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Study Guides

Olympians Quizlet

Cliff Notes Analysis

Greek Heroes Chart

Study Guide for Final Exam / Q4


1. What is the definition of mythology?

Traditional stories from primitive cultures, often religious in nature, designed to explain natural phenomena

2. Explain the role of personification in mythology.

Many of the gods and goddesses were personifications of various natural occurrences. Zeus was associated with lightning, Poseidon with the ocean, Hades with death, etc.

3. What was Hubris? Excessive pride

 4. Why were symbols and pictures commonly used to tell myth stories? Most ancient Greeks were illiterate, so pictures were used to communicate ideas. 

5. Explain the relationship between astronomy, astrology, and mythology.

Ancient people spent a lot of time observing the night sky, especially to determine changes in season. The observation that some object moved, while others did not, gave rise to the belief that the moving objects must be alive, and therefore gods. The ability to make predictions about weather based on planetary movement gave rise to astrology and the belief that the future could be foretold.

6. Why did ancient rulers spend so much time, energy, and effort on building great structures (wonders)? What were they hoping to achieve?

Ancient rulers built great monuments in hopes of being remembered forever, thereby, in a sense, achieving immortality.

7. Why did Alexander the Great create his list of 7 Wonders?

He felt that these structures were so great, everyone in the world should make an effort to visit them.

8. Why were ancient people so quick to believe that people could return from the dead?

Lack of medical science in situations like unconsciousness, comas, narcolepsy, etc., gave rise to the belief that people could come back from the dead.

9. Why were there so many prophecies about the younger generation overthrowing the older generation?

In the ancient world, it was common for heirs to the throne to overthrow rulers rather than to wait their turn.

10. In general, what kind of personalities did the Greek gods have? Selfish, arrogant, hostile toward humans 

11. How did everyday people feel about the Greek gods? Everyday people feared the Greek gods.

12. Why did the Greek stories lack time-order or chronology?

Because the stories were told by different sub-cultures at different times, and each culture wanted to associate certain heroes with famous adventures, chronology was quickly abandoned. The Greek myths were never meant to form a coherent storyline, but were told in isolation.

13. Why were certain numbers, such as 12, believed to have magical qualities?

As the ancient people constructed their great wonders, numbers that were particularly useful in mathmatics were believed to have supernatural qualities.

14. How did Cronos try to overthrow a prophecy about a son who would be greater than he was? He swallowed his children, who grew up inside him 

15. What natural features/phenomena were personified by the following?

-Ouranos and Gaia: -Cronos and Rhea: -Zeus and Hera

heaven and earth time and fertility

weather and marriage 

16. To protect Zeus from Cronos, how did Rhea trick her husband?

She fed him a rock 

17. What type of mythological creatures were said to have raised young Zeus? Mer-goats (half-goat, half-fish, like the Zodiac sign of Capricorn)

18. How did Zeus and Rhea free the other Olympians from Cronos’ belly? They fed him poison, and he coughed up his children 

19. What monsters did Zeus recruit to help him battle the Titans?

The hundred-handed giants 

20. Where were the Titans imprisoned after the war with the Olympians? Tartarus 

21. Typhon the dragon was the personification of what natural feature? Volcanoes 

22. Which Titan led the others in the war against Zeus? Atlas 

23. What special punishment did this Titan receive? He was forced to hold up the earth on his shoulders 

24. Which Titans sided with the Olympians during the war? Aphrodite, Prometheus, Epimetheus 

25. Why was it necessary to imprison the Titans in Tartarus? They were immortal and could not die 

26. Which Titans were responsible for creating man and animals? Prometheus and Epimetheus 

27. Which Titan was punished for sharing fire with mankind? Prometheus 

28. Explain the story of Pandora’s Box. When Pandora opened her box, against Zeus’ orders, evil was released into the world

29. What is the difference between Primordials, Titans, and Olympians? These are the various generations of Greek gods, from oldest to youngest 

30. Why were the Titans depicted as more primitive, and ugly compared to the Olympians?

They represent an older, less sophisticated culture

31. Identify the Olympian gods and their roles: -Zeus: weather, lightning

-Poseidon: oceans, earthquakes, horses -Hera: marriage, fertility -Apollo: prophecy, sun, medicine -Athena: wisdom, strategy

-Demeter: agriculture -Hestia: hearth, home -Aphrodite: love, beauty -Artemis: moon, hunting, animals -Hephaestus: fire, forge -Dionysos: wine, drama

-Hades: underworld 

-Hermes: messenger -Ares: war

32. Why is it ironic that Zeus became king of the Olympians?

He was the youngest of the Olympians. Normally, the oldest child would inherit the throne. 

