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. Thermopylae is described as what?

2. What does Xeones become in the Spartan army?

3. What is the Antirhion army primarily composed of?

4. What do the people of Sparta sing as the soldiers march off to war?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What happens when Rooster returns to the Greeks on the second day of battle?

3. What disturbs Xerxes, the Persian king?

4. What happens when Leonidas frees the helots on the last day of battle?

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

6. Describe the training exercise at the Oaks.

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

8. Why does Arete claim the child of Rooster is really the child of her husband Dienekes? What unforeseen effect does this have?

9. Describe the Spartan line formation.

10. Describe what the Persians do to the body of the Spartan king, Leonidas.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Describe the landscape of the Hot Gates, and the advantages that it provides the Spartans. Are there any advantages in the landscape for the Persians? Why do the Spartans choose this as the place for the battle?

Essay Topic 3

Xeones denounces Xerxes as a poor king. Why does Xoenes feel that Xerxes is a poor king? How does Xeones describe a good king? In your own words, describe Xerxes as a king, and tell whether you think he is a good king or not, and why.

(see the answer keys)

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