Alexander the Great Quizzes

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Alexander the Great Quiz 1 - The Early Years

Alexander mosaic from House of the Faun in Pompeii.
Alexander mosaic from House of the Faun in Pompeii. Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Alexander the Great is one of only a handful of ancient men whose names are part of the common knowledge. Alexander the Great's life was short, but within that time he had an eventful youth and a career spent accruing glory in empire-conquering battles. For those not interested in the precocious child or the warrior-king, there are stories about his omen-laden birth, his loves and loyalties, his wives, and his vile behavior. For the sleuth, there are mysteries yet to be solved. In short, if you're going to call yourself educated, you have to know a thing or two about this colorful Macedonian king.

With biographies of famous ancient Greek and Roman men, it is usually worth your while to see if Plutarch wrote their biographies. Since Plutarch did write a readily available biography of Alexander, please read Plutarch's Life of Alexander online here or in any edition of your choice. If Alexander the Great is totally new to you, you may wish to refer to my Alexander the Great Study Guide.

Take this brief quiz, and then compare your responses with the answers at the bottom of the page.

Note: To view this quiz without ads, click on the print icon near the top of the page.

Alexander Quiz Part I (Early Years)

General Hint:
Should you find these questions difficult, keep in mind the time period in which Alexander lived. Wrong choices may be from another era, although some wrong choices are just silly, others obvious, and others tricky.

  1. Which year was Alexander born?
    (a) 356 B.C.
    (b) 336 B.C.
    (c) 340 B.C.
    (d) 326 B.C.
    (e) 323 B.C.

     

  2. Which event coincided with the birth of Alexander?
    (a) the burning of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
    (b) the burning of the Library at Alexandria
    (c) Caesar's kidnapping by pirates
    (d) the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius
    (e) Socrates' suicide by hemlock

     

  3. Who was the mother of Alexander?
    (a) Barsine
    (b) Cleopatra
    (c) Olympias
    (d) Roxane
    (e) Stateira

     

  4. Who was supposed to have been Alexander's father?
    (a) Ammon, Zeus, or Philip II
    (b) Baal, Apollo, or Philip II
    (c) Dionysus, Re, or Philip II
    (d) Hephaestion
    (e) Osiris, Hermes, or Philip II

     

  5. What was the name of the famous Greek writer and philosopher -- whose fame survived the loss of much of the Classics during the Middle Ages -- who tutored Alexander?
    (a) Aristotle
    (b) Plato
    (c) Pythagoras
    (d) Socrates
    (e) Zorba

     

  6. What do we think happened to Philip II to make Alexander king?
    (a) Olympias had been giving Philip II increasingly large doses of poison.
    (b) Philip II died in a drunken brawl.
    (c) Philip II died in battle.
    (d) Philip II died of an alcohol-related esophageal rupture.
    (e) Philip II was murdered.

     

  7. When Alexander became king, one of the first places in Greece he went to was Thebes. What happened there?
    (a) Alexander besieged the city for several months until he was called off to handle a revolt in Thrace.
    (b) It was at Thebes that Alexander went on a drunken spree and killed one of his companions.
    (c) Thebes rebelled and Alexander sacked the city.
    (d) Thebes rebelled, but when Alexander said he'd pardon them, they acquiesced with his demands.
    (e) Thebes rushed to join the Macedonians in their pursuit of the Persians.

     

  8. When Alexander sacked a Boeotian city, the family of which revered, ancient poet associated with Olympic victors was famously spared?
    (a) Bacchylides
    (b) Catullus
    (c) Hesiod
    (d) Pindar
    (e) Sappho

     

  9. Because of his unexpected, but simple and often-quoted response to an offer made to him by Alexander, who would Alexander have wanted to be had he not been Alexander?
    (a) Aristotle
    (b) Diogenes
    (c) Heidegger
    (d) Plutarch
    (e) Xerxes

     

  10. Cranium, where Alexander encountered Diogenes of Sinope, was a suburb of which city that modern historians use to name to a league, formed by Philip II, after the Battle of Chaeronea?
    (a) Athens
    (b) Corinth
    (c) Sinope
    (d) Sparta
    (e) Thebes

     

Answers:
1. a 2. a 3. c 4. a 5. a 6. e 7. c 8. d 9. b 10. b
02
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Alexander the Great Quiz 2 - From Empire Building to Death

Alexander the Great Coin
Alexander the Great Coin. CC Flickr User brewbooks

Alexander the Great is one of only a handful of ancient men whose names are part of the common knowledge and who has fascinated people for over 2 millennia. Alexander the Great's life was short, but within that time he had an eventful youth and a career spent accruing glory in empire-conquering battles. For those not interested in the precocious child or the warrior-king, there are stories about his omen-laden birth, his loves and loyalties, his wives, and his vile behavior. For the sleuth, there are mysteries yet to be solved. In short, if you're going to call yourself educated, you have to know a thing or two about this colorful Macedonian king.

