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. Why is Xerxes warned about the story of the Spartans?

2. As Chapter 2 opens, what does Xeones say that the word Thermopylae means?

3. How does Xeones return to life from the grave?

4. How are Spartan boys punished?

5. How many sons has Arete born Dienekes?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What factors push the Spartans into a decisive battle with the Persians?

3. Why do the Spartans want to kill Rooster and his infant son?

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

5. How is Rooster spared and why?

6. Who is Bruxieus?

7. According to Xeones, why does Leonidas select the men he does for the 300?

8. What happens when the Greeks enter the tent of Xerxes that ultimately saves his life?

9. Describe the battlefield at Antirhion.

10. How does Xeones come to follow the Spartan army when they march out to war?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

The preferred style of combat for the Spartans is the heavy infantry phalanx. Answer the following questions about the Spartan phalanx:

1. Describe the structure of the phalanx.

2. What role does discipline play in the successful phalanx?

3. What role does cohesive teamwork play in the successful phalanx?

4. What strengths and weaknesses does the phalanx have?

Essay Topic 3

1. In ancient Sparta, as well as today, soldiers are trained by simulating real battle conditions. During these training exercises, soldiers can undergo severe physical and mental stress, and can actually die from the training, or in training accidents. What other disadvantages might there be to of such training methods? What are the benefits?

2. How are the training methods of the ancient Spartans like the methods used my most of the world today? How are they different?

(see the answer keys)

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