Greek Roman Mythology Final

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  What was the historical cause of the Trojan war? The mythological cause?

a.       It is likely that the trojans were harassing the greeks as they tried to enter the black sea along trade routes

b.      Paris, son of king priam of troy, stole Helen away from her husband king menalaos of Sparta. He had violated the oath of Tyndareus.

Horrific acts committed in the “house of atreus”

Atreus realizes that his brother, Thyestes, had been having an affair with his wife, Aerope, so he chopped up Thyestes children and made a stew out of them then fed them to Thyestes.

What does Eris mean?

Eris is the goddess of strife and sister of Ares, she created a golden apple that said “to the fairest” and rolled it into Peleus and Thetis’ wedding party where Hera, Aphrodite, and Athena fought over it.

 What was the judgement of Paris?

Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite all go for the golden apple then ask Zeus who should receive it. He redirects them to a shepherd on earth so he doesn’t alienate any of the goddesses. Each tried to bribe him, Hera offers domination, Athena offers wisdom or military distinction, and Aphrodite offers him the most beautiful woman in the world. He chooses Aphrodite and gets Helen. The power of Aphrodite made Helen leave her husband, daughter, and reputation.

Helen and Menalaos ruled over?


The rape of Helen offended Zeus why?

 The rape of Helen violated his rule of hospitality, in guest-host relations, the host will fulfill the guest’s needs and the guest will not steal from the host. Paris stole Helen and treasures of the house.

Philoctetes abandoned on Lemnos

He spent most of the Trojan war on the island of Lemnos suffering from a gruesome snake bite that stank rancidly and cause him to curse incessantly.

What did Lucretius think the sacrifice of Iphigenia demonstrated?

 He says that only religion has the power to persuade such evil deeds.

 What does the Illiad tell the story of?

 It starts with Achilles withdrawing from battle after Agamemnon steals his girlfriend. Apollo intervenes when Agamemnon refuses to return the priests daughter that he had stolen, Apollo sends plagues and decimate the camp. Agamemnon gives back the girl and takes Achilles girlfriend. His withdrawal causes things to go very badly for the greeks

What did Schliemann do at Troy?

  He didn’t realize that cities are buried in layers so he dug down indiscriminately.

Milman Parry followed the Serbo-Croatian poets around and discovered what about their technique?

The bards were improvising. They were not giving the same story every night. They use a special formulaic language, a poetic language and epithets.


  Honor and glory, violated honor causes a particular kind of anger referred to as “menis”.


 “son of so and so”, they identify a character by  reference to their father or some famous ancestor.

The Greek word hubris refers to?

  Intentionally dishonoring behavior/tragic flaw of excess arrogance

  What is “Ate”?

 Greek word for ruin, folly or delusion. It is the action performed by the hero because of his hubris that leads to his death.

How did Odysseus try to get out of fighting the Trojan War?

  He pretended to be crazy, he was found ploughing the seashore with salt behind a yoked team of an ox and a mule.

What did Thetis do to try to keep her son away from Troy?

To protect Achilles, Thetis hid him on the island of Scyros and dressed him as a girl.

According to Homer, the deciding factor in bringing about the death of Odysseus’ men was following?

Their recklessness during the return home, particularly the fact that they ate the cattle of Hyperion/Helios the sun god.

Why did Odysseus give Polyphemus Ismarian wine?

Polyphemus had only ever drank milk and didn’t know to control his intake, when he was passed out drunk Odysseus stabbed him in his eye. Odysseus was tired of watching Polyphemus devour his men. He doesn’t kill him because he needs the Cyclops to remove the large stone blocking the caves exit.

What animal did Odysseus use to escape from Polyphemus’ cave?

 Rams/sheep, Odysseus ties his men to the bottom of Polyphemus’ flock and waits for morning.


What made it possible for Polyphemus to curse Odysseus?


  After escaping he taunts Polyphemus from his ship, he tells him his name and his father and where he is from. Having his name gives him the power to call on his father Poseidon to avenge him.

Circe, after turning Odysseus’ men into swine, was temporarily able to “unman” Odysseus with?


What was the secret power of the sirens’ song?

They sing songs that glorify and praise the listener.  Sycophancy.

Over who does king Aeolus rule on the island of Aeolia?

 The winds.

What does Scylla look like?

She is a female monster with six huge dogs protruding from her belly, they devour any sailors who pass by, they can only eat six sailors from any given ship. Scylla and Charybdis (whirlpool creating giant crab) represent being between a rock and a hard place.

 A typical motif of the “hero on a journey” is the idea that he must navigate through obstacles of desire and?


  The literal meaning of nostalgia is?

  Longing for a homecoming, return home.

What plant did the lotus-eaters eat?

 They eat the fruit of the lotus tree, date plum.

 “Calypso” in Greek means?

     To conceal, she is the concealer.

 Which of the following words best characterizes Penelope, wife of Odysseus?


  Where did Penelope live?


 What sin did Clytemnestra not commit?

She did not drive Aegisthus to drown his own daughter.

What did not accrue to the guilt or demise of Agamemnon?

  Sleeping with his daughter Electra.

Whose death did Orestes announce at Mycenae?

