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

2. What does Marcus's uncle do about his request in question 87?

3. How did Esca become enslaved?

4. How long did Marcus have his command?

5. How has the village been punished?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What concerns Marcus's uncle about his leg and what does he do?

3. Describe Cottia and how Marcus meets her.

4. Marcus and Esca takes Cub somewhere. Where do they go and why?

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

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

7. How might Cub's return be symbolic of Marcus's life?

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

9. What does the Legate think happened to the Ninth Legion's Eagle and what does he fear?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

On the eve of Marcus's surgery, Marcus is grateful for the friendship of Esca, Cottia and Cub. With no money and no job, Marcus is still worried about finding his way in the world, but he realizes that he is no longer lonely. Esca's friendship with Marcus is deepening, evidenced when he is more concerned about the surgery than the unconscious Marcus is, and he insists on personally caring for his master.

How has friendship helped you through a rough time in your life? What do you think is the reason?

Essay Topic 2

Esca proves his loyalty to Marcus by offering to die in his place. Esca is a member of the Painted People, enemies of the Roman Legions. His entire family was killed fighting for their freedom against the Roman Empire. Yet, Esca has found in Marcus, a young Roman Centurion, the closest friendship. His love and loyalty for Marcus are so great that Esca is willing to abandon the remnants of his clan and die for Marcus. Again, Sutcliff uses Esca's plight to suggest that the under classes were born to sacrifice themselves on behalf of the rulers, in Britain as well as in the Roman Empire.

How do you think this class hierarchy in ancient Rome relates to present day class divisions?

Essay Topic 3

The Sixth Legion is based at Eburacum, the site of the present-day city of York. The Eagle symbolizes the honor of the Roman Legions. Strong, powerful and unmerciful, the bird of prey represents both the best and worst of Roman military might. Wingless and fallen into the hands of Druids or tribesmen, it is a powerful emblem of defeat. Protecting their Eagle was a potent rallying point for Romans soldiers. Some standards bearers were even known to rush into battle, forcing their more cautious cohort to follow them to protect the almost sacred Eagle.

Do you think the Eagle as a symbol is worth men giving up their lives? If you consider it a waste, why? If you don't, why? For what would you be willing to give up your life?

(see the answer keys)

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