Classical Cultures

Self-Quiz: Thucydides 1.1-23

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1. According to Thucydides, why did Attica achieve stability early?

because its soil was so poor
because Athena protected it
because its women were warriors
because its men were so mighty

2. Which of the following does Thucydides say was a result of increased sea travel?

transmission of the alphabet
wrath of Poseidon

3. According to Thucydides, what effect did the acquisition of wealth have on the earliest Greek cities and on relations among them? (1.8)

the wealthy became soft and were conquered by the poorer cities
the wealthy cities became more powerful and ruled the weaker ones
the wealthy cities shared their wealth with the poorer Greeks
the gods punished the wealthy cities by helping the poorer ones defeat and plunder them

4. Why, according to Thucydides, was Agamemnon able to gather the expedition against Troy?

all the suitors of Helen were bound by an oath to protect her, so they had to respond
Agamemnon was in possession of the sceptre of Zeus, so the others had to obey him.
Agamemnon had a stronger navy than any other ruler, so they feared him
Agamemnon was such a capable speaker, he was able to persuade the other Greeks to join him

5. What lesson does Thucydides draw from the physical remains that Sparta and Athens would leave if they were suddenly deserted?

it is better for a city to be walled than unwalled
we should dress and live simply instead of spending frivolously on theaters and public buildings
we should not judge cities by their appearance, but by their actual power
none of the above

6. According to Thucydides, what was the most important factor contributing to the duration of the Trojan War?

shortage of manpower
primitive technology
interference by the gods
shortage of money and supplies

7. What, according to Thucydides, are the most important results of the development of naval power?

it is hubristic and invites punishment by Poseidon
it brings in revenue and enables conquests leading to empire
it involves all the male citizens in rowing and builds political cohesion
it imports food from the east and averts civil strife over scarce resources

8. Why, according to Thucydides, is the Peloponnesian War the greatest war yet and more worth writing about than previous wars?

both Sparta and Athens were at the very height of preparedness and power
the weapons and tactics were far more sophisticated than any army had used before
each side was fighting for the cause of freedom
each side was fighting for the cause of justice

9. What is Thucydides' method with regard to the speeches included in his work?

he does not report a speech that he did not personally hear and record verbatim
he relies on the reports of several in the audience in order to compile an exact record
he fabricates the entire speech because no one remembers what politicians say anyway
he stays close to the sense of what was actually said, but makes the speakers say what the situation called for

10. What does Thucydides say is the real reason for the Peloponnesian War?

the Athenians and Peloponnesians broke the Thirty Years Truce because of infractions on either side
the growth of Athenian power and the fear this caused in Sparta
Apollo incited one of the Athenians to break the truce by shooting a Spartan king
the Peloponnesians threatened to make an alliance with the Persians

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