Monday, May 3, 2010

Trivium Pursuit

Rokeclif held its third "Pie Snit" event on May first, and allowed me to host another round of Trivium Pursuit, which is a game in which teams of contestants answer questions in order to get pieces of pie. The pie pieces (purpure, argent, azure, gules, sable, vert, and or) represent the subjects in the trivium (grammar, logic, rhetoric) and the quadrivium (arithmetic, astronomy, geometry, music), all loosely defined. (Music includes all the arts; grammar includes all things literary; geometry encompasses all earth-bound science, including agriculture, nutrition, and anatomy; rhetoric includes all things political.)

Most questions include multiple-choice hints, which are offered only when no team can answer correctly without the hint. If a team wishes, it may "beg a boon", allowing it to ask a Laurel, poll the audience, use the library (the event was held in the public library of a village of 500 population), or hack the possible answers in twain.

Why do I include a game in my list of 50 classes taught? If you'd been there you wouldn't have to ask. Many times I heard, "I didn't know that!" from the audience. Other times, someone in the room might elaborate on the explanation offered.

Here are a few samples:

Grammar: Is there a recipe for ravioli in Bartolomeo Plantina's 1475 Latin cookbook?

Logic: What is a calamus?

Rhetoric: Piers Gaveston of Gascony was the real brains behind what English king's throne?

Arithmetic: What, other than his famous rider, sets Sleipner apart from other horses?

Astronomy: Hailstones inspired what University of Pisa medical student to question the writings of Aristotle?

Geometry: According to Isidore of Seville, elephants mate when a female gives the male... what?

Music: In western Europe in the 8th century, wind replaces water in ...what?