The 1st and 2nd Century BC

Can you guess these notable people, places, and things from the years 1–200 BC?
Quiz by Gassu
Last updated: January 17, 2023
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First submittedAugust 7, 2018
Times taken11,229
Average score66.7%
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4 BC
Possible date for the birth of this important religious figure
Jesus Christ
4 BC
Death of this king of Judea, known for the biblical (but not historical)
Massacre of the Innocents
Herod the Great
18 BC
First mention of this capital city on the Han River
30 BC
This last Egyptian pharaoh commits suicide. Later legends would say
an asp was involved.
44 BC
Julius Caesar is assassinated on this day of the year
The Ides of March
50–58 BC
Julius Caesar conquers this region. Ancient sources say a million Celts
were killed, and another million enslaved.
c. 52 BC
The Romans found this city on the river Seine
Lutetia (Paris)
53 BC
This wealthiest of Roman citizens loses his army and his life trying to
conquer the Parthian Empire
Marcus Crassus
73–71 BC
This gladiator leads a rebellion of an estimated 120,000 slaves
1st century BC
This “ism” becomes the official ideology of the Chinese state
1st century BC
King Mithridates of Pontus ingests sub-lethal doses of this poison to
build up a tolerance
146 BC
The Third Punic War ends with the complete destruction of this city
c. 150 BC
Alexandros of Antioch creates this famous, now armless, statue
Venus de Milo
before 150 BC
The Romans invent this building material
c. 160 BC
First celebration of this Jewish holiday marking the repurification of the
Temple and candles which miraculously burned for 8 days
2nd century BC
This trade route network connecting Europe with China begins to be used
Silk Road
2nd century BC
Liu An invents this pressed bean curd product
200 BC–1 BC
Pakistan is ruled by people speaking this language, left over from
Alexander’s conquests
Level 60
Feb 28, 2021
Surprised to see new things happened in the first and second centuries.
Level 73
Jan 17, 2023
I'd always thought that people checked their calendars, saw that Jesus hadn't been born yet, and went back to bed.
Level 91
Mar 8, 2023
The massacre of the innocents has a historical record (the Bible). Just because there is no record of it anywhere else, doesn't mean it isn't historical.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Based on the population of the area at that time, it was likely only about 10-20 babies killed, and unfortunately in that day that wouldn't be a major event.

Level 64
Mar 24, 2023
As you said, 'absence of evidence is not evidence of absence'.

That means there is absence of evidence...

As much as you cannot assert that it certainly didn't happen, you also cannot assert that it certainly did happen.

Another example is the existence of Atlantis.

Despite it being mentioned in ancient text, Plato's Timaeus, it is still not considered a historical fact.

Why would we believe the Bible but not Plato? What reason do we have of trusting one source over the other?

Level 82
Apr 1, 2023
Atlantis is an awful example. It is very, very, very obviously an allegory in Timaeus and not in anyway implied to be historical fact. Pretty much the exact opposite of the Herod example.
Level 56
Sep 11, 2023
That's absolutely ridiculous. Of course some written historical claims are more believable than others. Do you know how many things about individuals from this era are known exclusively from writing?
Level 82
Apr 1, 2023
I think "not necessarily historical" is implied by "biblical."
Level 70
Apr 11, 2023
So you are telling me that Europe had trade relations with China already in the 2nd century BC, but no one thought of visiting them before Marco Polo in the late middle ages?
Level 56
Sep 11, 2023
People didn't have direct trade relations with each other. Chinese goods might make it to Persoa or Europe through second or third-hand (Merchant from Luoyang sells his goods in Sogdia, Sogdians sell it in Ctesiphon, Persians sell it in Iconium and so forth). The Silk Road also isn't a formal institution, you won't find it described in premodern sources at all.
Level 65
May 18, 2023
I love the tofu question, it's so silky and soft.
Level 73
Jun 26, 2023
Maybe accept "Confucian" because "ism" is in the question? And then maybe have _______ism in the answer cell? (Not that I would have got it because I only tried Confucius first time round, I always forget what the religion is actually called)
Level 57
Sep 13, 2023
I got points for Confucism thankfully.
Level 70
Jul 14, 2023
Um, you know that it should be 200-1 BC? Not the other way around, because we always put the later year first and the most recent year last. Also, the order of the questions could be reversed, but that can be debated.
Level 75
Sep 11, 2023
All the best corrections and suggestions start with “Um,”.
Level 70
Sep 11, 2023
I really can't stand this verbal tic when translated into Internet posts and comments, for me it's less polite than "Look here, idiot" would be. Going out of your way to be dismissive in this way is always unwarranted.
Level 66
Aug 14, 2023
Wow, I'm Pakistani and never knew about that. Super interesting and makes sense
Level 65
Sep 11, 2023
I'm sorry but if BC was designated as Before Christ then wouldn't his birthday have been 1 AD ? They switched the BC designation to be Before Common Era to take religion out of it but they did not move the dates. I looked it up but still it is weird
Level 56
Sep 11, 2023
Because the people who established the Christian calendar got a few dates wrong, eg. Herod died in 4BC so Jesus in Matthew's narrative must have been born then or earlier. And nobody felt like moving the entire modern calendar years back just to account for it.
Level 70
Sep 11, 2023
The reasonable technicality raised by @vittoriao could be avoided by using "BCE" instead.
Level 68
Sep 12, 2023
Spelling got me. Put Herrod and arsnic.
Level 57
Sep 13, 2023
I always write Carthrage.