Final Exam Study Guide
1. What was the historical cause of the Trojan War (probably), and what was the
- Historical: Troy is a city that guards the entrance to the Black Sea, and so it's
likely that they were harassing the Greeks' trade routes. Mythological: Paris stole Helen
from king Menelaos of Sparta and raped her.
2. One of the horrific acts committed in the "House of Atreus" (not the literal house, but
the family that includes Atreus) was that he did what to Thyestes' children?
- He chopped them up, put them in a stew and fed them to Thyestes.
3. Remember that Eris means "strife," not "love." Eros means "love."
4. What was the Judgment of Paris? If you don't know the story, you'll miss a question.
- The competition between Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite in which Paris chooses
Aphrodite so he can gain Helen as his wife.
5. Helen and Menelaos ruled over SPARTA.
6. The rape of Helen particularly offended Zeus because it violated his rules of a)
hospitality b) maritime protocol c) father-son relations d) supplication e) the treatment of
7. You'd better know about Philoctetes being abandoned on Lemnos . . .
- He was bitten by a snake and left behind because the bite caused him to stink
and swear constantly.
8. Look in the book to answer this: What did Lucretius think the sacrifice of Iphigenia
- The power of religion to make men do evil things.
9. The Iliad does NOT tell the story of the Trojan Horse. It tells of one incident in the 9th
year of the war.
10. What amateurish thing did Schliemann do at Troy? Answer: he didn't realize cities
are buried in layers, so he dug down indiscriminately . .
11. Milman Parry followed the Serbo-Croatian poets around and discovered what about
their technique? This relates to the Homeric Question.
- They were improvising, they did not memorize the story because they were
different every time they told them. Epithets were used to gain time.
12. kleos = honor, glory 13. patronymic = denoting or relating to a name. This is in the chapter about the Iliad.
14. The Greek word hubris refers to a) the flower of youth b) the superiority of one
soldier over another c) a refusal to ask the gods for help d) ill-health sent by the gods e)
intentionally dishonoring behavior.
15. What is "Ate"?
- The personification of ruin, folly, and delusion.
16. How did Odysseus try to get out of fighting the Trojan War?
- He pretended to be insane, plowing the seashore.
17. What did Thetis do to try to keep her son away from Troy?
- She dressed him up as a girl and placed him on the island of Scyros.
18. According to Homer, the deciding factor in bringing about the death of Odysseus’
men was the following: a) their lack of love for their families b) the capriciousness of the
gods, who toy with men’s lives as a kind of joke c) the unwillingness of Helen to admit
her wrongdoing d) their recklessness during the return home, particularly the fact that
they ate the cattle of Hyperion/Helios the sun god e) a storm sent by mistake by
19. Why did Odysseus give Polyphemus Ismarian wine?
- In order to get him so drunk that he passes out and his men can attack.
20. What animal did Odysseus use to escape from Polyphemus' cave?
- The sheep of Polyphemus.
21. What made it possible for Polyphemus to curse Odysseus? Remember in class I
talked about the power of the name.
- Odysseus reveals his name as his is taunting Polyphemus when they are
sailing away from the island.
22. Circe, after turning Odysseus’ men into swine, was temporarily able to “unman”
Odysseus with a) a dazzling display of light b) sex c) effeminate clothing d) a drug that
turned him into a pig farmer e) a disguise that made herself look like Penelope.
23. What was the secret power of the Sirens' song? Remember I called them
"sycophants" in class.
- They sing songs that praise the listener and it makes them want to sail their
ships into the rocks to try and hear it, which leads them to their doom.
24. Over whom does king Aeolus rule on the island of Aeolia?
- The winds.
25. What does Scylla look like? - A hideous monster with 6 dogs coming out of her stomach.
26. A typical motif of the “hero on a journey” is the idea that he must navigate through
obstacles of desire and a) discouragement b) euphoria c) confusion d) fear e) anger.
27. The literal meaning of nostalgia is the longing for a homecoming. Think of the land
of the Lotus-eaters.
28. What plant did the Lotus-eaters eat? (See how easy this class is?)
- The Lotus Plan Fruit (Date-Plum)
29. "Calypso" in Greek means to conceal. Remember I talked about the Apocalypse of
30. Which of the following words best characterizes Penelope, wife of Odysseus? a)
deadly b) faithful c) heartless d) insane e) selfish.
31. Where did Penelope live?
32. Which of the following sins did Clytemnestra NOT commit? a) exiling her son
Orestes b) killing Cassandra c) taking on a boyfriend even though married d) driving
Aegisthus to drown his own daughter e) encouraging Agamemnon to walk on the
tapestry of the gods.
33. Which of the following did NOT accrue to (count toward) the guilt or demise of
Agamemnon? a) stepping on the tapestry of the gods b) overseeing the desecration of
temples in Troy c) killing his daughter Iphigenia d) sleeping with his own daughter
Electra e) the murders of Thyestes’ children committed by Atreus.
34. I told you in class there'd be a question about Orestes. Whose death did he
announce at Mycenae?
- His own
35. Don't forget Clytemnestra's favorite toy - her man-slaying ax. That was also the
favorite toy of the Apostles in the Bible. You've heard of the ax of the Apostles? :-)
36. Dike = Justice.
37. lex talionis = eye for an eye
38. the Furies execute the lex talionis
39. Complete this sentence in accordance with Greek thinking as expressed in the
Agamemnon story: “Zeus has decreed that wisdom comes through . . .”
- Suffering 40. If you don't know what mitigating and extenuating circumstances are, you must find
- Conditions or happenings which do not excuse or justify criminal conduct, but
are considered out of mercy or fairness in deciding the degree of the offense the
prosecutor charges or influencing reduction of the penalty upon conviction.
41. The fact that Athena allocates to the Furies a special shrine in Athens at the end of
the trial shows that a) they are finally defeated by reason b) they still stand as the ba