Gates of Fire Test | Final 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 do the Spartans discover on their way to the tent of Xerxes?

2. What is Xeones' proof that he was there, and not that he simply heard of it?

3. What is mothax?

4. What oath does Arete swear to Xeones?

5. When does Darius of Persia die?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Arete offer Xeones? What is Xeones' response?

2. Why do the Spartans decide to send only 300 men?

3. What disturbs Xerxes, the Persian king?

4. Describe the plan to assault Xerxes in his own tent.

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

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

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

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

9. Describe the Medes who first entered battle with the Greeks.

10. What kind of force arrives at Thermopylae to meet the Persians?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

During the battle at Thermopylae, several soldiers are caught trying to desert. Answer the following questions:

1. What reasons do the men give for desertion?

2. What reasons does Leonidas give for allowing the men to flee?

3. Why do some of the men beg to be allowed to return to duty after the speech that Leonidas gives?

4. How do the other men feel about those who desert? What do the other men want to do about it?

Essay Topic 3

By simply maintaining military discipline, the Spartans are able to defeat many enemies in battle who do not know discipline. Define discipline. Why is discipline so important on the battlefield? Is it equally important off the field? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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