AP World History : Religions 600 BCE to 600 CE

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP World History

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

Example Question #11 : Religions 600 Bce To 600 Ce

Many Roman emperors who claimed divinity during their lifetimes ___________________.

Possible Answers:

clashed with committed secularists in Rome's universities

came from the Praetorian guard itself

were called Caesar

came to a violent end

were forced to live in near poverty because official Roman ideology declared political power dirty and that if the emperor was a spiritual authority then he had to devote himself to spiritual matters

Correct answer:

came to a violent end

Explanation:

People in the ancient world largely felt as secular as many people today, at least when it came to the circles of educated advisers and bodyguards surrounding the emperor; declarations of divinity were always troubling to some.

Caesar was Julius Caesar's name but became a title over time; he was considered a person whose actions were exemplified and to be followed by capable and militaristic men.

For many centuries Japanese emperors were forced to live near poverty, even having their household staff sell their signature in the streets of major cities to raise funds, because they were considered spiritual beings; Rome's imperial behavior never politically demeaned the emperor as a matter of ideological purity. 

Universities are institutions of education with legally binding academic freedom that stem from the Middle Ages in which groups of young scholars and a single teacher, often an older monk, would meet in a predetermined location and discuss matters of nature and philosophy; Rome had no such institutions.

No Praetorian in history ever declared himself emperor.

Example Question #11 : Religions 600 Bce To 600 Ce

The first Roman to be officially deified was ____________________.

Possible Answers:

Marcus Aurelius

Stilicho

Julius Caesar

Octavian, who was renamed Augustus, or the exalted, auspicious, august, etc. one

Mark Antony

Correct answer:

Julius Caesar

Explanation:

At Caesar's funeral, Mark Antony celebrated him as a fallen god.

Octavian was Caesar's ally who outlasted him.

Marcus Aurelius was a later emperor of Rome.

Stilicho was a powerful field commander of the Roman army very late in the empire's existence, essentially the last successful defender of Rome before it was sacked by the Germanic tribes and its technology and knowledge was destroyed.

Example Question #31 : Ap World History

Although Greeks and Romans had similar pantheons of gods and goddesses, _____________________.

Possible Answers:

Romans considered Greek religion to be barbaric, more akin to Celtish or Germanic folklore religion

the Greeks celebrated their gods with festivals and feasts, which the Romans found irrational and a waste of resources

Greek deities were often presented as human and lifelike, inspiring great works of art and literature, whereas Roman deities were somber, remote, and business-like; their job was to ensure the safety and prosperity of the state

Roman political and religious leaders themselves never officially remarked upon the similarities

Roman deities were less warlike than their Greek counterparts, a difference probably attributed to the relative power of the Roman state versus its more fragile, and constantly invaded, Greek neighbors

Correct answer:

Greek deities were often presented as human and lifelike, inspiring great works of art and literature, whereas Roman deities were somber, remote, and business-like; their job was to ensure the safety and prosperity of the state

Explanation:

While Greek and Roman gods often had different names, they were essentially similar characters, but with certain different attributes largely relating to the nature of Greek vs Roman political life; Roman deities were preoccupied with the running of the Roman state, whereas Greek deities were interested in all aspects of life.

The Romans were invaded many times, including very early on by a tribe called the Etruscans. While the Greeks and Romans both worshipped warlike deities, Greek gods of war  were often considered fundamentally destructive, whereas the Roman god of war, Mars, was also the Roman god of agriculture; essentially, for the Romans, war could bring peace, stability, and order rather than just death and destruction.

The Romans considered Greek religion to be very similar to their own, and used the religious similarities to attempt to build trust in the government within the Greek communities of the Roman empire.

Many Roman religious and political leaders wanted to use the similarities between Greek and Roman deities to instill trust amongst the Greek speaking people of the Latin speaking Roman empire.

While the Romans often chastised Greek culture for being more emotional and irrational, Romans held large festivals and feasts for their supernatural deities.

Example Question #12 : Religions 600 Bce To 600 Ce

In Buddhism, a Buddha is one who has attained enlightenment, whereas Bodhisattvas ________________.

Possible Answers:

are the opposite; those who are supremely ignorant

are those who aspire to attain enlightenment, but enlightenment can only be attained by oneself and so they were never teachers

were born enlightened

are those who aspire to attain enlightenment, and to help others achieve it

were the enemies of the original Buddha, Shakyamuni

Correct answer:

are those who aspire to attain enlightenment, and to help others achieve it

Explanation:

Bodhisattvas are those who aspire to attain enlightenment and help others achieve it.

In Buddhism, teachers, such as Bodhisattvas, can be integral in attaining enlightenment.

Bodhisattvas are not considered enlightened, yet, but certainly not supremely ignorant; they're on the right path.

Bodhisattvas were never the enemies of the Buddha.

