Special Sub-Topic: Can You Be a Hero of Greek Mythology?
|You were recently born. Hera, mistaking you for Heracles, slips some unfriendly creatures into your crib. If you follow Heracles' lead, what action(s) will you take?|
I'll grab each of them and squeeze them to death. The creatures you battled in your crib were simply garden variety snakes. Well, actually, they were poisonous serpents. Hera hated Heracles because he was the progeny of her husband, Zeus, from one of his many mistresses. Heracles didn't need to do any body building to get into shape, even as a baby, he was able to simply grip the serpents and squeeze them to death. If you didn't do that, please call 911 or get someone to suck out the venom before continuing.
|In order to protect you, your mother Thetis performs a ritual on you which magically protects all but one part of your body. Your brother, possibly the greatest Greek warrior, is eventually killed when this body part is pierced by a Trojan. In order to avoid your brother's fate, what protective device(s) should you wear at all times?|
Titanium ankle braces and boots. Achilles was the child of Thetis. The story goes that Achilles was dipped in water or held in flames which made his body invulnerable to normal weaponry. Unfortunately, Thetis held him by his heel leaving this area unprotected. Of course, this is why we still call the tendon behind the foot the "Achilles' heel".
|Growing up, you set to traveling the world and finding adventure. At the gates of Thebes, a creature blocks your way and will not let you pass without answering a riddle: "What walks on four feet in the morning, two feet in the day, and three feet in the evening?" What action(s) do you take?|
You say, "Man, Sphinx, get out of my way, you're bugging me". The creature has the head of a woman and the body of a lion and is known as a Sphinx. The answer is "Man". In the morning, or as a baby, man crawls on all four legs. In the afternoon, or mid-life, man walks normally on two legs. In the evening, or old-age, man walks with a cane. If you missed the question, don't feel too bad, Oedipus answered it, went into the city, and accidentally married his own mother.
|You're getting to that time of life when you'd like to marry. When you reach Calydonia, you see a beautiful woman who just happens to be the fastest mortal alive. She, with many other heroes, is engaged in a battle with a vicious creature. In order to win her hand, you go to a store and say something to the clerk, what is it?|
"I would like some apples for after the pig roast". The great female hero is Atalanta. They are fighting the Calydonian Boar. In order to win Atalanta's hand in marriage, you would have had to beat her in a footrace. The prince Melanion was smart enough to realize that no man could win a fair race. He obtained three golden apples. During the race, he threw them. The apples were irresistable to Atalanta, so she stopped to pick them up and lost the race. By the way, those who lost the race were put to death. Hope you were a smart shopper!
|You are old enough that you should embark on a simple quest to bring back the head of a monster. Since you have learned to read, your favorite story is of Perseus. Perseus slew a creature, but left its two sisters alive. What items, besides your trusty sword, should you bring with you in your travel bag for your quest?|
Visine and a mirror. If you know the story of Perseus, you know he slew Medusa. But, in order to find necessary information for completing the quest, he first had to visit another group of dangerous sisters. He stole the one eye they shared between them in order to blackmail them into giving him the information he needed. When he finally confronted Medusa, he brought a mirrored shield. To directly behold Medusa resulted in being turned into stone. Therefore, you should have brought Visine for the eye and a mirror for slaying Medusa.
|You happen across a magical creature. When Perseus slayed the female monster, some say that this benevolent creature sprouted from the monster's neck. Eventually, another hero, Bellerophon, tamed the creature. However, Bellerophon became careless and the creature was responsible for his demise. What item should you keep with you in order to avoid Bellerophon's fate?|
A hang glider. The creature which emerged from Medusa's neck was the winged horse, Pegasus. Bellerophon tamed him and rode him. But eventually, he became too arrogant and tried to fly to Olympus. He flew too high, Pegasus bucked him, and he fell. Bellerophon did not die immediately: he fell in a foreign land into thistles and became lame and blind from his injuries. He died a beggar, unknown and miserable in a strange land; with a hang glider, he could have kept his health and steered for a friendly nation.
|Theseus, considered one of the wisest heroes, still needed the help of a genius to slay the Minotaur, a man-eating, half-man, half-bull creature who sat in the middle of a maze. Theseus succeeded in killing the monster and escaped the maze thanks to the genius. But King Minos realized that only the genius could have helped Theseus. After Theseus escaped, he punished the brilliant man who helped Theseus by locking him and his son away. Since the man was a genius, he and his son fashioned devices to help them escape. Unfortunately, the son died during the escape. You are captured, but you fashion the same escape device based on this story you have heard. To avoid the fate of the son, what item should you bring with you when you escape?|
A parachute. The genius was Daedalus, and his son, Icarus. Unfortunately, like Bellerophon, Icarus flew too high and this time the wax, in the wings Daedalus made, melted. The wings fell apart and Icarus fell to his death. The heavy metal band, Iron Maiden, has a song about it on their fourth album, "Piece of Mind".
|The greatest heroes from Greece are invited by Jason aboard the Argo to quest for the Golden Fleece. You are much renowned and receive an invitation. Along the way, the Argo stops at an island. By the end of the visit, Heracles refuses to leave the island. Heracles is a pretty useful guy. What item should you have brought to retain Heracles' assistance?|
A necklace with a tracking device for Hylas. Stories differ on where and how Hylas disappeared, but regardless, Heracles refused to leave the island until he found his lost friend. The Argo was forced to sail off without perhaps the greatest of all heroes.
|Odysseus and Menelaus hear of your exploits and ask you to join them in the Trojan War. Of course, you accept, being the bigshot that you now are. After ten long years (and you thought it was going to be a breeze), you finally get to go home. Because Odysseus figured out the Trojan horse idea, you figure you can follow him home. Unfortunately, he runs into many obstacles. At one point, he runs into two deadly creatures, Scylla and Charybdis. What do you say when you encounter them next?|
Oh no! We're caught between a rock and a hard place. The saying "caught between a rock and hard place" comes from the Greek story of the Odyssey. Scylla was a nymph turned into a hideous creature by the sorceress, Circe who lived under a rock. Below her waist, she had six additional heads, some say dog head and some say snake heads. Regardless, when a ship would pass, she could snatch six mariners at a time and feast on them. Charybdis was a creature which caused a whirlpool effect, sucking down entire ships into her gullet.
|As all mortals do, no matter how heroic, you eventually die. As you travel into Hades, you must encounter two infamous underworld figures. To pass by them safely, what items should you offer them?|
Three cans of Alpo and a coin. The figures are Cerberus, the three headed guard dog of Hades and Charon, the boatman of the River Styx. Actually, Cerberus would probably tear you into shreds even if you fed him. However, Charon required a coin for passage over the river Styx. Of course, Hades was not exactly a pleasant place, so why exactly did people pay for the ride? I guess that's a question for another quiz. Thanks for playing this one!
Did you find these entries particularly interesting, or do you have comments / corrections to make? Let the author know!
Send the author a thank you or
Submit a correction