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Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Trivia Answers (Grab Points Quiz #471)

1. Ruler of the Huns from 434 until his demise in March of 453, Attila battled which empire ? 

The Roman Empire (Latin: Imperium Rōmānum; Classical Latin: Koine and Medieval Greek: Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, tr. Basileia tōn Rhōmaiōn) was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterized by government headed by emperors and large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, Africa and Asia. The city of Rome was the largest city in the worldc. 100 BC – c. 400 AD, with Constantinople (New Rome) becoming the largest around 500 AD, and the Empire's populace grew to an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants (roughly 20% of the world's population at the time). The 500-year-old republic which preceded it was severely destabilized in a series of civil wars and political conflict, during which Julius Caesar was appointed as perpetual dictator and then assassinated in 44 BC. Civil wars and executions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesar's adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and the annexation of Egypt. Octavian's power was then unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power and the new title Augustus, effectively marking the end of the Roman Republic. The imperial period of Rome lasted approximately 1,500 years compared to the 500 years of the Republican era. The first two centuries of the empire's existence were a period of unprecedented political stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana, or "Roman Peace". Following Octavian's victory, the size of the empire was dramatically increased. After the assassination of Caligula in 41, the senate briefly considered restoring the republic, but the Praetorian Guard proclaimed Claudius emperor instead. Under Claudius, the empire invaded Britannia, its first major expansion since Augustus. After Claudius' successor, Nero, committed suicide in 68, the empire suffered a series of brief civil wars, as well as a concurrent major rebellion in Judea, during which four different legionary generals were proclaimed emperor. Vespasian emerged triumphant in 69, establishing the Flavian dynasty, before being succeeded by his son Titus, who opened the Colosseum shortly after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. His short reign was followed by the long reign of his brother Domitian, who was eventually assassinated. The senate then appointed the first of the Five Good Emperors. The empire reached its greatest extent under Trajan, the second in this line. A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus. Commodus' assassination in 192 triggered the Year of the Five Emperors, of which Septimius Severus emerged victorious. The assassination of Alexander Severus in 235 led to the Crisis of the Third Century in which 26 men were declared emperor by the Roman Senate over a fifty-year time span. It was not until the reign of Diocletian that the empire was fully stabilized with the introduction of the Tetrarchy, which saw four emperors rule the empire at once. This arrangement was ultimately unsuccessful, leading to a civil war that was finally ended by Constantine I, who defeated his rivals and became the sole ruler of the empire. Constantine subsequently shifted the capital to Byzantium, which was renamed "Constantinople" in his honour. It remained the capital of the east until its demise. Constantine also adopted Christianity which later became the official state religion of the empire. This eastern part of the empire (modernly called "Byzantine Empire") remained one of the leading powers in the world alongside its arch-rival the Sassanid Empire, which had inherited a centuries-old Roman-Persian   conflict from its predecessor the Parthians. Following the death of Theodosius I, the last emperor to rule a united Roman Empire, the dominion of the empire was gradually eroded by abuses of power, civil wars, barbarian migrations and invasions, military reforms and economic depression. The Sack of Rome in 410 by the Visigoths and again in 455 by the Vandals accelerated the Western Empire's decay, while the deposition of the emperor, Romulus Augustulus, in 476 by Odoacer, is generally accepted to mark the end of the empire in the west. However, Augustulus was never recognized by his Eastern colleague, and separate rule in the Western part of the empire only ceased to exist upon the death of Julius Nepos, in 480. The Eastern Roman Empire endured for another millennium, eventually falling to the Ottoman Turks in 1453.

2. Which Pope reigned the earliest ? 

Pope Innocent XIII (Latin: Innocentius XIII; 13 May 1655 – 7 March 1724) was born as Michelangelo dei Conti and was Pope from 8 May 1721 to his death in 1724. He is the last pope to date to take the pontifical name of "Innocent" upon his election. Pope Innocent XIII was reform-oriented, and he imposed new standards of frugality, abolishing excessive spending. He took steps to finally end the practice of nepotism by issuing a decree which forbade his successors from granting land, offices or income to any relatives - something opposed by many cardinals who hoped that they might become pope and benefit their families.  After the death of Pope Clement XI in 1721, a conclave was called to choose a new pope. It took 75 ballots just to reach a decision and choose Conti as the successor of Clement XI. After all candidates seemed to slip, support turned to Conti. The curial factions also turned their attention to him. In the morning of 8 May 1721, he was elected. He chose the name of Innocent XIII in honour of Pope Innocent III. On the following 18 May, he was solemnly crowned by the protodeacon, Cardinal Benedetto Pamphili.

3. English physician Edward Jenner famously invented the vaccination for what disease ? 

Smallpox was an infectious disease caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The disease is also known by the Latin names variola or variola vera, derived from varius("spotted") or varus ("pimple"). The disease was originally known in English as the "pox" or "red plague";  the term "smallpox" was first used in Britain in the 15th century to distinguish variola from the "great pox" (syphilis). The last naturally occurring case of smallpox (Variola minor) was diagnosed on 26 October 1977. Infection with smallpox is focused in small blood vessels of the skin and in the mouth and throat before disseminating. In the skin it results in a characteristic maculopapular rash and, later, raised fluid-filled blisters. V. major produced a more serious disease and had an overall mortality rate of 30–35 percent. V. minor caused a milder form of disease (also known as alastrim) which killed about 1 percent of those it infects. Long-term complications of V. major infection included characteristic scars, commonly on the face, which occur in 65–85 percent of survivors. Blindness resulting from corneal ulceration and scarring, and limb deformities due to arthritis and osteomyelitis were less common complications, seen in about 2–5 percent of cases. Smallpox is believed to have been acquired by humans originally as a zoonosis from a terrestrial African rodent between 16,000 and 68,000 years ago, well before the dawn of agriculture and civilization. The earliest physical evidence of it is probably the pustular rash on the mummified body of Pharaoh Ramses V of Egypt. The disease killed an estimated 400,000 Europeans annually during the closing years of the 18th century (including five reigning monarchs), and was responsible for a third of all blindness. Of all those infected, 20–60 percent—and over 80 percent of infected children—died from the disease. Smallpox was responsible for an estimated 300–500 million deaths during the 20th century. As recently as 1967, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 15 million people contracted the disease and that two million died in that year. After vaccination campaigns throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the WHO certified the global eradication of smallpox in 1979. Smallpox is one of two infectious diseases to have been eradicated, the other being rinderpest, which was declared eradicated in 2011.

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