History Bee Study Guide- History to 1492

Alexander the Great
Macedonian king and conqueror who conquered most of the known world, spanning from Greece, to modern Pakistan. He defeated the Greek-city states and, most famously, the Persians.

Ancient Rome
This advanced civilization had three forms of government over it’s period. It was founded by Romulus and Remus in 753 B.C., until Rome itself was razed in 410 A.D., by the Visigoths (you can also consider it ending when the Ottomans destroyed the Byzantine capital of Constantinople in 1453 B.C.).

Charlemagne
Frankish King who expanded his forefathers’, Charles Martel and Pepin the Short, land. He was crowned as the first “Holy Roman Emperor” in 800 A.D.

Magna Carta
Document signed by King John in 1215 A.D. after being forced by the nobles of England. The document was one of the first to limit the power of monarchs and protect the people’s rights.

Albigensian Crusade (Cathar Crusade)
One of the medieval crusades that was launched by the pope in 1209 A.D., however being launched at France to get rid of the religion of Catharism. The pope’s coalition had initial successes but were eventually driven back in 1229 A.D.

Alfred the Great
Early English King who lived in the late 9th century and repelled the Viking invasion of England. His successes also help unify Anglo-Saxon England and strengthened England as a European power.

Ancient Greece
Classical Age civilizations which were divided into separate, individual city-states, most notably Sparta and Athens. The states helped shape modern culture and gave us new ideas. The city-states, however, were always fighting, and that led to their demise by Macedonia in 332 B.C.

Attila the Hun
Barbarian leader of the Huns, a nomadic group from Asia, who razed most of the Roman Empire in Europe. He was defeated in the Battle of Chalons by the Romans and was persuaded by the pope to drive back towards his birthplace. On his wedding day in 453 A.D., he died from a nosebleed.

Angkor Wat
Hindu, then Buddhist, place of worship constructed by King Suryavarman II, leader of the Khmer Empire. It remains the largest monument ever constructed, taking 30 years to build and is roughly the size of Paris, France. It is located in the ancient city of Angkor, now in Cambodia.

Avignon
A city in France that was a major place of attention during the middle ages. The city is probably most famous for it’s temporary residence of the pope from Rome. Due to protests, the residence was returned to Rome. It has expanded out of it’s medieval walls and is still a cultural center in France.

Aztecs
Civilization that was located in Mesoamerica. They were known for their militarism, pyramids, and daily sacrifices. The empire was brought down in 1522 A.D. by the Spanish arrivals of Hernan Cortez.

Babylon
A city in Mesopotamia, now Iraq, that was a major power in Prehistoric times. It was located on the Euphrates River and was at it’s height of it’s power in the 1800 and 1700’s B.C. After Arab conquest, the city was destroyed and abandoned in the 7th century A.D.

Battle of Bosworth Field
The decisive battle of the English “War of the Roses.” This battle was fought between the Lancaster and York houses over control of the English crown. The Lancasters, led by Henry Tudor, emerged as the rulers of England, while the York’s leader, Richard III, was killed in action in the battlefield.

Beowulf
Anglo-Saxon poem dated to the 8th-11th centuries which tells of the Anglo-Saxon society through the adventures of the hero Beowulf. It is known as one of the most important Anglo-Saxon works of literature.

Byzantine Empire
Advanced civilization that was first known as the Eastern Roman Empire, but held on to life even after the fall of Rome in 410 A.D. It featured some of the finest aesthetics, combining Roman and Greek culture. The empire ended with the capture of the capital of Constantinople in 1453 A.D.

Cleopatra
Egyptian Queen that ruled from 51 to 30 B.C. She ruled the kingdom by seizing the crown with the help of Julius Caesar, but Julius died in 44 B.C. His successor, Mark Antony, fell in love with her, but angered the Roman government, destroying Antony’s army, and making the couple commit suicide.

Constantine
Roman Emperor that ruled from 306 to 337 A.D. He helped to recover the declining Roman Empire, moving the capital to Constantinople, converted to Christianity, and splitting the empire into two. After his death in 337 A.D., the empire was renamed the Byzantine Empire.

Constantinople
Capital of the Eastern Roman, then the Byzantine, Empire located on Bosphorus, a strait connecting the Mediterranean and Black seas, from 330 to 1453 A.D. It featured many great artworks, including the Hagia Sophia, but fell to the Ottomans in 1453 A.D. It is now present-day Istanbul.

Crusades
Known as Jihad in Arabic, the Crusades are holy wars that were fought in the middle ages, mostly between Christians and Muslims. There are 7 identified crusades that happened in Palestine, known as the “Holy Land,” with others adding up to at least 10, including a Children’s Crusade.

Edward I of England
Also known as Edward Longshanks, King Edward reigned from 1272 to 1307 A.D. He is famous for the wars he fought in, including Edward’s Crusade, Welsh, French, and Scottish Wars, but is infamous for being one of the first leaders issuing Antisemitism, the separation of Jews from everyone else.

El Cid
Meaning “Lord” in Arabic, Rodrigo Dias de Vivar is a famous figure of Spain. The Cid was a nobleman, then army commander, who was exiled by King Alfonso. After ruling the city of Valencia, El Cid died in 1099 A.D., with Valencia surrendering to the Almoravids 3 years later.

Genghis Khan
Mongolian “Khan,” or leader, that united all of the nomadic Mongol tribes in 1206 A.D. He went to conquer the most territory in one man’s life, spanning from Korea to the Caspian Sea. He conquered most of China, the Khwarezmid Empire of Persia and the Kara-Khitai empire in Central Asia.

Henry II of England
English King that reigned from 1154-1189 A.D. King Henry was involved in wars with the English church, the kingdom’s rebels, and his sons. However, he is most known for ruling much of Western Europe, helping Great Britain to form, and making the people actually feel unified.

Henry IV of England
An English King ruling from 1399-1413 A.D., he helped continue his predecessor’s, Richard II, influence. He was one of the kings during the Hundred Years War, but is more known for keeping the English houses of Plantagenets and York stable (unlike the “War of the Roses”).