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Greeks: Famous & Historical Trivia

Greeks: Famous & Historical Trivia Quizzes

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Fun Trivia
5 quizzes and 50 trivia questions.
  Don't Forget Your Toga!   top quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
"Don't forget your toga!" was written on your invitation, but I'm sorry to say that it was a practical joke! You're really going to stand out in your Roman garb while I introduce you around at this soirée of the 'who's who' of Ancient Greek society.
Average, 10 Qns, reedy, Feb 07 21
reedy gold member
Feb 07 21
5611 plays
  Antics in the Aegean   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Whatever antics these people got up to, they would all have known the Aegean area as they all have Greek heritage, even though many of them made their lives elsewhere. Can you identify them from the clues?
Easier, 10 Qns, rossian, Apr 26 20
rossian editor
Apr 26 20
401 plays
  Great Greeks   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
The Athens agora is bustling as you make your way to the temple of Athena. As you go along you run into some of the most notorious Greeks of antiquity. Let's see how many of them you recognize!
Average, 10 Qns, BigTriviaDawg, Nov 16 19
Recommended for grades: 10,11,12
BigTriviaDawg gold member
Nov 16 19
264 plays
  Xanthippe: A Wife Well Examined    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
They say that behind every great man is a great woman. I will let you judge for yourself as you answer ten questions about Xanthippe, the wife of Socrates.
Average, 10 Qns, bernie73, May 31 21
bernie73 gold member
May 31 21
142 plays
  Greek and Famous    
Match Quiz
 10 Qns
Let us meet some Modern Greek people who have achieved success in various fields.
Average, 10 Qns, gme24, Jul 26 16
gme24 gold member
204 plays
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Greeks: Famous & Historical Trivia Questions

1. Sometimes a name tells us something about the person. What is the meaning of the name Xanthippe?

From Quiz
Xanthippe: A Wife Well Examined

Answer: Yellow Horse

In Greek, the two words that form her name are "xanthos" (blonde or yellow) and "hippos" (horse). Names with a connection to horses were not uncommon in ancient Greece. As to the other part of her name, perhaps it reflects that she had blonde hair, though there is no clear proof of that. The name "Xanthippe" was also used for several mythological characters, including a granddaughter of Apollo.

2. How do the ages of Socrates and Xanthippe compare?

From Quiz Xanthippe: A Wife Well Examined

Answer: Xanthippe was significantly younger than Socrates

Most historians believe that Xanthippe was much younger than Socrates--often 40 years is suggested as the difference in their ages. One piece of evidence that helps support this is when the imprisoned Socrates was awaiting his death sentence, Xanthippe visited Socrates with his (still underage children). Socrates was roughly 70 at the time of his death so a 30 something Xanthippe would not be unreasonable.

3. Social class was more important in ancient Greece than you might think. Of Socrates and Xanthippe, who came from the higher social class?

From Quiz Xanthippe: A Wife Well Examined

Answer: Xanthippe

Xanthippe probably came from a significantly higher class than Socrates. Their eldest child was named Lamprocles, after Xanthippe's father. In ancient Athens, it was common practice to name a man's first son after the man's father. (The father of Socrates was Sophroniscus. He would be the namesake for the second son of Socrates.) The main exception was if the wife's father came from a much more prestigious background. In addition, the use of the word "hippos" (as in Xanthippe) in one's name often indicated an aristocratic background for the person.

4. Stefanos Tsitsipas came to the attention of the wider public from 2018 following his success in which sport?

From Quiz Antics in the Aegean

Answer: Tennis

Stefanos was born in Athens in 1998. His Russian mother played tennis professionally herself and his father was a tennis coach, so Stefanos had an immediate advantage. He turned professional in 2013 and reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open championship in 2019, losing to Rafael Nadal. Tsitsipas went on to win the ATP Finals (the final competition of each year) in 2019, defeating Dominic Thiem of Austria in the final.

