Tough Trivia, 7/12/21

Today’s question: The US military academies, give their names, dates of founding, locations, and which services they serve.


They_Might_Be_Giants_-_Istanbul_(Not_Constantinople)Friday’s question: On the 500th anniversary of the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans, Jimmy Kennedy and Nat Simon wrote “Istanbul (Not Constantinople),” which was released by The Four Lads in 1953. That gives away one of the answers, but today’s question regards old names of world cities. How many of the current city names do you recall? (Some other time, we’ll do US cities.): Ikosium, Stuart, Bytown, Lutetia, Batavia, Edo, Leningrad, Byzantium, Londinium.

The answers are:

  • Ikosium / Icosium became Algiers, Algeria, when the present city was founded in 944CE.
  • Stuart, the third largest town in Australia’s Northern Territory, was renamed Alice Springs on August 31, 1933.
  • Bytown, founded in 1826, was incorporated as Ottawa (the current capital of Canada) in 1855.
  • Lutetia was a part of the Roman Empire. By the end of the empire, the city had been renamed Paris, taken from the Parisii, a Celtic tribe who lived there from the 3rd century BCE.
  • Batavia was the capital of the Dutch East Indies, founded in 1619. In 1942, the name was changed to Djakarta, and in 1972, to the present spelling of Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia.
  • Edo became the de facto capital of Japan in 1603, as the seat of the Tokugawa shogunate. In 1869, with the overthrow of the shogunate, the Emperor Meiji moved to Edo and renamed it Tokyo (meaning Eastern Capital).
  • In the 1600s, Swedish colonists built the fortress Nyenskans on the Neva River. In 1703, Peter the Great captured it, and built the Peter and Paul Fortress, which was the center of the city that became known as Saint Petersburg. In 1712, Peter moved the capital from Moscow to Saint Petersburg. In 1914, to remove German-sounding parts of the name, the city was renamed Petrograd. On January 26, 1924, under the Soviet Union, the city was renamed Leningrad (after Lenin, who had died five days earlier). That name remained until the fall of the USSR. On June 12, 1991, the city name reverted to Saint Petersburg, Russia.
  • Byzantium was colonized by the Greeks in 657 BCE. In 324 CE, it was renamed New Rome, and then, on May 11, 330, renamed Constantinople in honor of Emperor Constantine the Great. In 1930, the name was officially changed to Istanbul, which had been a colloquial Greek name for the city since the eleventh century.
  • Londinium was established around the year 50 CE, but it was abandoned some 400 years later. Two hundred years later, the settlement of Lundenwic was founded there, and then Alfred the Great “refounded” London in 886 CE. It is the capital of the United Kingdom.


Ian’s Tough Trivia is a daily feature of this blog (Monday’s category is History; Tuesday is Arts; Wednesday is Science; Thursday is Entertainment; and Friday is Grab Bag). Each day, I post a tough question, as well as the answer to the previous day’s question. Simply comment on this post with your answer. I’ll approve the comments after the next question is posted. Sure, you can probably find the answers by searching the web, but what’s the fun in that?

And if you’ve got a favorite trivia question—or even just a topic for which you’d like to see a question—let me know! Reader participation is warmly encouraged.

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