With biographies of famous ancient Greek and Roman men, it is usually worth your while to see if Plutarch wrote their biographies. Since Plutarch did write a readily available biography of Alexander, please read Plutarch's Life of Alexander online here or in any edition of your choice. If Alexander the Great is totally new to you, you may wish to refer to my Alexander the Great Study Guide. Some details in this, the 2nd and more difficult quiz, are based on my review and summary of the 2010 edition of the compact Alexander the Great and His Empire, by Pierre Briant.

Take this brief quiz, and then compare your responses with the answers at the bottom of the page.

Note: To view this quiz without ads, click on the print icon near the top of the page.

Quiz II (From Empire-Building to Death)

  1. Who does Plutarch say was Alexander's preferred portrait sculptor?
    (a) Apelles
    (b) Lysippus
    (c) Phidias
    (d) Praxiteles
    (e) Scopas

     

  2. Before Alexander set out against the Persians, what problem is he supposed to have had at Delphi?
    (a) Alexander didn't like the response he received.
    (b) The day was not one on which the oracle gave responses.
    (c) The priestess was too tired to answer.
    (d) The priestess said she would only respond to a woman.
    (e) The vapors weren't working.

     

  3. When Alexander's famous black horse died, he named a city for it. What was the name of the city?
    (a) Bucephala
    (b) Incitatus
    (c) Persepolis
    (d) Ecbatana
    (e) Stagira

     

  4. According to the traditions, which person was about the same age at his death as Alexander the Great was at his?
    (a) Abraham (of the Bible)
    (b) Herod the Great
    (c) Jesus Christ
    (d) Julius Caesar
    (e) Methuselah

     

  5. What best describes what we think happened to Darius, the Great King of Persia in 331-330 B.C.
    (a) Alexander defeated him at Issus.
    (b) Alexander defeated and captured him at Guagamela.
    (c) Alexander defeated Darius, then had Bessos assassinate him.
    (d) Alexander defeated Darius at Gaugamela, but Darius escaped.
    (e) Darius escaped captivity, but was shot with an arrow in the back while he fled.

     

  6. Which mythological/legendary figure did Alexander especially admire, and so, honor at Troy?
    (a) Achilles
    (b) Apollo
    (c) Artemis/Diana
    (d) Darius
    (e) Hellespont

     

  7. According to legend, what did Alexander do in regards to the chariot in the city of Midas?
    (a) Acquired the Midas touch.
    (b) Climbed into it.
    (c) Cut the Gordian knot that held it in place.
    (d) Put its yoke around his own neck.
    (e) Took it as part of the plunder made from all the material Midas had turned to gold.

     

  8. Which is not thought of as a motive for Alexander's invasion of Persia?
    (a) Desire to emulate divine conquerors.
    (b) Pothos.
    (c) Revenge for the murder of his father.
    (d) The Delphic Oracle's promise that the land would be his for the taking.
    (e) To punish Persia for its attacks on Greece and Macedonia.

     

  9. Which set of two locations refers to Alexander's sieges, rather than set battles?
    (a) {Arbela, Issus}
    (b) {Chaeronea, Jaxartes}
    (c) {Granicus, Issus}
    (d) {Guagamela, Hydaspes}
    (e) {Tyre, Miletus}

     

  10. Which was not one of the three deplorable acts of Alexander that alarmed his followers?
    (a) The arrest of Callisthenes for failing to kneel before Alexander.
    (b) The drunken slaying of Clitus.
    (c) The execution of Philotas and his father Parmenio.
    (d) The rape of Darius' wife.

     

Answers:
1. b 2. b 3. a 4. c 5. d 6. a 7. c 8. d 9. e 10. d
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Gill, N.S. "Alexander the Great Quizzes." ThoughtCo, Aug. 9, 2016, thoughtco.com/alexander-the-great-quizzes-116830. Gill, N.S. (2016, August 9). Alexander the Great Quizzes. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/alexander-the-great-quizzes-116830 Gill, N.S. "Alexander the Great Quizzes." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/alexander-the-great-quizzes-116830 (accessed November 25, 2017).