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Hear Ye, Hear Ye! A Medieval Science Quiz
by Staff
Did anything vaguely scientific happen in the Middle Ages? Take this quiz to learn how we got through a dark period of history while trying to figure out how the sun was revolving around us, anyway.

Why do historians think that the folks in the Middle Ages got a bad rap for being uninterested in science and learning?

  • Nobody invented anything.
  • Journals from medieval times reveal they were afraid of science.
  • Leaders of the Enlightenment era were dismissive of the fundamental discoveries that took place in medieval times.

What equine invention was NOT invented during medieval times?

  • horseshoe
  • saddle
  • horse collar

What everyday object was first invented in the medieval period?

  • the broom
  • the clock
  • the dustpan

What was a broad role of science in medieval culture?

  • to treat illness or injury
  • to oppress women
  • to understand God's works

What great medieval scientist was NOT a Catholic bishop?

  • Albert the Great (aka Albertus Magnus)
  • Nicholas Oresme
  • Thomas Aquinas

What medieval thinker was the first to write down a recipe for gunpowder?

  • William of Ockham
  • Avenzoar (aka Ibn Zuhr)
  • Roger Bacon

While we usually think of Europe when we talk about medieval times, what Islamic norm was first introduced to the rest of the world in the Middle Ages?

  • the Dewey Decimal system
  • the scientific method
  • Arabic numeral system

What source of learning was introduced in the Middle Ages?

  • universities
  • libraries
  • museums

What crop rotation system was used during the Middle Ages?

  • Nobody farmed in medieval times.
  • the Wheat Matrix
  • three-field system

What medieval farming invention was a lifesaver for those trying to grow crops in dense, clay soils?

  • sprinkler systems
  • the heavy plow
  • pesticides

Avenzoar was a Muslim physician. What procedure did he first perform experimentally?

  • appendix removal
  • hand amputation
  • tracheotomy

Avenzoar wasn't the only trailblazing physician in the Middle Ages. What did Muslim surgeon Al-Zahrawi bring to the surgery table?

  • forceps
  • syringe
  • both

What invention -- somewhat surprisingly -- came after the invention of the mechanical clock?

  • the hourglass
  • the sundial
  • the water clock

People in the Middle Ages loved their iron. What was NOT a medieval invention to make iron production much easier?

  • blast furnace
  • water wheel
  • wheelbarrow

Readers can thank the Middle Ages for this invention:

  • glasses
  • bookmarks
  • paperbacks

What medieval creation changed the history of art?

  • oil paint
  • canvas
  • paintbrushes

What famous razor was first invented in the Middle Ages?

  • the safety blade
  • Ockham's
  • the straight blade

Let's be fair: There was some science in the medieval ages that was straight-up bunk. What was one reason some in the Middle Ages pursued the field of alchemy?

  • They wanted to get fabulously wealthy by learning to turn lead into gold.
  • They wanted to live forever.
  • both

The plague brought us what restrictive medical practice?

  • cremation
  • quarantine
  • bloodletting

Middle-schoolers have no reason to thank Middle-Agers. What medieval discovery haunts their days?

  • algebra
  • coed mixers
  • gym class