Titans and olympians: greek and roman myth



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TITANS AND OLYMPIANS: GREEK AND ROMAN MYTH (Alexandria, Va: Time-Life, 1997)
1—3. Founded in 776 B.C., this quadrennial sporting event was held to honor the gods. [8] _______________________ In what city was this event held? [8] _______________ The grove at which the games were centered had previously been a site for the worship of this Earth goddess before it became a cult center for Zeus. [8] _____________

  1. What sporting event took place at Delphi in honor of Apollo? [8] __________________

  2. This Peloponnesian civilization dominated Bronze Age Greece. [10] __________________

  3. This god was imported into Greece from Asia Minor – his devotees worshipped him in festivals featuring wild dancing. [12] ____________________

  4. This Macedonian from northern Greece carved out a Hellenic empire that reached to the borders of India before his death in 323 B.C. [12] ____________________

  5. This Ancient Greek poet’s Theogony is one of the most important primary sources from the classical world that outlines the characteristics of the gods. [13] ___________________

9—10. What are the two great epics typically attributed to the 9th-century B.C. poet Homer? [13] ______________; ________________

  1. The defeat of this northern African civilization in the early third century made the Romans masters of the western Mediterranean. [14] ___________________

  2. The epic poet Vergil ascribes the origins of Rome to this displaced veteran of the Trojan War. [15—16] _________________

  3. Who was the Roman goddess of the hearth? [17] ________________

  4. The Roman double-faced god of the threshold, he was responsible for keeping evil out of the home. [17] _____________

  5. Victorious in the 14-year civil war that followed after Julius Caesar’s 44 B.C. assassination, he became the first of the Roman emperors. [17] _______________

  6. The conversion of this Roman emperor to Christianity in 313 A.D. marked the eclipse of an active classical mythology. [17] ______________________

  7. If a video of the ancient Greek Olympics had survived and were to be rebroadcast today, on which channel would the show most likely be shown. [18]

  1. A&E

  2. Comedy Channel

  3. Playgirl Channel

  4. ESPN Classics

18—22. According to Hesiod, these were the five original elements. [22] __________________________________; __________________________________; __________________________________; ___________________________________; __________________________________.

23—26. The early Greeks pictured the Earth as which shape? [24] ________________; What name was given to the salt-water sea thought to encircle the entire land mass? [24] ___________________ What two places were often suggested as the absolute center of the land mass? [24] __________________; ____________________



  1. This sky-god was both the child and the husband of Gaia. [25] _______________

  2. According to tradition, who had been the builders of the ancient walls of Mycenae? [25] __________________

  3. What is the collective name given to the twelve most famous children of Gaia and Uranus? [25] __________________

  4. The son of a Titan, he was condemned to hold up the sky and prevent it from falling to the Earth as punishment for taking the Titans’ side in their war with the Olympians. [26] _______________

  5. The eruption of this island in 1400 B.C. devastated the people there and may have given birth to the Atlantis legend. [26] ________________________

  6. This mountain volcano was said to be the prison of Typhon or the workshop of Hephaestus, the god of metal-making. [26] ______________

  7. What did Uranus do with his children? [27] _______________________________

34—37. The youngest of the twelve Titans, he rebelled against his father. [27] ________________ What act of violence did he commit against his father? [27] _____________________________ These vengeful Furies, punishers of father-killers and other evildoers, were born from the splashes of Uranus’s blood. [27] _________________ What Olympian goddess of love was born from the violent act? [27] _____________________

38—39. Son of the Titan sun god Hyperion, he was responsible for driving the solar chariot across the sky. [28] ____________________ His son in turn, he once asked to drive the chariot, with disastrous consequences. [28] __________________



  1. True or False: Cronus honored his promise to his mother and freed both the Hundred-handed and the Cyclopes from within her. [29] _____________

41—46. Who were the six children of Cronus and his sister Rhea? [29] __________________; ____________________; _______________________; __________________; ___________________; ______________________.

