Who boasted the best ancient armies? Take the quiz!
Ancient fighters survived difficult terrains, fought without the aid of communication systems and modern technology and trained under at times brutal systems. They also fought some of the most incredible battles in the history of mankind.start quiz
Question 1 of 20
Which ancient civilization had the world's first professional army?
... The Romans had a professional army, populated by men who served for 25 years as career soldiers. Before the formation of a professional army, many societies had mandatory service periods for all citizens, but had no career soldiers who were trained specifically for warfare.
Question 2 of 20
Which ancient army did NOT allow its soldiers to marry but allowed them to have girlfriends or lovers living near base camps?
... The Romans made their women keep their distance until the rule changed starting in A.D. 197. After that, the army's soldiers could marry.
Question 3 of 20
Which was the first civilization to have large-scale naval operations?
... The Persians used their ships extensively during the Persian Wars (also known as the Greco-Persian Wars), which lasted from 499 B.C. to 449 B.C. Both the Persians and the Greeks had triremes, a type of ship propelled by 170 rowers.
Question 4 of 20
Which of the following was part of an ancient Egyptian soldier's daily wages?
... The Egyptians didn't have a monetary system, so the average wage of a soldier was loaves of bread and jugs of beer on a daily basis. Soldiers who participated in actual military campaigns often were rewarded afterward with land, slaves and medals.
Question 5 of 20
Which ancient army won basically every single battle it fought?
... The Mongols were notorious for returning to fight again those battles that they had originally lost. Their armies usually won the second time around.
Question 6 of 20
Which powerful society had a massive infantry, but no cavalry tradition?
... The Greeks fought mostly on foot, using shields and long spears.
Question 7 of 20
The Roman army was notorious for having ________ .
... The Roman army required soldiers to be able to read, write and perform math calculations. This was key to the success of a campaign, because soldiers often had to interpret maps and make educated decisions on the go. Most other ancient armies focused on soldiers' physical strength or stamina, and only generals and officials could read and write.
Question 8 of 20
The Spartan army started training future soldiers at only _______ .
... Spartan army training must have been extensive: It started at age 7 years, but full military service didn't begin until the age of 20 and lasted until the soldier's 60th birthday.
Question 9 of 20
Which ancient army had the best horsemanship and used complete armors to protect their horses during battle?
... Horses were essentially more important than soldiers to the Mongolian army, which was extremely mobile. The animals were protected at any cost and treated extremely well.
Question 10 of 20
Which army fought one of the most impressive last-stand battles in history, the Battle of Thermopylae, which pinned 300 soldiers against an army of 300,000 or more?
... The battle pinned 300 Spartans (aided by about 1,000 Thespians and Thebans) against 300,000 or more Persian soldiers. The famous battle was the basis for the Hollywood film "300." The Spartans were able to hold the Persians off for three days before being encircled.
Question 11 of 20
How did most ancient armies feed their soldiers while they were on the battlefield?
... Most armies brought food along on horses and mules. Some armies, like the Persians, had a naval operation set up to support ground troops. The ships carried food and supplies so the armies could move faster and be less visible.
Question 12 of 20
Although samurais are best known for their masterful use of swords, most ancient samurai soldiers favored a different weapon: which one?
... The bow and arrow was the favored weapon during early Japanese warfare. Swords and spears, although used, were not as popular.
Question 13 of 20
Which army was the first to introduce the use of chariots in warfare?
... The Hittite Empire -- which occupied northern Anatolia, in parts of modern Turkey -- had war chariots as far back as the 17th century B.C.
Question 14 of 20
Which statement is true of the ancient Macedonian army?
... The elite section of the Macedonian cavalry known as the "companion cavalry" consisted of eight squads of around 300 men each and is considered the best cavalry of the ancient world.
Question 15 of 20
The Macedonian army is credited with creating this important warfare innovation.
... The Macedonians were the first to organize "combined arms," or coordinated attacks, which combined heavy infantry, cavalry and siege engines.
Question 16 of 20
Roman soldiers had to serve in the army for 25 years before they were allowed to retire. When they did, they were given _______ by the Empire.
... Many soldiers became farmers upon retirement, using land awarded by the empire.
Question 17 of 20
Which ancient civilization was the most militarized?
... Every male Spartan was trained in the art of war from childhood. Full citizens, or Spartiates, were full-time soldiers (forbidden to practice any trade other than the military), while merchants, farmers, sailors and others would serve as light infantry.
Question 18 of 20
Which ancient army is considered one of the bloodiest?
... The Assyrians practiced close combat using axes. Their soldiers were encouraged to torture the enemy to spread fear among nearby tribes and armies.
Question 19 of 20
The Romans had an army very focused on conquering other people. Which civilization did the opposite -- concentrated mostly on keeping enemies out of its territory?
... The Nile River valley was a desirable area because it was fertile, so the Egyptians had to stay in defense mode. Still, large armies had trouble reaching the valley because of the huge desert surrounding it. As a result, the Egyptian army didn't have to engage in much fighting.
Question 20 of 20
Which ancient army was considered the most mobile in history, covering up to 100 miles per day during military campaigns?
... Mongolian soldiers were experts at finding food on the go (through hunting, pilfering and obtaining milk from their own nursing horses), so they carried very little with them. This made them very mobile.
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