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 does Leonidas do after the Antirhion king surrenders?

2. Why does Xeones go out into a snowstorm to freeze to death?

3. How does Xeones describe Dienekes?

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

5. Who is Dienekes' squire?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Xeones begin his story?

2. How does Xeones describe the Spartan view on war?

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

4. Describe the Spartan line formation.

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

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

7. What is the outcome of the battle?

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

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

10. Describe the training exercise at the Oaks.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

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

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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