  1. According to the most common tradition, how did Cronus try to prevent any of his children from supplanting him? [29] __________________

48—50. How did Rhea and Gaia attempt to trick Cronus at the birth of Zeus, his youngest son? [30] ______________________________________________ According to tradition, Zeus was raised in a cave on what island? [30] ______________ Zeus later rewarded his goat-nymph nursemaid Amaltheia by transforming her into this constellation. [30] ______________________

  1. This Eastern fertility goddess was incorporated into the mythologies of ancient Greece and Rome alike. ____________________

52—56. What is the name given to the terrible ten-year “battle of the gods” between the Titans and their children? [32] _______________________ Recruited by Zeus as allies, they made weapons for Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus himself. [32] _______________ What were these weapons? [32] _________________________________________; ____________________________________; _______________________________

  1. Son of either Apollo or Hermes and a female nature spirit, this part-goat, part-human god of the forests is credited with introducing music to the world. [33] ___________

58—59. This winged horse sprang from the neck of the Gorgon Medusa when the hero Perseus cut her head off. [33] _________________ The tamer of this wild horse, he was ultimately cast back down to Earth when he tried to fly towards Mount Olympus. [33] _______________________

  1. Where were most of the Titans thrown at the end of the battle of the gods? [34] ___________________

  2. This part-lion, part-serpent, and part-goat monster was the offspring of Echidna and Typhon, the monster created by Gaia to fight against Zeus. __________________

62—65. According to Hesiod, what, in order, were the four ages of man that followed after the original “Golden Age?” [36, 39] ________________; _________________; _______________; ____________________

66—67. A child of the Titans, he sided with the Olympians during the battle of the gods and as a reward from Zeus was given the task of creating life for the Earth. [37] _____________________ How did Zeus punish him when he stole fire from heaven and gave it to the humans he had created without Zeus’s permission. [37] ___________________________________________________

68—69. Who did Zeus create and send to Earth to punish humankind for Prometheus’s gifts? [37] _________________ What was the only thing left in her box or pot after the lid was opened? [37] _____________


  1. According to the myth of Deucalion and Pyrrha, these were transformed into humans when thrown on the ground at the sacred cave of Delphi after the great Greek flood. [38] ___________________

  2. This Roman poet would retell the ancient myths in his Metamorphoses. [39] ______________

72—74. These three animals were sacred to Zeus, Poseidon, and Hera respectively. [43] ______________; _____________; _____________

  1. What was the name given to the ancient Roman practice of predicting the future through the system of examining the entrails of sacrificed animals? [43] _____________

  2. What trees were held sacred to Zeus? [44] ____________

  3. Who was the sculptor of the 13-meter-high statue to Zeus that was placed at Olympia and regarded as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world? [44] __________________

  4. In what form did Zeus rape Leda, queen of Sparta? [45] ___________________

79—80. The wife and sister of Zeus, she was the goddess and marriage and childbirth. [46] _______________ According to tradition, what astronomical feature was created from milk that spilled from her breasts when she was nursing the hero Heracles? [46] ______________________

81—84. Disguised as a bull, Zeus dragged this mortal to the island of Crete. [47] ___________________ Name two sons that she bore Zeus. [47] _______________; ________________________ Her brother, he searched unsuccessfully for her before settling down and building the new Greek city of Thebes. [47] ________________

85—89. Who were the parents of the Muses? [48] ______________; ____________________________________ Who was the muse of epic, heroic poetry? [48] _________________ Who was the muse of history? [48] ____________ How many muses were there in total? [48] _____________

90—92. The god not only of the sea but of earthquakes, according to Homer he could cross the world in three strides. [50] _______________ What annual Greek festival at Corinth honored him? [50] ________________________ What hero sought to bring the golden fleece, product of an amorous adventure of the sea god, back to Greece? [50] __________________

93—94. In a fit of jealousy the wife of Poseidon poisoned this goddess, transforming her into a twelve-footed, six-headed, dog-bodied monster who was relegated to a cave at the southern tip of Italy. _______________ Just across the Straits of Messina resided this goddess, turned into a whirlpool by Zeus after she had stolen Heracles’s oxen. [51] __________________

95—96. Who was the god of the underworld, of death, of funerals, and of the minerals of the Earth? [52] ______________ What number was sacred to this god? [53] _______

97—98. Who was the goddess of agriculture and of the harvest? [54] ______________ What Egyptian earth goddess was identified with her by both the Greeks and the Romans? [54] ______________

99—101. One of the most famous stories of classical mythology tells how Hades abducted this daughter of Demeter. [56] ______________ Zeus decided that Hades should surrender his “bride” as long as she had not eaten anything from the Underworld – unfortunately, she had swallowed seven seeds from this fruit. [59] _________________ What was the compromise reached in regards to Demeter’s daughter? [59] __________ ________________________________________________________________



  1. This annual festival honored Demeter and was held at a site 24 kilometers from Athens. [58] ____________________________

  2. Unable to seduce or overcome Aphrodite, Zeus sought to punish her by arranging her marriage with this god, the least attractive of the Olympians. [63] ____________________________

104—106. According to myth, the Trojan War started because the gods found this object with a message on it that it should belong to the most beautiful goddess of all – Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena all competed for the prize. [65] __________________ Aphrodite’s bribe of the most beautiful woman in the world to the contest’s mortal judge, Paris, prince of Troy, led to the abduction of this Greek woman and the consequent start of hostilities. [65] _________________ Aphrodite was, according to tradition, the mother of this Roman hero, who escaped from Troy to found a new empire. [66] ___________________

  1. Eros, the sometimes mysterious god of love, was transformed by the Romans into this cherubic, mischievous figure. [67] ________________

108—111. Who was the Greek virgin goddess of wisdom? [70] ______________ According to mythology, she was born not of the womb, but instead emerged, battle-ready, from this part of Zeus. [70] _______________ What did Poseidon offer Athens in his attempt to be named the city’s patron god? [71] _________________________ What novelty did the champion, Athena, produce? [71] ______________________

  1. In classical art, the head of this Gorgon is often emblazoned on Athena’s shield or helmet, a commemoration of the assistance she lent to the hero Perseus in the slaying of the monster. [72] _________________

  2. The biological term for spiders derives from the myth of the weaving contest between Athena and this talented mortal – the goddess not only won the contest but turned the challenger into a spider for her impudence in choosing as her subject the vices of the gods. [73] ___________________

  3. This great temple in Athens’s Acropolis was dedicated to the goddess Athena. [74] _______________________

115—18. In Greek mythology, she was the virgin goddess of the hunt, of the wilderness, of the moon, and of female secrets. [76] _________________ Who was her twin brother? [76] _______________ When this prince of Thebes accidentally caught site of the naked goddess bathing, he was transformed into a stag and pursued to the death by his own dogs. [78] __________________ Where was the main temple to this goddess? [79] _______________________________

119—20. Who was the god of light, but also the patron of music, poetry, and all the fine arts, and of healing and prophesy? [82] __________________ Who had he killed to gain possession of the sacred oracular site at Delphi? [82] _________________________

121—23. Who was the priestess of Apollo at Delphi? [83] _________________ What, according to tradition, had the sacred stone known as the “omphalos” (navel) originally been? [83] ____________________________________________________________ Delphi is located at the base of what mountain? [83] _________________________


  1. This Trojan princess was given both the gift of prophecy by Apollo and, after her rejection of his advances, the destiny of never being believed – when she foretold the fall of Troy her fellow Trojans dismissed her as delusional. [85] __________________

125—26. What were the two famous mottoes of Apollo that were carved into the walls at Delphi? [85] _______________________; _______________________________

  1. Apollo designated this son as the god of medicine. [85] _________________

128—31. Who was the Greek god of forges and of metalwork? [86] ________________ Under what name was he known to the Romans? [87] _________________ To whom was he married? [87] _______________________ Whom did he ensnare in his magic net naked with his wife? [88] ________________

132—33. Who was the Greek god of wine, the grape harvest, and drunkenness? [91] ___________________ In one version of the myth of his birth, he was sewed by his father Zeus into which part of Zeus’s body after the death of his mortal mother Semele? [91] ________________



