First Semester Mythology Study Questions

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Marcus Clarke
Marcus Clarke

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First Semester Mythology Study Questions
Answer all questions in no more than 2 complete sentences, unless otherwise noted.
Either type your answers below the question and print them for each class OR hand write your
answers to bring to class!
Read pp. 3-15 “Introduction to Classical Mythology”
What is the difference between primitive and classical mythology?
How are the Greek gods different from Egyptian or Mesopotamian gods?
What is “the miracle of Greek mythology” (9)?
What are the “dark spots” referred to by Edith Hamilton (11-12)?
How does she define mythology?
What is her explanation for differing views of the same gods?
Read pp. 15-18 “Introduction to Classical Mythology: The Greek and Roman Writers of
Identify the best-known writers of Greek and Roman mythology.
1. Ovid
2. Homer
3. Hesiod
4. Pindar
5. Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides
6. Aristophanes
7. Plato
8. Virgil
Read pp. 21-41 Chapter One: “The Gods”
1. What is the best guide to Greek mythology?
2. Identify the twelve gods of Olympus.
a. Zeus (Jupiter)
b. Hera (Juno)
c. Poseidon (Neptune)
d. Hades (Pluto)
e. Athena (Minerva)
f. Phoebus Apollo (Apollo)
g. Artemis (Diana)
h. Aphrodite (Venus)
i. Hermes (Mercury)
j. Ares (Mars)
k. Hephaestus (Vulcan)
l. Hestia (Vesta)
3. Identify some of the lesser Gods of Olympus.
a. Eros
b. Hebe
c. Iris
d. The Graces
e. The Muses
Read pp. 41-52 “The Gods” continued
Identify these in one sentence each, please.
1. Identify some of the Gods of the Waters.
a. Poseidon (Neptune)
b. Ocean
c. Triton
d. Proteus
e. Naiads
2. Identify some of the Gods of the Underworld.
a. Charon
b. Cerberus
c. Acheron, Cocytus, Styx
d. The Furies
e. Sleep and Death
3. Identify some of the lesser Gods of Earth.
a. Demeter (Ceres)
b. Dionysus (Bacchus)
c. Pan (Faunus)
d. Castor and Pollux
e. The Satyrs
f. Nymphs
g. Boreas, Notus, Eurus, Zephyr
h. The Centaurs
i. The Gorgons
j. The Sirens
k. Clotho, Lachesis, Atropos
4. Who are two well-known lesser Roman gods?
a. Saturn
b. Janus
Read pp. 53-76 Chapter 2: “The Two Great Gods of Earth”: Demeter (Ceres) and
Dionysus (Bacchus)
1. What do Greeks believe are the two basic gifts that Earth gives to man?
2. How are Dionysus and Demeter different from the Twelve Gods of mythology?
3. How does the myth of Demeter explain the seasons of spring and winter?
4. According to myth, how is Dionysus born? How is this related to Dionysus’ association
with grapes and wine?
5. What is he known as, and what does he teach humans?
6. What are the two contrasting ideas associated with the worship of Dionysus?
7. Why is Dionysus considered so important to Greeks?
8. How does Dionysus become a symbol of resurrection?
9. What is the connection between Dionysus and the Greek theater?
Read pp. 77-94 Chapter 3 “How the World and Mankind Were Created”
Where can one find the earliest account of Greek creation?
What is Hesiod’s version of the creation of man?
Who are Prometheus and Epimetheus?
What gifts does Epimetheus give to animals? What does Prometheus give
to mankind to make us superior to animals?
5. What is the second version of creation, the five stages of man?
6. What does Prometheus do that angers Zeus?
7. How is Prometheus tortured?
8. Why is Pandora created?
9. Why does Zeus send a flood to earth?
10. Who are the only two survivors?
11. Who are the Stone People?
Read pp. 95-118 Chapter 4 “The Earliest Heroes”
In no more than 50 words for each, summarize the story of the following:
Prometheus and Io
The Cyclops Polyphemus
The Flower Myths:
a. Narcissus
b. Hyacinth
c. Adonis

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