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 old are Xeones and Diomache when they separate?

2. How does Polynikes react to Alexandros' answer?

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

4. According to Xeones, each Spartan soldier goes into battle with at least one what?

5. Thermopylae is described as what?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does the author jump from place to place in the story?

2. What is the outcome of the battle?

3. Describe the relationship between Alexandros and Xeones.

4. Why does Xerxes become impatient with Xeones?

5. Why does Xerxes want to hear about the Spartans?

6. How does Xeones begin his story?

7. What does the lady Arete reveal to Xeones?

8. Why does Xeones refuse to continue with the story? What happens that causes him to continue?

9. How does Xeones come to be in the Persian camp?

10. How are Xeones and Alexandros assigned after the battle at Antirhion?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

After seeing what losses he takes fighting the Spartans, Xerxes almost leaves Greece and abandons his campaign. How is he persuaded to remain? What emotion drives him to stay? Is Xerxes in control of his own emotions here? Explain your answer.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Throughout the book, Xeones describes several things that are common to ancient warfare, such as smoke and fire, rape, and the mutilation of the enemy dead. What other factors are common to ancient warfare? Why do these things occur in ancient times? Do they still happen today? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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