In Buddhist theology, Bodhissatvas were not born enlightened; if they attain enlightenment that is due to their spiritual work.

Example Question #32 : Ap World History

In Buddhism, some of the most common forms of religious practice are ________________.

Possible Answers:

meditation, turning prayer wheels, and ritually walking around stupas

celebrating the death and resurrection of the messiah

celebrating an ancient escape from bondage in a foreign land

pilgrimages to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina

pilgrimages to Jerusalem

Correct answer:

meditation, turning prayer wheels, and ritually walking around stupas

Explanation:

Buddhist worship often includes meditation, spinning prayer wheels, and walking around stupas. 

Making pilgrimage to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina is a prerequisite act of worship in many forms of Islam, to Buddhism.

Jerusalem is a pilgrimage site for Jews, Muslims, and Christians, as well as a few other religions, but not traditionally Buddhism.

Most Buddhists do not consider Siddhartha Gautama, Shakyamuni, the first Buddha or enlightened being, to be a messiah; rather worship of the death and resurrection of a messiah is primarily a function of Christianity.

Judaism includes important rituals relating to an escape from Egypt where the Israelites were in bondage, not Buddhism.

Example Question #13 : Religions 600 Bce To 600 Ce

The religion of Jainism emerged in modern-day __________________.

Possible Answers:

Iran

Egypt

China

India

Saudi Arabia

Correct answer:

India

Explanation:

Jainism is a religion that emerged in India and continues to enjoy a small following today. The exact origins of the religion are obscure, but it is thought to have been practiced for at least two thousand years in the Indian subcontinent. The primary tenet of Jainism is the practice of nonviolence towards all living things. Jainism, although rarely a majority religion in India at any period of history, has had a lasting impact on Indian culture and the Hindu faith.

Example Question #31 : Ap World History

The most ubiquitous visual aid found inside Buddhist temples and monasteries is _________________.

Possible Answers:

a representation of the River Styx, the separation between this life and the afterlife

a cross upon which Buddha was crucified

a depiction of the afterlife's bureaucracy

the Wheel of Existence

a depiction of heaven as a mead hall and battlefield

Correct answer:

the Wheel of Existence

Explanation:

The Wheel of Existence explains the Buddhist idea of the cyclical nature of life, death, and rebirth.

The most famous story of Buddha's death is that he received a gift of food he knew to be spoiled but ate it anyway so as not to offend the offerer, a very poor person; Buddha was not crucified upon a cross, so there are no depictions of crucifixions of him in temples and monasteries.

The River Styx was a religious concept in ancient pagan religions, specifically ancient Greece and Rome, never in Buddhism; Buddhist temples and monasteries do not contain depictions of the River Styx.

Heaven in ancient Norse religion, or Valhalla, was oftentimes depicted as a giant mead hall, or drinking establishment, and adjacent battlefield. Every day Valhalla's denizens fight to the death in a grand battle, with the winners spending the night partying in the mead hall, and every morning the dead are reborn to fight again; Buddhism has no similar concept.

Certain forms of Confucianism and Chinese folklore religion contain the concept that the afterlife is organized like regular life in that there is a governmental bureaucracy that oversees and administers.

Example Question #31 : Ap World History

The primary goal of Taoism is to __________.

Possible Answers:

achieve harmony between mankind and nature

protect the rights and liberties of individuals

ensure the maintenance of law and order

provide a legal base for power in Chinese society

dismiss the legitimacy of earthly rule

Correct answer:

achieve harmony between mankind and nature

Explanation:

Taoism, like Confucianism and Legalism, arose in China during the turbulent period known as the Warring States Period. Taoism emphasizes living a virtuous life in accordance with nature and seeking to achieve a harmony between mankind and nature.

Example Question #11 : Religions 600 Bce To 600 Ce

Jesus was born in a region that was, at the time, part of the __________.

Possible Answers:

Roman Empire

Assyrian Empire

Hellenistic Empire

Egyptian Empire

Hittite Empire

Correct answer:

Roman Empire

Explanation:

Jesus was born in Bethlehem (a city in modern-day Israel) that was at the time part of Judea which was administered by the Roman Empire.

Example Question #31 : Ap World History

Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, __________.

Possible Answers:

came from poverty

was overweight; it was said he never went a day without three good meals

was an immigrant to South Asia from China

came from a royal family

was a merchant who worked for a financier that eventually became his wife

Correct answer:

came from a royal family

Explanation:

Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, came from a royal family in what is today Northern India and Nepal. 

He was wealthy and grew up in a palace.

Siddhartha was from a family native to Northern India and Nepal, not China.

Siddhartha never worked as a merchant.

Siddhartha lived a good portion of his life as an ascetic; starving himself in a spiritual quest of denying the body sustenance to force the supplicant to engage in nearly superhuman feats of meditation.

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors