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. How many boys are there in the training platoons, according to Xeones?

2. What does the Egyptian tell the Spartans about the Persian invasion?

3. What does Dienekes tell the Egyptian about freedom?

4. Why do the Antirhions lose the battle?

5. What does Xeones become in the Spartan army?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is the story behind Dienekes and Arete?

3. What is a helot?

4. What is the outcome of the battle?

5. Describe the relationship between Alexandros and Xeones.

6. Describe the Spartan games.

7. Who catches Alexandros not using his shield properly? What happens?

8. How do the Spartans count their dead?

9. Why do the Spartans punish their young boys by whipping them?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

During the battle at Thermopylae, several soldiers are caught trying to desert. Answer the following questions:

1. What reasons do the men give for desertion?

2. What reasons does Leonidas give for allowing the men to flee?

3. Why do some of the men beg to be allowed to return to duty after the speech that Leonidas gives?

4. How do the other men feel about those who desert? What do the other men want to do about it?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

The Spartans hold a unique view of war and enemies. Explain the Spartan view of war and their enemies. Compare and contrast this view to the views of other ancient warrior civilizations.

(see the answer keys)

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