Has your classical knowledge stood the test of time
Thousands of students will receive their A level results today, only to have their achievements questioned by the It Was So Much Harder In My Day brigade.
But how much did previous generations really learn, how much can they remember now and is there actually any benefit to a classical education? Take our quiz, and see if you can tell your Tantalus from your Tacitus.
1 Why did George Bernard Shaw call his play Pygmalion?
5 Zeus (Jupiter or Jove), lord of the skies, was prone to throwing thunderbolts at anyone who displeased him and to changing himself into a variety of forms in order to have sex with anything that moved. Name two of the creatures he inhabited in the interests of seduction.
6 Poseidon (Neptune), god of the sea, is always depicted with what threatening accessory?
7 In the Underworld, Tantalus was doomed to perpetual hunger and thirst in because the water he stood in receded whenever he bent down to drink and the fruit above his head remained out of reach. What adverb denoting frustration is taken from his name?
8 To get into the Underworld, classical mortals had to be rowed across the River Styx by the boatman, Charon, who charged a fee, which explains why corpses were buried with a coin in their mouths. They then had to get past a monstrous three headed dog. What was the dog's name and how was it tamed?
9 Orpheus, musical son of Apollo, was grief stricken by the death of his wife, Eurydice, and successfully blagged his way into the Underworld to beg for her return. He was granted his request but pandora charms sale australia still managed to lose her. How?
10 The Vestal Virgins were priestesses whose virtue was inviolable. They were buried alive if they were caught with a man in their room. What was their main duty?
11 The Campus Martius, the scene of Roman chariot races, was dedicated to the god Mars. What common military term derives from his name?
12 Apollo inherited the libertine tendencies of his father, Zeus, and spent a lot of time chasing nymphs. One of them was Daphne. How was she able to avoid his advances?
13 Aphrodite's son, Eros (Cupid) is generally portrayed as a chubby baby who mischievously shoots arrows at people to make them fall in love. What sexual term is derived from his name?
14 Hermes (Mercury) was a messenger of the gods, famed for his cunning. How did he get about?
15 The Gorgons were a group of angry old crones who had serpents in their hair and girdles. What was the punishment for anyone who met their gaze?
16 The phrase "Herculean task" can mean anything from mastering a new software programme to washing up after a dinner party these days. The original twelve Labours of Hercules imposed as a form of purification after murdering his wife and children were rather tougher. One of them is often invoked to describe political anti sleaze efforts. Which is it?
17 Jason and the Argonauts made a long and arduous sea voyage, at the end of which Jason had to perform a number of ludicrous tasks to recover what treasure?
18 pandor charms To have the Midas touch means finding it easy to make money. But King Midas had reason to regret wishing that everything he touched turned pandora charms special offers to gold. Why?
19 The first woman in mythology, Pandora, was given a mysterious box by Zeus and told never to open it. Tempation was too much for her and when she did open it she released all the evils that have since afflicted the world from rheumatism to jealousy. But there was one thing left in the box to comfort us. What was it?
20 In Athens in 508 BC, the father of democracy, an elder statesman called Cleisthenes, devised a way of banishing unhelpful people from the Ecclesia. Voters could write the names of the unpopular ones on piec4s of broken pottery called ostrakon. If at least 6,000 votes were cast, the man whose name came up most often was exiled for 10 years. What was the name of the punishment still in use today?
21 The Roman republic was essentially an aristocracy, in the original sense of the word, which means that it was ruled by toffs, formally known as patricians. What were the rest of the Roman citizens, the common people, known as?
22 Between founding an empire and fighting off political rivals, Julius Caesar found time in 45BC to reform the calendar. His advisers worked out that a year should be 365 and a quarter days long and he instituted the leap year to make up the extra day every four years. Before the Julian Calendar, how many days were there in a normal year?
23 The poorest Roman citizen might own a slave or two and rich households had them pandora charms japan in droves. Slaves who made up at least 25 per cent of the population of Rome in the time of Augustus (30BC 14AD) could be freed by their masters in a process called what?
24 Despite being "so weak in understanding" as to be ridiculed by his own household, Claudius (41 54) was the emperor who finally made Britain a province of the empire. In what year?
25 Even the British Museum's exhibition on Hadrian (117 38) couldn't fail to note that he stayed in power despite spending almost no time in Rome. What was the name of the boy lover so tenderly depicted there?
26 The Roman historian, Tacitus, was sharp on character analysis. He described a long forgotten emperor called Galba as omnium consensu, capax imperii nisi imperasset "by general agreement capable of performing the top job until he was given it".
A damning expression revived recently to describe which senior British politician?
27 For many years, scholars believed that the city of Troy, celebrated in Homer's epic, the Iliad, was a mythical place. But in 1870 the obsession of a self made German millionaire, Heinrich Schliemann, proved them wrong. His archaeological dig discovered a fortified city that had existed where Homer said it did.
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