5. According to Socrates himself, what made Xanthippe desirable as a wife?

From Quiz Xanthippe: A Wife Well Examined

Answer: Her personality

In Xenophon's "Symposium", he has Socrates state that he married Xanthippe because of her personality, though not in the way you might think. He claimed he married her, not because of her agree-ability, but specifically because her personality was difficult. Socrates gave the comparison of a riding expert who will test himself by riding a spirited horse. In the same way, one who wishes to interact with many people (such as Socrates himself) will test himself by marrying a woman with a difficult personality. By comparison, then, the personalities of other people would be easier to deal with. Other ancient writers, including Aelian and Diogenes Laertius, also suggest that Xanthippe's personality was "shrewish". In fact, Merriam-Webster dictionary define a xanthippe as an ill-tempered woman. What was Xanthippe's side of the story? Did she have a good reason to be cross with Socrates? We shall see.

6. Aristotle Onassis might be best known for becoming Jacqueline Kennedy's second husband. What was the name of his yacht, named for his daughter?

From Quiz Antics in the Aegean

Answer: Christina

Onassis was born in Smyrna which was at the time (1909) part of the Ottoman Empire and is now in Turkey and called Izmir. His family had to leave the area as refugees following the Greco-Turkish War prompting the young Aristotle to leave for South America. Once there, he built up a large shipping fleet before moving to the USA. Onassis married Tina Livanos in 1946 and they had two children - Alexander and Christina, both of whom died in tragic circumstances. While still married to Tina, Onassis had a long term affair with Maria Callas before marrying Jackie Kennedy in 1968.

7. Which unpleasant action was Xanthippe said to have done to Socrates?

From Quiz Xanthippe: A Wife Well Examined

Answer: She did both things

These aren't even the only stories of Xanthippe's negative behavior. The cake was sent to Socrates by his friend Alcibiades. Xanthippe is said to have trampled the cake. Supposedly after having the chamberpot dumped on his head, Socrates is said to have said "After thunder comes the rain." In the culture of ancient Greece, where the wife was meant to defer to and obey the husband, Xanthippe's actions would have been seen as improperly brazen. To be fair, many of the earliest reporters of Xanthippe's actions were the "philosophy buddies" of Socrates. In addition, Socrates had focused less on his (paying) job as a stonecutter and more on his (unpaid) job as a philosopher. In ancient Greece, if the wife was supposed to obey the husband, the husband was supposed to financially provide for the wife. Socrates himself (in Plato's "Apology") admitted he fell well short of this goal.

8. Unlike some wives, Xanthippe knew roughly when her husband Socrates would die. How did she react to news of his death?

From Quiz Xanthippe: A Wife Well Examined

Answer: She was very upset

In his dialogue "Phaedo", Plato mentions Xanthippe briefly. She has visited Socrates where he was being held to await his execution. Apparently Xanthippe was so visibly upset that Socrates asked others to remove her from his presence. It is unclear whether this was thought Xanthippe being taken away from him would help to ease her pain or if it was Socrates himself who was made uncomfortable with a display of strong emotion. What about Xanthippe herself? Was she upset at losing the husband she loved and the sons her father? Or was she upset at losing the man who was the breadwinner (even if a poor one) for her family when her sons were still young and she would be a young widow?

9. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, was born on which Greek island?

From Quiz Antics in the Aegean

Answer: Corfu

Prince Philip was born in 1921. His father was a Prince of both Greece and Denmark, but his uncle, King Constantine I, abdicated (not voluntarily) in 1922. Prince Andrew and his family moved to Paris, before Philip was sent to school in the UK. He met Princess Elizabeth, as she then was, in 1939 when she was only thirteen and the couple married in 1947. They have four children - Prince Charles, heir to the throne, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

10. Over in the corner, we find a fascinating guest who is often referred to as the 'Father of Geometry'. Who is this master mathematician and author of the influential work known as "Elements"?

