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 is Tartarus?

2. What does Cradoc keep in reserve away from Marcus?

3. How does Marcus feel towards Esca?

4. What does the item in question 82 have on it?

5. What kind of wager does Marcus and the answer to question #16 make?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Marcus learn from Esca about Esca's family?

2. What is Placidus's attitude at dinner that night?

3. What can Marcus do about being discharged from the legion?

4. What does Quintus Hilarion, the Pilus Prior Centurion tell Marcus, who is replacing him?

5. Describe the relationship between Marcus and Cradoc.

6. What happens to Marcus and Esca when the tribesmen catch them after they leave, having stolen the Eagle?

7. What is the rite of manhood and how do the Epidaii celebrate it?

8. What does Esca suggest when it looks like they are going to be caught again, by the tribe?

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

10. Describe the local population's relationship with Rome.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The wolf cub symbolizes the struggle of each of us to tame the savage impulses within in order to belong to the civilized world. Both Esca and Marcus face that challenge, as former warriors who must conform to a pastoral life. Despite Marcus's protests, the bitter truth is that Esca is a slave.

Discuss the difficulties and rewards for being a member in good standing of a society. Are humans better off, do you think, living in groups with rules and expectations?

Essay Topic 2

Decimation was a form of Roman punishment for dishonored legions. Describe the process and discuss whether you think it's an effective method of keeping soldiers in line.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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