issue 43: July - August 2004 

The Iliad Quiz


This issue’s quiz is on Homer’s The Iliad (based on the translation by Robert Fitzgerald; spellings based on the text). It may not be contemporary fiction, but it’s definitely cutting edge. If you’ve seen Wolfgang Petersen’s Troy, it may help a bit, but could also lead you astray. Not to worry; if it’s not your area of expertise, a quick reading or re-reading of the text is all you need. With violence, lust, jealousy, revenge and battle scenes galore, it has everything you’d want in a page-turner. So have a go; the winner receives a 30-euro (£20 / $30) gift certificate to spend at Amazon; in case of a tie, a name will be drawn. Deadline: Sept. 1, 2004

1. At the opening of The Iliad, the Trojan war has been going on for...
a. six months
b. three years
c. nine years
d. hasn’t yet begun

2. Akhilleus was rightly pissed off at Agamémnon, but it was really Apollo who brought about the quarrel between the two. The sun god had been appealed to by a priest who had it in for Agamémnon because he...
a. ransacked the priest’s temples
b. refused to release the priest’s daughter for ransom
c. took the priest’s wife and daughter as his concubines
d. ignored the priest’s pleas for money and sacrifice

3. In the first battle scene between the Trojans and the Akhaians, Meneláos is about to kill Paris when Aphrodítê intervenes and...
a. veils them both in dusk
b. temporarily blinds Meneláos
c. hides Paris in mist
d. bears Paris off in a dark cloud

4. A short while later, Meneláos is wounded by this Trojan soldier ...
a. Aineías
b. Simoéisios
c. Hektor
d. Pándaros

5. Both sides offered sacrifices to the gods of either a hundred oxen or cattle at the same time or the sacrifice of a large number of other animals. This sacrifice is called a.....

6. The gods aided both the Trojans and Akhaians. Hêra and Athêne were big cheerleaders and occasional interveners on behalf of which side?

7. A Trojan soldier is flung from his chariot at the feet of Meneláos to whom he begs for his life, promising "no end of ransom" from his father; Meneláos consents, but who steps in, calls him a "soft heart," spears the guy, then jumps on the spear and breaks it off?
a. Agamémnon
b. Odysseus
c. Aías Telamonios
d. Short Aías

mentoroy.gif (15070 bytes)

8. Of whom was it said by a Trojan augur: "I call him most formidable of Akhaians now . . . / the fellow fights like one possessed: no man / can equal him in fury"?
a. Akhilleus
b. Merínones
c. Diomêdês
d. Idómeneus

9. Who spoke the words: "When Dawn with rosy fingers eastward made the tenth day bright …?

10. During a break in battle, Antênor advises the Trojans to...
a. stand firm and protect Helen
b. give her back to the Atreidai
c. let the soldiers have their way with her
d. sacrifice the troublesome "cow" to Apollo

11. Hektor’s team of horses was called "Tawny and Whitefoot" and...
a. Raven and Dawn
b. Lightning and Blackwing
c. Goldy and Ambrosia
d. Dusky and Dapple

12. When the men didn’t want to fight, they were often called a "pack of dogs," or a soldier was referred to as a ...
a. woman
b. rat
c. goat
d. ninny

13. Match the epithet with the name by putting the corresponding number in the box:

a. grey-eyed   1. Hêra
b. breaker of wild horses   2. Myrmidons
c. lionhearted breaker of men   3. Odysseus
d. lord of the warcry   4. Diomêdês
e. arms white as ivory   5. Hektor
f. the great tactician   6. Akhilleus
g. brothers-in-arms of Pêleus’ son   7. Athêne

14. When Agamémnon wants to make peace with Akhilleus, he offers to return Akhilleus’ slave girl Briseis, whom he had stolen, saying...
a. they never slept together
b. they only fooled around a bit
c. he only coupled with her once
d. he was getting tired of her anyway

15. He was an old, wise Akhaian, but still fought like hell...
a. Euaimôn
c. Nestor
d. Pêleus

16. Akhilleus only joined the battle after the death of ...
a. his mother, Thetis
b. Teukros
c. Polypoites
d. Patróklos

17. Which Trojan was left strutting around in Akhilleus’ armor?

18. Before the Akhaians, with Akhilleus in the lead, go to battle the Trojans, there is a big discussion about whether or not they should first...
a. bathe
b. eat
c. cut their hair
d. make love to their women

19. The first Trojan to fight Akhilleus was...
a. Aineías
b. Hektor
c. Paris
d. Xánthos

20. To avenge the death of his beloved companion, Akhilleus not only dragged around the body of Hektor behind his chariot, he also...
a. tortured 12 of the bravest Trojans
b. blinded 12 sons of Priam
c. raped 12 Trojan virgins
d. cut the throats of 12 Trojan boys

21. Which sport was not undertaken at the funeral games arranged by Akhilleus?
a. wrestling
b. chariot racing
c. javelin throwing
d. discus throwing
e. running
f. archery
g. swimming
h. boxing
i. spear fighting

22. King Priam retrieved Hektor’s body by offering Akhilleus all sorts of great loot, including...
a. 20 pubescent beauties
b. 10 bars of gold
c. a golden chariot
d. a good set of cutlery

23. At the time of Hektor’s death, how long had Helen been in Troy?
a. 10 years
b. 15 years
c. 20 years
d. 30 years

24. After the death of Hektor, his wife Andrómakhê predicts that their baby son will be snatched away and ...
a. held for ransom by the Akhaians
b. hurled to death from Troy’s walls
c. thrown into the sea
d. rescued by Aineías

25. In Wolfgang Petersen’s Troy (2004), several liberties are taken with the original text. Perhaps the most egregious license in the film comes with the death of two principal characters, who, according to Homer and many other ancients, lived on long after the Trojan war. They are...
a. Meneláos and Agamémnon
b. Agamémnon and Akhilleus
c. Meneláos and Hektor
d. Hektor and Akhilleus

© TBR 2004

This quiz may not be archived, reproduced or distributed further without the author's express permission. Please see our conditions of use.


issue 43: July - August 2004  

Short Fiction

Barry Gifford: Holiday from Women
Nic Kelman: girls
J.K. Mason: A Caricature of Faith
Juan Bonilla: Mónica’s Letters
picks from back issues
Julie Orringer:
Javier Marías:
Fewer Scruples


Nic Kelman


The Iliad
answers to last issue’s quiz Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald

Book Reviews

Do the Blind Dream? by Barry Gifford
The Little White Car by Danuta de Rhodes
girls by Nic Kelman
World Famous Love Acts by Brian Leung
Deadfolk by Charlie Williams
One Hundred Strokes of the Brush Before Bed by Melissa P.
Psychoraag by Suhayl Saadi (review available August 7)

Regular Features

Book Reviews (all issues)
TBR Archives (authors listed alphabetically)

Home | Submission info | Spanish | Catalan | French | Audio | e-m@il www.Barcelonareview.com