 He announces his own death.

What did Clytemnestra kill Agamemnon with? What was the apostle’s favorite toy?

a.       Clytemnestra killed Agamemnon and Cassandra with an ax.

b.      Ax of the apostles.

Dike = ?

Lex talionis= ?
eye for an eye
the furies execute the…?
lex talionis

  Zeus has decreed that wisdom comes through…

   Suffering- pain and sorrow.

Mitigating and extenuating circumstances

 Extenuating circumstances are unusual or extreme facts leading up to or attending the commission of the offense which, though an offense has been committed without legal justification or excuse, mitigate its gravity. Mitigating circumstances do not justify or excuse criminal conduct but are considered out of mercy. Apollo had commanded Orestes to kill his mother but that he did not kill a parent because only a man can be a true parent, women are incubators, men provide the seed.

   The fact that Athena allocates to the furies a special shrine in Athens at the end of the trial shows that

They still stand as the basis of all law. Trials may be held but the guilty must pay.

 Though this woman never appears in the oresteia trilogy of Aeschylus, she is still part of the moral fiber of the plays?


    What god does Orestes claim ordered him to kill his mother?


   The name Oedipus means…

“swollen foot”

  The oracle that Laius received was…

    He would have a child that would kill him and marry his wife.

  “Exposure” means…

     To leave an infant to die in the wilderness, you’re leaving it to the hands of the gods. You are indirectly killing the child; the parents don’t have blood on their hands.

   What was the irony of the sphinx’s riddle for Oedipus?

   Although he gave the correct response, he did not fully understand it.

 The sphinx looked like…

   Part lioness, part woman, and part eagle.

 What saying would Oedipus have been able to read on the walls of Apollo’s oracle?

Know thyself.
The old seer at Thebes = ?

 What makes it paradoxical that Oedipus is personally responsible in the myth for the events that took place around him?

The gods had decreed and predestined his fate long beforehand.

 What does the Solon story say about man’s “ephemeros” nature?

   It lasts for a day. It’s fleeting; there can be a total reversal of fortune. No man is happy until it’s all over. Here today gone tomorrow.

    What cities are relevant to the story of Oedipus?

  Thebes, Corinth- Mt. Cithaeron, Delphi, Olympia- Elis

  What did Oedipus use to blind himself?

    His mother/wife’s broaches.

 How did the “golden fleece” end up in Colchis?

   Phrixus was about to be sacrificed to Zeus at the bidding of his evil stepmother when a golden ram appeared and told him to get on his back. The ram flew phrixus to cochis where he then sacrificed it to Zeus.

Jason and his fellow Argonauts had to sail through the Symplegades to get into the black sea. The Symplegades can best be described as?

  “clashing rocks”, they guarded the entrance to the black sea and would smash any ship that tried to pass through.

 Why did Herakles leave the Argo and not finish the journey with Jason?

   Because his boyfriend hylas was missing and he could not give up the search for him, he had been dragged under water by a nymph.

On the island of Lemnos, the Argonauts found women who?

Had killed all the men on the island after being punished by Aphrodite, she made them smell horrible, by time the Argonauts reached lemnos the women were sex crazed.

    Medea helped Jason in what task?

   Yoking the bronze hoofed, fire-breathing bulls. She gave him an ointment that would protect him from the fire.

 When the rumor came to Iolcus that the Argo had sunk with all hands aboard, Pelias did what to his brother?

  Pelias decided to finish him off, he allowed him to kill himself by drinking bulls blood at a sacrifice.

 Medea complains about the lot of women because?

    She says that a woman is totally dependant on a man for happiness. Marriage is a bitter pill for many women to swallow. No husband= instantly destitute. She does not know where he power lies.

    What does Medea decide is her ultimate source of power against Jason?

 Her ability to give birth-> produce heirs, mans only hope for immortality. Other sources of power include woman’s ability to charm and seduce.

   In what ways does Medea strike at Jason’s immortality?

    She kills his new young wife, and then murders her and Jason’s children.

 What did Lucretia do to start a revolution around 509 BC that brought about the overthrow of the kings’ rule at home?

    She committed suicide in front of the roman nobles.

     What is significant about the date 753 BC?

   The founding of rome.

  What is the function of the “Flamen Dialis”?

    The chief priest of Jupiter.


Which of the following best describes the activities of the augurs at Rome?



    Interpret the flights of birds.

Which of the following best describes the activities of the haruspices at Rome?

   They inspected the entrails of animals for signs from the gods.

Which of the following was done during Lupercalia?


Young men struck the bellies of young girls with leather straps.


  Who was NOT a Trojan?


  Which building is not on the Acropolis of Athens?

    A stadium for athletic contests called the stadia dios

 Which other item does not belong on the acropolis of Athens?

  A short pillar with a large statue of poseidon’s triton on top of it.

 What does Athena parthenos wear on her head?

   A helmet that includes horses

What divinity had a large temple in the Athenian marketplace that still stands?


 The theatre of Dionysus on the south slope of the acropolis had machines that lowered the gods from above. It also had a low area for the chorus to dance and sing. What lone object stood in the chorus area?

     An altar.

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