Roman Blood Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Steven Saylor
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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. When Gordianus questions Polia, she__________________.

2. Who is Marcus Licinius Crassus?

3. In Chapter 2, what ends up lying at Gordianus's feet?

4. Why could Roscius (pater) associate with those higher in status than himself?

5. Who claims to have seen the murder?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the purpose of the author's inclusion of the scene where Gordianus and Tiro see a gladiator stabbed while they are walking to Cicero's house?

2. Describe your first impression of Gordianus.

3. Why does Gordianus mention the fog at the end of Chapter 15?

4. When Gordianus and Tiro see the tenement fire, what is the significance of that?

5. In Chapter 5, Cicero says to Tiro, "A fit subject for debate: Is it possible that a slave can be too loyal to his master? That is to say, too enthusiastic in his devotion, too ready to spring to his master's defense." What is your answer to that question?

6. Do you think Elena really was pregnant? Or was she setting Roscius up to be attacked?

7. Electra tells Gordianus and Tiro that some men bought Elena. What else does she reveal?

8. If traveling to Ameria alone is so dangerous, why doesn't Gordianus take a companion or a guard?

9. What elements of Cicero's home seem to contradict one another?

10. Why does Polia think she is protecting Eco by lying about him witnessing the attack?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Slaves play a prevalent role in Roman Blood. Examine the roles Tiro, Bethesda, and other slaves such as Felix and Chrestus or Carus play in this novel.

Essay Topic 2

The subject is patricide, or murder of a father. What other works of literature have you read/studied that involve the murder of a father by a son/daughter? Compare at least two of those with Roman Blood.

Essay Topic 3

What purpose does the story of Crassus and his pursuit of property serve in this novel?

(see the answer keys)

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