  1. According to tradition, which Theban king who had attempted to outlaw Bacchic rites was torn to pieces by worshippers who caught him spying on the secret ceremonies? [94—95] __________________

  2. This Phrygian king asked as a reward from Dionysus that all he touch turn to gold. [95] _________________

136—38. A divine messenger and trickster, he was the god of flocks and boundaries, of travelers, traders, and thieves. [100] _________________ What musical instrument was he said to have invented on his first day after birth? [100] ______________ What did he steal later that same day? [100] ______________________________

  1. Pan was but the most famous of these half-man, half-goat creatures. [101] ______________________

140—41. The tail of which bird is associated with the myth of Io, and the attempts of Hermes to retrieve Zeus’s mistress from the control of the one-hundred-eyed Argus. [102] _________________ What sea derived its name from the details of this story? [102] _______________

  1. What was Hermes’s specific role as Hermes Psychopompus? [103] ___________ _______________________________________________

  2. True or False: In important ways, much of Roman religion was less publicly-focused than was the case in Greece. [104] ______________

  3. Typically described as the spirits of dead ancestors, these were seen by the Romans as protectors of the home and thus prayed to daily. [104] ____________

145—48. Who was the most important of the Roman household deities? [104] ____________ What was regarded as her sacrificial altar within the home? [104] ______________ These young girls from noble Roman families served the goddess at her temple. [105] ________________________ What happened to those who were discovered to have violated their vow of charity? [105] ________________________ __________________________________

  1. This Roman god was seen as the patron of doorways and beginnings – he was typically shown with two faces, one of which looked to the past and one of which looked to the future. [105] ________________

150—51. This Greek goddess, the personification of luck, was typically portrayed standing carrying in one hand a cornucopia full of rewards for the fortunate and in the other the rudder of destiny. [106] __________________ What was the Roman equivalent of the same goddess? [107] _______________

152—54. These three Greek goddesses, the Fates, were responsible, respectively, for spinning a person’s thread of life when he or she was born; for determining its length; and for cutting it at the appointed time. [107] ________________; ________________; _________________________



  1. The goddess of just retribution and the daughter of Nyx, she pursued those who had violated divine law with ruthless determination. [107] ____________________

156—58. This Thracian hero visited the Underworld in an attempt to persuade Hades to release his young bride Eurydice, who had been killed after she stepped on a snake. [109] __________________ How did he attempt to gain her release? [109] _______________ ___________________________ How did he in turn die? [109] _________________ _________________________________________________________________

159—62. This typically was identified as the river that marked the boundary of Hades’s realm. [110] _________________ Who was the ferryman who took spirits across the river? [110] ______________ What was the fare for this journey? [110] ____________ Who was Hades’s fierce three-headed watchdog? [110] ___________________



163—65. This deep pit in Hades was thought to be the destination for those who had sinned greatly during their lives. [110] _____________________ This individual, who had seized his brother’s throne and revealed Zeus’s secrets, was forced to keep pushing a large stone up a mountain. [111] _________________ Having served up his own son to the gods at dinner in an effort to determine whether they could distinguish human from animal meat, he stood in a pool of water that receded whenever he bent down to drink, with grapes overhead that remained just out of reach. [111] _________________

  1. Into what did Gaia transform Daphne to protect her from Apollo’s amorous advances? _________________

  2. This mythic sculptor carved a representation of all that was good and beautiful about the female form – with Venus’s blessing, the statue was brought to life. [122] _________________________

  3. The most important work of this Roman poet was the Metamorphoses, a mythological history from creation to the reign of the Emperor Augustus. [123] ________________

  4. After this mortal made love to Poseidon inside a shrine to the virgin Athena, Athena transformed her hair into live snakes and her beautiful face into something so hideous that anyone who looked upon it was immediately turned into stone. [125] _________________

  5. This lover of Aphrodite was killed by a wild boar, often described as a jealous Hephaestus or Ares in disguise. [128] _________________

171—72. She was punished by Hera for her role as accomplice in Zeus’s peccadilloes by being limited to repeating the words she had just heard. [129] ______________ With whom did she fall in love? [130] __________________

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