The Eagle of the Ninth Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What cohort did the leader's father command?

2. Who does Marcus believe the legion might be?

3. What is Tartarus?

4. What happens to Marcus in the military?

5. How does Marcus recognize the man with the dinner guest?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do Marcus and Esca do about their military horses while running from the tribe?

2. Why do you think Marcus and Cottia get along? What might they have in common?

3. What do you think the burning of the Olive-wood bird symbolized in Marcus's life?

4. How are Marcus and Esca disguised and what do they look like?

5. Describe a testudo and what it does.

6. How do Romans place seasoned and new soldiers in formation?

7. How does Marcus show his concern for his men?

8. Describe what Marcus saw at the circus in the fight between the "fisher" and another man.

9. What does Marcus urge Guern to do and why does he say no?

10. What does Marcus consider his true home and why?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

The Eagle is the symbol of all Roman Legions. Thus, when Marcus says the 4th Gaulish is the finest cohort of all the Eagles, he means of all the Roman Legions. In the days of Pliny the Elder, the Roman Legions had five symbols, the eagle, the wolf, the bull or minotaur, the horse and the boar. During the reorganization of the Legions under Marius about 104 B.C., the four animals were eliminated, and every Legion was symbolized by a silver or bronze eagle with outstretched wings. Another important symbol is the red rose, which symbolizes blood and honor. When it falls, Marcus is reminded how fleeting life is and how important bravery and honor are.

What are some symbols in modern America? What do they represent and how do people in America respond to them?

Essay Topic 2

Esca argues that the price of Roman order has been too high. He shows Marcus a Celtic shield boss, with a pattern that flows like wind and stars across the front. Esca contrasts it with the neat, orderly embossed decoration of Marcus's own dagger sheath. Marcus understands that the two represent two different worlds. He hopes that with Esca and Cottia, he will be able to bridge the gap between them.

The dagger sheath symbolizes the Roman way of life. It is a well-ordered, conventional and moderately comfortable existence that demands absolute conformity. The shield boss symbolizes the life of the Celtic tribesmen, free, in tune with natural rhythms and expressive, if sometimes uncertain. Marcus realizes that the two represent very different worlds, which are unlikely ever to peacefully coexist. This comparison evokes a major conflict of the novel, the clash of cultures between the Roman Empire and the Celtic tribes.

Do you think two cultures as different as early Britain and ancient Rome can co-exist along side each other? Which culture would you favor and why?

Essay Topic 3

What is the rite of manhood and how might it symbolize Marcus's struggle in his life?

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