POP QUIZ: ADVENTURES AT THE ROM (answers)

She’s back! Regular top-scorer Susan McL is back at the top of the leader-board again this week, with a solid 6/10. She should maybe be a docent…

1) This rhinoceros, named Bull, was resident at the Toronto Zoo from 1974 through to his death in 2008. He was stuffed an displayed at the ROM, and is entirely lifelike, except for which feature, which they changed for cosmetic purposes?

HIS HORNS (which were apparently deformed in real life, poor Bull)

2) Although it appears to be a bust, experts believe this is actually a fragment of a larger full-body statue. Also, although it is unlabelled, those same experts believe it depicts which famous Queen, who reigned for 30 years starting in about 51BC?

CLEOPATRA (Cleopatra VII Philopator)

3) Futalognkosaurus (which walked right over me while I was there, I swear) was a ‘titanosaur’ and a ‘sauropod’, and was one of the largest things to have ever lived. The name means “giant chief” and was derived from the language of native Mapuche tribesmen, who live near where the fossils were found, in what country?

ARGENTINA (Mapuche live in Argentina and Chile, the dinosaur was found in Argentina)

4) What god is depicted in this statue? He is described in the museum’s placard as such: “This bronze statue shows him wearing only bronze sandals and an animal skin, reflecting his wild untamed nature. The tiny panther at his feet indicates his Eastern connection – according to myth (he) conquered the countries east of the Mediterranean as far as India.”

BACCHUS

5) Your humble quizmaster is here depicted as a brave and fierce gladiator, armed with a three-pointed trident (tridens), and a weighted fishing net (reta). Lightly armoured with just a galerus (shoulder guard), what was this type of Gladiator called?

RETIARIUS (named for the net, the reta)

6) A delicate container of blue-tinted glass, the contents of this little bird would be poured in through the beak, which would then be sealed with a drop of molten metal. To get the contents out again, you would carefully break the tail. What was this used to hold?

PERFUME

7) Usually arranged in a U-shape of three, these sturdy couches leant their name to the room triclinium – literally, ‘three couches”. Roman citizens would recline on them while they did what?

ATE (the Triclinium is the roman equivalent of the dining room. those of you who guessed ‘Netflix and chill’ were very, very wrong)

8) This marble relief, which clearly depicts some buildings tilting to one side, commemorates what near-catastrophic event which struck Pompeii seventeen years before the destruction of the city?

AN EARTHQUAKE

9) This lovely little device is called a glirarium. It contained tiny little creatures, which lived their whole lives in it, being too small to climb out. When they had grown to a large enough (albeit, still tiny) size, the Romans would pluck them out, fry them up with bacon and eat them. What kind of creatures lived in a glirarium?

DORMICE (tiny, cute, delicious dormice)

10) This is a marble krater, used as a decoration in the garden of a wealthy Pompeii family. The original krater were made by the ancient Greeks, usually of bronze, and were filled with wine and water at parties known for wild drinking but also intellectual discussion. What were these parties called?

SYMPOSIUM

Yep, wild wine-fueled drunk talk is the origin of the academic meetings called symposia that tweed-clad, long-haired types act so smugly superior about these days. Can you tell I never get invited?

Thanks,
QM Bill

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