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. Who planted the answer to question #13 and why?

2. How many bad harvests years has Britain had before the opening of the book?

3. What did the collapse of the first chariot do in the fight?

4. How did Esca become enslaved?

5. What will happen to the gladiator whose life Marcus saved?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who is Claudius Hieronimianus and who does he bring to dinner with him?

2. What is the wolf hunt for and how is Esca involved?

3. Describe Cottia and how Marcus meets her.

4. What did Marcus's attack do for the Roman legion?

5. How does Rome award the Second Legion and Marcus?

6. What does the war spear in Chapter two mean to the story?

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

8. How is the rebelling village punished and how does Marcus feel about the village?

9. Describe a testudo and what it does.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

Marcus learns that loyalty to Rome and to the Legion is important, but so is loyalty to your friends and family. What do you believe is more important loyalty to family or friends? Why? What about country? Would you turn in a family member who committed a crime? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 1,200 words
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