From Quiz Don't Forget Your Toga!

Answer: Euclid

This interesting guest would be Euclid. His mathematical masterpiece "Elements" was believed to be the most important textbook in math and especially geometry until the early 20th century. He was a man well ahead of his time. Question by dcpddc478

11. Which best describes Xanthippe's behavior towards her children?

From Quiz Xanthippe: A Wife Well Examined

Answer: Devoted to their care

Xanthippe and Socrates had three children, all sons: Lamprocles, Sophroniscus, and Menexenus. Aristotle stated that none of the sons proved to remarkable or accomplished. Nonetheless, Plato and Xenophon described her as a devoted mother. Xenophon described one anecdote where Lamprocles complained about his mother's strictness. Socrates defended her on this occasion to his son stating that his mother was only strict with him to make him a better person.

12. Sir Alec Issigonis spent most of his life in Britain, working in the motor industry. He was the designer of which iconic car?

From Quiz Antics in the Aegean

Answer: Mini

Alexander Issigonis was born in Smyrna (now Izmir and in Turkey) in 1906. He had British nationality via his grandfather, who had worked for the British on the railways. The family was rescued from Smyrna when war broke out between Greece and Turkey, and Alec arrived in the UK in 1923. He began working in the motor industry and was employed in Longbridge, Birmingham, by BMC, the company formed by the merger of Morris and Austin. The Suez Crisis of 1956 meant petrol was in short supply and Issigonis was tasked with designing a small, fuel efficient, car. And so the Mini was born.

13. There is a possibility that Xanthippe was not the only wife of Socrates. Who is sometimes described as the other wife of Socrates?

From Quiz Xanthippe: A Wife Well Examined

Answer: Myrto

Myrto was the daughter or granddaughter of the Athenian statesman, Aristides. Myrto is described in some sources as a wife of Socrates. Others however, suggest that Socrates provided some financial support for Myrto without becoming her husband. I would like to know how Socrates had money to give to Myrto when he was hardly able to provide financially for his own family!

14. Although born in New York, Maria Callas had Greek parents and lived in Athens for several years. In which field of the arts did she become famous?

From Quiz Antics in the Aegean

Answer: Opera

Maria Callas was actually born in New York, in 1923, after her father had moved the family there from Athens during her mother's pregnancy. Her parents' marriage broke down and her mother returned to Athens in 1937. Maria had a good singing voice and was often called upon to perform by her mother, and their relationship never recovered from what Maria saw as the loss of her childhood. By 1941, Maria had received enough training to sing professionally and she moved back to the USA (and her father) in 1945. Her later years saw endless problems for her - the affair with Onassis and a failing voice among them - and she died from a heart attack aged only fifty-three.

15. Doménikos Theotokópoulos, better known as El Greco, was born in Heraklion in Crete. In which country did he die?

From Quiz Antics in the Aegean

Answer: Spain

The artist was born in 1541 and the name just means 'The Greek' in Spanish. He moved to Venice and then Rome before travelling to Toledo, Spain, in 1577. He spent the rest of his life in the city, dying there in 1614. El Greco's style was rather different from that of his contemporaries and some of his works are considered to be similar to both Cubism and Expressionism. Among his major paintings are 'The Burial of the Count of Orgaz' (1586/8) and 'Laocoon' (1610/14).

16. Which man is often referred to as the 'Father of History'?

From Quiz Antics in the Aegean

Answer: Herodotus

The quiz started in Ancient Greece and we've finished there. Herodotus was born in Halicarnassus around 480 BCE when it was part of the Persian Empire - it is now Bodrum, in Turkey. He wrote 'The Histories', an account of the Greco-Persian Wars, in 440 BCE and this has earned him the name of the 'Father of History' Hippocrates was an early medical practitioner, still remembered these days in the Hippocratic Oath while Pythagoras was a mathematician and philosopher, among other talents. Socrates was a philosopher.

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