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Example Questions

Example Question #11 : Political And Governmental Structures

Which of these was the famous empress of the Byzantine Empire who married Justinian I?

Possible Answers:

Cleopatra.

Hatshepsut.

Maria Theresa.

Theodora.

Marie Antoinette.

Correct answer:

Theodora.

Explanation:

Theodora emerged from extremely humble beginnings to become one of the wealthiest and most influential women in the world in the sixth century C.E. She married Justinian I and served as the Empress of Byzantium for two decades until her death. Historical accounts of her life describe her as an extremely charismatic and confident ruler who contributed immensely to the greatness of Justinian’s reign.

Example Question #12 : Political And Governmental Structures

What was the purpose of both Roman triumvirates? 

Possible Answers:

To protect the status quo

To become as rich as possible, as fast as possible

Each triumvirate was strictly a business arrangement; when the business was concluded, each triumvirate ended.  

To protect Rome from her enemies

To split power in such a way that each member's ambitions were satisfied, allowing each to pursue their own interests with the tacit blessing of the other members. 

Correct answer:

To split power in such a way that each member's ambitions were satisfied, allowing each to pursue their own interests with the tacit blessing of the other members. 

Explanation:

While the other answers are all partly true, the true purpose of each triumvirate was to tacitly ally the most powerful men in Rome in such a way that everyone's interests were promoted. The understanding was that each man would have the support of the others when need be. This was supposed to protect Rome's interests and increase individual wealth. Naturally, this state of affairs could not stand for long; when the balance of power became too uneven, Civil War followed each time. 

Example Question #13 : Political And Governmental Structures

Which of the following is the chronological order of emperors of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty?

Possible Answers:

Julius, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero

Augustus, Claudius, Nero, Tiberius, Caligula

Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero

Augustus, Nero, Tiberius, Claudius, Caligula

Augustus, Caligula, Claudius, Tiberius, Nero

Correct answer:

Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero

Explanation:

The Julio-Claudians, Rome's first (and probably most famous) dynasty, started in 27 BCE with Augustus and ended in 68 CE with the assassination of Nero. The Julio-Claudians set the tone for the first few eras of Roman rule; good emperors tried to behave like Augustus, bad ones tended to err on the side of Caligula or Nero. In this way, the Julio-Claudians function as a lesson in the power, capability and debauchery of the emperors of Rome. 

Example Question #14 : Political And Governmental Structures

How did the Claudians enter the Julian family? 

Possible Answers:

Claudius had been adopted by a branch of the Claudian family when he was a boy. 

Nero, a Claudian, married into the Julian family to become emperor

Livia, Augustus' wife, had previously been married to a Claudian and had two sons; one of these sons, Tiberius, eventually became Augustus' heir. 

Caligula was Tiberius' son with a female Claudian

Augustus' mother was a Claudian; only his father was Julian. 

Correct answer:

Livia, Augustus' wife, had previously been married to a Claudian and had two sons; one of these sons, Tiberius, eventually became Augustus' heir. 

Explanation:

Legend has it that Livia, Augustus' second wife, ran almost as much of the empire as he did. When the time came for a successor to be chosen, Tiberius, Livia's son, was the only logical choice, being the only male with the experience to conceivably manage the empire. In this way, the Claudians became the most powerful family in Rome, reigning until the assassination of Nero decades later. 

Example Question #15 : Political And Governmental Structures

How many Julio-Claudian Emperors were the natural-born sons of their predecessors? 

Possible Answers:

0

3

5

2

1

Correct answer:

0

Explanation:

Actually, none of the Julio-Claudians were preceded by their natural-born father. Adoption, especially among noble families, was common in the Roman world. Especially because the position of emperor was so important, emperors normally strove to pick the best heir possible, although this was not always the case. As for the Julio-Claudians, Tiberius was Livia's son, but not Augustus'; Caligula was her great-grandson and Claudius her grandson. Nero was Claudius' great-uncle. 

Example Question #16 : Political And Governmental Structures

Who made up the first Roman triumvirate?

Possible Answers:

Julius Caesar, Marc Antony, Pompey the Great

Augustus Caesar, Pompey the Great, Marcus Crassus

Julius Caesar, Augustus Caesar, Lepidus

Julius Caesar, Pompey the Great, Marcus Crassus

Marc Anthony, Lepidus, Marcus Crassus

Correct answer:

Julius Caesar, Pompey the Great, Marcus Crassus

Explanation:

Julius Caesar, Pompey the Great and Marcus Crassus attempted to "split" the power of the Roman Republic between the three of them, with Caesar taking Gaul and Crassus heading east. Eventually, the death of Crassus, as well the untimely demise of Pompey's wife (who was Caesar's daughter) led to the end of the triumvirate and civil war between Caesar and the Senate (led by Pompey). Augustus Caesar, Marc Antony and Lepidus would later form the second triumvirate, which would also end in Civil War.

Example Question #17 : Political And Governmental Structures

Which of the following was NOT a part of the Roman Empire's system of government?

Possible Answers:

Senate

Magistrates

Censors

Popular assemblies

None of the other answers

Correct answer:

None of the other answers

Explanation:

The correct answer is "none of the other answers" because the Roman Empire's system of government did include a Senate, two popular assemblies (comitia centuriata and tributa), magistrates, and censors. 

Example Question #18 : Political And Governmental Structures

Popular assemblies (Centuriata and Tributa) in the Roman Empire had which of the following powers?

Possible Answers:

Debate laws

Initiate legislation

Enforce laws

Amend proposed laws

None of the other answers

Correct answer:

None of the other answers

Explanation:

The correct answer is "none of these". The popular assemblies in the Roman Empire lacked all legislative powers. 

Example Question #19 : Political And Governmental Structures

How many Emperors were part of the Flavian dynasty? 

Possible Answers:

Seven

Four

One

Two

Three

Correct answer:

Three

Explanation:

The Flavian dynasty, which rose with Vespasian out of the Year of the Four Emperors, and was the first dynasty after the Julio-Claudians. It consisted of Vespasian and his sons, Titus and Domitian. It ended with the assassination of Domitian, which predictably led to civil war. 

Example Question #20 : Political And Governmental Structures

The Roman Empire was divided into a tetrarchy by _____________.

Possible Answers:

Nero

Diocletian

Constantine

Claudius

Caligula

Correct answer:

Diocletian

Explanation:

The tetrarchy was formed by the Emperor Diocletian in 293 CE after a series of disastrous civil wars in the Roman Empire. Diocletian divided the empire into four districts, each administered by a central imperial authority. This division lasted for about two decades, until the establishment of an Eastern Roman Empire led by Constantine and a Western Roman Empire led by Licinius.

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