33. Why was it necessary for Zeus to diguise himself when interacting with humans? He true form would be so intense, it would kill them. 

34. Why is it ironic that Hera is the goddess of marriage?

Her husband was unfaithful.

35. How do we know which gods were the most popular with the ancient Greeks?

They had the most temples, monuments, etc., built to them

36. Why did Hades have so few temples?

People feared that worshipping him was inviting their own death

37. When ancient Greeks wanted to speak to Hades, how did they get his attention?

Stomp on the ground

38. Why were people buried with coins?

The coins were payment, so Charon would take them across the river Styx 

39. What type of crime was most likely to result in imprisonment in Tartarus?

A crime against the gods, especially excessive pride, claiming to be better than the gods 

40. Name the five rivers of the Underworld and their associated characteristics.

Styx: unbreakable oaths Lethe: forgetfulness

Phlegathon: fire Acheron: woe Cocytus: lamentation

41. Identify the following characters: –Persephone: queen of the underwold, wife of hades -Charon: boatman -Cerberus: 3-headed dog that guards the exit -Rhadamanthys, Minos, & Aiakos: judges of souls

42. What food caused Persephone to become trapped in the Underworld? Why?

Pomegranate seeds. Hades made a deal with Zeus that if Pers. ate the food of the Underworld, she would stay.

43. Besides being Queen of the Underworld, what was Persephone’s other role? (Goddess of...)? Innocence

44. What was the purpose of the Elysian Fields? The Fields of Asphodel? Resting place of heroes, realm of all normal (non-hero, non-criminal) people

45. What was the purpose of Gorgons in Greek culture? Guardians (images used on shields, armor, etc.)

46. Why are Gorgon-like monsters found in various mythologies world-wide? They resemble dead bodies, and all cultures have experienced this sight

47. Why was Poseidon’s crime considered to be Medusa’s fault?

Athena was associated with powerful male gods, so when a crime was committed in her temple, she sided with the gods against Medusa.

48. Describe the qualities of a Greek Hero. Which was the most important to the Greeks?

Suffering, great qualities, adventures, divine ancestry, favored by the gods, And generally a tragic ending to life.

Suffering was considered the greatest quality. 

49. What superior qualities did each hero possess?

–Hercules: strength -Perseus: extra favor from the gods -Theseus: intelligence -Jason: leadership

50. Who was the immortal centaur, known as the trainer of heroes? Chiron

51. How did this trainer become a constellation?

When he was struck by Hercules’ poisoned arrow and could not die, Zeus made him a constellation to end his suffering

52. Identify the 12 signs of the Zodiac (Horoscope) and their associated myth stories.

Pisces: Aphrodite, Christian fish Libra: scales of justice Aquarius: Ganymede the water boy Aries: Ram w/ the Golden fleece Sagittarius: Chiron the archer Scorpio: scorpion that attacked Orion

Cancer: the crab that attacked Hercules (w/ hydra) Gemini: Castor & Pollux, the twins Taurus: the Cretan Bull Leo: the Nemean lion

Virgo: Persephone, the virgin Capricorn: Almathea the mer-goat

53. Why was Hercules assigned 12 Labors, even though Hera caused the crime to happen? Hercules committed the crime and needed to be purified

54. For which two Labors was Hercules denied credit? Why?

Hydra, because he had help Augean stables, because he didn’t follow the rules of the task

55. Theseus treatment of the criminals most closely reflects which of Hercules’ 12 Labors? Diomedes and the mares, because the "punishment fit the crime”

56. Be familiar with the three types of plot conflicts (Man versus Man, Man versus Nature, Man versus Self). Which heroes are most associated with which plots?

–Hercules: man v. nature –Theseus: man v. man

57. What was a "Sword Hero?” Traditional character archetype who becomes king by finding a magic sword in/near/under a stone

58. What term is used to describe recurring character roles, such as a Sword Hero? Archetype

59. What is the main theme from the story of Theseus and the Criminals? Let the punishment fit the crime

60. Identify the 5 Criminals and their methods: -Periphetes : club -Procrustes: bed -Cercyon: wrestler -Sinis: pine trees -Skyron: cliffs

61. What moral dilemma is involved with the slaying of the Minotaur? By slaying the Minotaur, Theseus risked starting a war with Crete

62. Explain the story of Theseus, King Aegeus, and the Black Sails.

Theseus told his father that, upon his return, black sails would signify his death, white sails would mean victory. Theseus forgot to change to white sails, and his father, in grief, took his own life.

