What are some examples of other groups who are involved in the government other than the executive, judiciary, and legislative branch?
Government is not just run by the three branches of government. There are several other groups and individuals that play into it. A good example would be interest groups. An interest group consists of several individuals who have a common interest and strive to have their interest known by influencing government. Examples of interest groups include the ACLU, AARP, and the campaign for working families.
Why is this story or novel allude to things that I don't know???
Oftentimes, in novels and stories, the author will allude (reference) to certain subjects, whether it be the bible or another piece of work. We often have to remember the time period the book was written in. Was it written in the 1800s??? The 1900s??? The author would try to appeal to their contemporary readers and therefore they would include/allude to texts that most readers in their time period would know of or have read.
How does art history play in society, religion and culture??
Art history plays into all three of these. A piece of art whether it be a painting, sculpture or building, reflects what was going on in the geographical area at the time and the period it was in. Most often we hear individuals say "what if something was made in the 1500's but it similar to that of Roman architecture?" That is because, in the 1500s, individuals were interested in reviving the classical style, but however they most likely incorporate elements of their time period as well, and with biocarbon dating we are knowable to determine the rough date around which it was made, and with that information we are able to study society, culture and most importantly, art in that area.