Gates of Fire Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Steven Pressfield
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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. To whom does Xeones tell his story?

2. Where does Bruxieus tell Xeones and Diomache to go?

3. Where do Xeones and Alexandros catch up to the Spartan army?

4. Who is Paraleio?

5. Who are the two narrators of this story?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Polynikes seem to think that Spartans are better than any other men?

2. Describe the training exercise at the Oaks.

3. What is the concern of the lady Paraleio, Alexandros' mother?

4. How do the Spartans count their dead?

5. What happens to Xeones after his city is burned?

6. Describe the Spartan line formation.

7. Why does Diomache feel that no one will want to marry her?

8. Why is Xeones depressed? What happens?

9. What is the outcome of the battle?

10. Why does Xerxes become impatient with Xeones?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In ancient Greece, just like many other ancient civilizations, crimes were punished much more severely than they are now. Many crimes involving stealing would result in losing a hand, or having the hands crippled. Have students write an essay answering the following questions:

1. What are these kinds of punishments no longer in use? What caused them to be discontinued in the Western world?

2. Are these kinds of punishments still in use today? If they are, then where, and why?

3. Do you feel that capital and corporal punishment is appropriate punishment for most crimes? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

What is an all-sire unit? Explain what it means to be an all-sire unit. What would it be like to be a member of one of these units? Compare the Spartan all-sire units with similar units of other civilizations and times.

Essay Topic 3

When the Persians arrive at the Hot Gates, they take about two days to attack. What are they doing during that time? Why does it take so long?

Describe the stress and anxiety that might build up for the Greeks over the course of a couple of days of waiting for an attack from a force that greatly outnumbers them. Is it important to distract the soldiers from this stress? Why or why not?

How does Leonidas have his men deal with it? What ways of dealing with the stress do some of the men find for themselves? How would you suggest dealing with pre-battle stress, and why?

(see the answer keys)

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