My Jewish Learning

Ancient and Medieval History Quiz

The history of ancient and medieval Jewish communities reveals the origins of Judaism as we know it. How much do you know about the main Jewish figures and events, from the Bible to the dawn of modernity?

Question 1. The Second Temple was built while Jerusalem was being ruled by what empire?


Question 2. When did it become popular for Ashkenazic Jews to wear hats?
 10th century
 12th century
 14th century
 16th century


Question 3. In what town was King David born in?


Question 4. What historical records exist about the fall of the desert fortress of Masada in 73 CE?
 It is mentioned in the Mishnah
 There is a written report from a Jewish child who escaped
 Josephus, the first-century Jewish historian, wrote about it
 There is nothing written about it, but the Masada story has been passed down orally from generation to generation


Question 5. What is the Zohar?
 An influential book of Jewish mystical thought about each Torah portion
 A pre-kabbalistic work from the time of the Geonim
 A spiritual alternative to the Talmud, produced around the same time as the Talmud
 An early modern collection of hasidic tales


Question 6. When was the "golden age" for Jews in Spain?
 In the 8th and 9th centuries, under Muslim rule
 After 1248, when Christians reconquested Spain
 After 1492, when Columbus sailed from Spain to the New World
 During the time of the Mishnah


Question 7. After the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BCE, who was appointed leader of the remaining Jews in the Land of Israel?