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Oct 19, 2016

Can You Get An A In This Basic Classics Exam?

Kids take exams like this; do you know more about the ancient world than they do?

en.wikipedia.org / Creative Commons / openclipart / BuzzFeed

Questions have been adapted from 2012-16 Scottish Standard Grade and Nat 5 Classical Studies past papers and marking guides issued by the SQA.

  1. openclipart.org
    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Correct answer: Trading and political discussion.

    The agora (ἀγορά) was a public open space used for assemblies and markets. People would go there to buy and sell commodities, and to discuss all kinds of topics, like business and politics. But not silent discos, sadly.

    Via ITV
  2. openclipart.org
    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Correct answer: Blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile.

    Fun fact: our word "melancholy" derives from Greek μέλαινα χολή (melaina kholé) meaning "black bile". The Greeks believed that an excess of black bile caused sadness. Now, we know that it's actually caused by Brexit and Donald Trump.

    Via bbc.co.uk
  3. bbc.co.uk
    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Correct answer: The gynakion

    Women and men lived separately in ancient Greece, with women occupying upstairs rooms at the back of the house. The Gynaikon or Gynaikonitis is where the women of the house did tasks like weaving, entertained female friends, and probably talked about how they wanted to ban all men.

    Via Warner Bros. / Giphy
  4. openclipart.org
    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Correct answer: The god of the grape harvest and wine.

    Dionysus (called Bacchus by the Romans) was the the god of the grape harvest, wine, fertility, and theatre. The Great Dionysia was an annual festival held in March, which honoured the god with dramatic performances, including works by Aeschylus, Euripides, Sophocles, and Aristophanes.

    Via Disney
  5. openclipart.org
    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Correct answer: i) The bay of Naples ii) A volcano iii) 79 AD

    Pompeii, along with nearby Herculaneum, was almost completely destroyed in the disaster, with houses and citizens buried underneath around 20 feet of pumice and ash.

    Via TriStar Pictures
  6. openclipart.org
    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Correct answer: Romulus and Remus; the god Mars

    Romulus and Remus are the twin brothers who feature in Rome's foundation myth. Their father was Mars, the god of war. They were abandoned, suckled by a she-wolf, then raised by a shepherd. Pretty standard Roman upbringing, to be fair.

    Via en.wikipedia.org
  7. edgeblogs.net
    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Correct answer: Augustus

    Augustus (born Octavian) was the heir of Julius Caesar. Instead of following Caesar's example and making himself dictator when his great-uncle died, he founded a monarchy headed by an emperor holding power for life. And the rest, as they say, is history.

    Via BBC / Giphy
  8. DreamWorks Pictures
    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Correct answer: Maximii

    There's no such thing as a "Maximii". Mirmillones wore a helmet with a stylised fish on the crest and carried a gladius and an oblong shield; Bestarii fought various types of exotic, imported beasts. So cruel :(

    Via DreamWorks Pictures / Giphy
  9. openclipart.org
    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Correct answer: They blind him, then tie themselves to his sheep.

    When the newly blinded Cyclops lets his sheep out to graze, he feels their backs to ensure that the men are not escaping. But, cunning sod that he is, Odysseus tells his men to tie themselves to the undersides of the animals, so they get away.

    Via Warner Bros. Pictures / Giphy
  10. en.wikipedia.org
    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Correct answer: Dido

    Dido was the founder and first queen of Carthage in modern-day Tunisia. Not to be confused with the other Dido, of course.

    Via Arista / Giphy
  11. en.wikipedia.org
    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Correct answer: Patroclus

    In classical times (4th and 5th century B.C.), it was assumed that the guys were more than just friends. Achilles' relationship with Patroclus was portrayed as same-sex love in the works of Aeschylus, Plato, and Aeschines.

    Via fuckyeahdudeskissing.tumblr.com
  12. openclipart.org
    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Correct answer: Defeat the sirens.

    The labours were initially introduced in a Greek epic poem, now lost, written by Peisander in around 600 BC. Hercules didn't have to deal with the sirens, but he did have to kill a whole bunch of things and shovel a whole load of poo out of King Augeas' gross stables.

    Via Disney

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