jasonzhou wrote:Would you mind posting the Empress Elizabeth and Valens tossups?
I personally found their early clues suspect.
The lead in for the Elizabeth tossup was that she was the person who's death constituted the 2nd Miracle of the House of Brandenburg. As far as I can tell, the Miracle of the House of Brandenburg is quite famous as a clue for Frederick the Great, and in fact I had only learned about the one in which Elizabeth died. As a result, I was a bit confused by the lead in, and waited to buzz. The fact that it is the 2nd instance does not seem very important, and indeed merely confused me, thought that may be more the fault of my lack of knowledge, but regardless it seemed like a pretty easy (albeit confusing for me) lead in. Anyone who had looked up the Miracle of the House of Brandenburg in the process of studying things about Frederick the Great could've fairly easily first lined that.
For the Valens tossup, meanwhile, the second clue was just the famous aspects about the Battle of Adrianople: the most famous clue for Valens. Although you did not give the name of the battle you gave basically the defining features of that battle, namely that he besieged a wagon circle before being overwhelmed by cavalry returning to the battlefield. I think that clue definitely should not be the second clue, and perhaps should be put before the give away when you presumably mentioned Adrianople by name. Although buzzing on that clue in the second line may have been a bit risky (I'm sure there are other battles involving wagon trains, and in fact I was slightly concerned after buzzing in that I was wrong because it seemed too easy), it definitely seemed like too easy for the second clue.
Whoops, missed these two.
This ruler came to power in a coup organized by French physician/soldier of fortune Jean Armand de Lestocq. The so-called second "Miracle of the House of Brandenburg" was the sudden death of this ruler after a series of untreated dizzy spells. This monarch's grand chancellor Alexei Bestuzhev nearly acquired Finland in the Treaty of Abo. During this monarch's reign, Ivan Shuvalov established the Imperial Academy of Arts and Mikhail Lomonosov founded Moscow State University. This ruler ordered the flogging with birch rods of (*) her erstwhile nemesis Natalia Lopukhina, but did not execute her, because she had taken a vow never to sign a death warrant. Most of the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years War' was fought during the reign of this childless empress, who arranged for her idiot nephew Peter of Holstein-Gottorp, later Peter III, to marry his second cousin Sophia Augusta Frederica, later Catherine the Great. For 10 points, name this empress of Russia from 1741 to 1761.
ANSWER: Empress Elizabeth [or Elizaveta Petrovna; or Yelisavet]
This man commissioned his secretary Eutropius to write a history of Rome since the city's founding titled Breviarium ab Urbe condita. He may have died when the farmhouse he took refuge in was set on fire, after a battle in which his infantry managed to reach a circle of wagons before the enemy cavalry hit. This emperor was unable to deal with a massive revolt throughout the Middle East led by the Arab queen Mavia. This man elevated to the position of emperor when his brother, while yelling at the Quadi, (*) burst a blood vessel in his skull and died. This man's troops had already crossed the Cilician gates into Syria, when he learned that his capital was under the control of the usurper Procopius. Water was supplied to the city of Constantinople by an aqueduct named for this emperor, who had teamed up against his eventual killer against the Thervingian leader Athanaric. This emperor was killed by troops led by Fritigern, who commanded a coalition of Goths at a 378 CE battle in modern-day Turkey. For 10 points, name this brother of Valentinian, the loser at the Battle of Adrianople.
I think that if you know the Miracle of the House of Brandenburg, or the Battle of Adrianople, so well that you can buzz on those two clues, then you deserve fifteen points.