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. What is Xeones trying to steal when he is caught?

2. What is the preferred weapon of Suicide?

3. Why do the Spartans use that method to count their dead?

4. There is a battle on the plain west of Antirhion. Who do the Spartans fight there?

5. What does agoge boua mean?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the story behind Dienekes and Arete?

2. Why do the Persian soldiers not hinder the Greeks in their escape?

3. Describe the battlefield at Antirhion.

4. Describe the training exercise at the Oaks.

5. Who is Bruxieus?

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

7. What causes Xerxes to decide to stay in Greece and complete his campaign?

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

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

10. What else happens on the last day of the battle at Thermopylae?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

For the first day of the battle, the Greeks are able to fend off several attacks that, simply by the number of soldiers, should have crushed them. All the way to the bitter end, the Greeks are able to inflict great damage on the army of Persia. Describe the strategies used by the Greeks, from the first crossing of arms to the last.

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

After the battle at Thermopylae, The Persians capture the body of King Leonidas, and mutilate it. Describe what they do to his body. For what reasons might the Persians commit this act of disrespect and defilement on the body of the Spartan king? What about this bothers Xerxes? How does it affect Xerxes' decision making and performance?

Describe the dreams that Xerxes has after Leonidas' body is mutilated. Why is he so plagued by these nightmares? Is he afraid? Explain your answers.

(see the answer keys)

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