63. What was Theseus’ motive in going to war with the Amazons? He wanted to be like Hercules, who had an adventure with the Amazons.

64. How did King Acrisius try to avoid a prophecy about his future grandson, Perseus? He locked his daughter Danae in a bronze tower in hopes she would not have children

65. What was Perseus’ motive for killing Medusa? He wanted to rescue his mother, and her captor demanded Medusa’s head

66. What Olympians assisted Perseus in his quest? Hermes and Athena

67. What was Perseus’ greatest advantage in his quest? Help from the gods, who provided weapons, directions, etc.

68. In what way was Perseus less heroic than the other Heroes we studied? He became a great king and lived "happily ever after”

69. Why did King Polydectes send Perseus after Medusa? He was hoping Perseus would be turned to stone and never return

70. How are the Perseus and Jason stories similar? Both were trying to save their mothers

71. Why did King Pelias want to own the Golden Fleece? He thought it would grant immortality

72. What 3 Labors was Jason required to complete in order to earn the fleece? Yoke the fire-breathing bull, plant dragon’s teeth, battle soldiers

73. What additional task was assigned later, and why? Defeat a dragon. King Aeetes was upset that Jason had completed the first 3 labors successfully

74. Who was Medea, and what was her role in the story of the Golden Fleece? Dark sorceress, daughter of King Aeetes, wife of Jason

75. What was the special skill of the Argonaut Orpheus? Music with magical qualities

76. What was significant about the Argonaut Atalanta? Fast runner

77. What was Medea’s motive for taking revenge on Jason? He left her for another woman

78. What was her revenge? She killed his children

79. In the story of the Trojan War, Cassandra’s prophecies were a blessing and a curse. Explain how. Apollo gifted her with prophecy, but cursed her so nobody would believe her

80. When Zeus decided to arrange a husband for Thetis, what kind of person was he looking for? A terrible person, so the son could not be greater than Zeus

81. Why was Zeus trying to arrange this marriage? To avoid a prophecy about a son who would be greater than himself

82. What motivated Eris/Discordia to thrown the golden apple labeled, "To the Fairest” ? She was not invited to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis

83. What happened as a result of her actions?

The golden apple caused an argument between three goddesses. The resolution of that argument resulted in Aphrodite being crowned "the fairest,” ultimately causing the Trojan war

84. What prophecies were given concerning Achilles? If Achilles fought at Troy, he would die, but, if Achilles did not fights, the Greeks would lose

85. How does Thetis, his mother, try to avoid these prophecies?

She dips him in the River Styx to make him invulnerable, then hides him at the court of King Lycomedes, disguised as a girl.

86. Why did Achilles have a weak heal? When he was dipped in the River Styx, the heal was not dipped

87. What caused animosity between Agamemnon and Achilles? Agamemnon stole Achilles’ slave girl

88. Why did Artemis demand that Agamemnon sacrifice his daughter? (What was Agamemnon’s crime?)

Agamemnon’s troops killed a pregnant animal. Artemis demaned a sacrifice. 

89. Explain the story of Hector, Patroclus, and Achilles?

Achilles would not fight, so Patroclus took his place. When Pat was killed by Hector, Achilles was motivated to fight. Achilles killed Hector.

90. Why did Aphrodite side with the Trojans during the war? Paris chose her as "the fairest”

91. Why were the Greeks punished on their journey home from Troy? They destroyed many temples to the gods when they sacked Troy

92. Who was the monk who wrote down the Norse stories? Snorri Sturlessson

93. The great battle at the end of the world is called _______? Ragnarok

94. Odin, king of the Norse gods, was most associated with what quality? Wisdom, prophecy

95. What type of creature lives at the bottom of the One World Tree? A giant snake (Jormungand)

96. Thor is associated with what natural force? Thunder

97. Which Norse god is a character-type known as a Trickster? Loki

98. In which of the Nine Realms do humans live? Midgard

100. Which of the Nine Realms is the equivalent of the Elysian Fields? Valhalla

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