Are You an Expert in Greek Mythology?

Olivia Cantor

Out of the traditionally counted 12 main Olympians, he's the leader of them all. Can you name this Greek god?

Zeus came out as the most powerful leader of his generation of gods, traditionally known as the Olympian gods. Two older generations ruled before their reign, but it wasn't very peaceful and orderly during their era.

This demigod is the one who underwent 12 labors. Can you name this hero?

Heracles is the Greek demigod whose father is Zeus, but his mother is the human named Alcmene. And since Zeus cavorted with many women and sired so many children, Heracles had a lot of half-siblings out there.

He's one of the top Olympian gods whose domain encompasses any body of water. Who is this god?

Three of the Olympian gods brothers decided to take hold of a domain for each of them. While Zeus is the recognized leader of all things in the heavens and on earth, Poseidon rules over all the bodies of water within the planet. Meanwhile, Hades was relegated to rule somewhere underneath it all.

Do you know what kind of dangerous item Pandora opened up?

Traditionally, Pandora is said to have opened up a box that released all the evil things that beset humanity. But historians say that this translation may not be accurate, and it could have been pertaining to a jar instead of a box.

Her Roman goddess counterpart is Venus. What's the Greek name of this gorgeous goddess?

When it comes to beauty, love, passion, desire and pleasure, Aphrodite supports and enhances these concepts in her reign. Even though she was married, she also took on lovers -- lots of them!

Galatea is an inanimate creation of Pygmalion that came to life. What kind of creation is she?

Pygmalion's story initially didn't identify a name for the ivory sculpture of a woman he made. It was centuries after these texts were discovered that historians assigned a name for the statue, taking the name of Galatea from a recorded sea nymph's name.

The goddess Athena was born in a unique way. Can you identify how?

Athena is the recognized goddess of wisdom and intelligence in Greek mythology, and that may be connected to the fact that she supposedly came out directly from Zeus' head. The olive tree is also associated with her, as well as the city of Athens.

This human is said to be so beautiful that he fell in love with himself. Can you name this looker?

Narcissus is the Greek mythological character who was supposedly so good-looking that even he fell in love with his own beauty when he saw his own reflection in a body of water's surface. While the concept of self-love is not totally a bad thing altogether, he somewhat took it to a different level.

Can you name two of the major gods who are twins?

Apollo is the recognized god of light, therefore in charge of the sun. Meanwhile, his twin sister Artemis is the goddess of the moon, so they complement each other that way. It is said that Apollo drives the sun across the sky in his chariot by day, and Artemis does the same with the moon at night.

Pegasus is the name of one of the mythical flying creatures in Greek mythology. What kind of animal is it?

A horse with wings exists in Greek mythology, and he is named Pegasus. Records show that he is the son of Medusa the Gorgon with Poseidon, the god of the water. Pegasus is a stallion who had many encounters in major stories in Greek mythology.

He's the god of war. What's his name?

Though Ares is considered one of the major Olympian gods, he is actually the son of major gods Zeus and Hera. So technically, Ares is also the brother of Athena, since their father is Zeus. He is attracted to the goddess Aphrodite, and they had several children together.

Before the 12 Olympian gods ruled, these 12 deities ruled before them. What is the collective name of these earlier gods?

The 12 Titans were the generation of gods sandwiched between the primal gods before them, and the Olympians, which we are more familiar with. Many of them bore children who had significant stories within the mythology, too.

Medusa is a serpent-haired scary creature. What will happen if you stare directly into her eyes?

One of the most popularly recognized Gorgons in Greek mythology is Medusa, who could turn people into stone if they make the mistake of staring into her eyes. Her other Gorgon sisters are named Stheno and Euryale.

Zeus is officially married to which other Olympian goddess?

Hera is the official wife of Zeus, even though they are siblings, since they share the same Titan parents. Nonetheless, Hera is the recognized goddess of marriage and family, so imagine her wrath whenever she discovers that philandering Zeus had another child from another mistress.

How may Muses are there?

The Muses serve as goddesses that inspire the creativity and thinking of people, that's why the term "muse" also bear that meaning up to now. In Greek mythology, there are nine identified muses: Calliope, Clio, Terpsichore, Thalia, Melpomene, Euterpe, Erato, Polyhymnia and Urania.

What's the name of the Greek gods' home?

Mount Olympus is the home of the Greek gods and goddesses, that's why they're also called Olympians. But it's a real place in Greece, situated between the areas of Macedonia and Thessaly. Mount Olympus is also classified today as a national park due to the rich biodiversity of the area.

The concept of bacchanalia is connected to the Roman god named Bacchus. What's his Greek name?

All things wine, festivities, even desire and orgies point to one god in Greek mythology: Dionysus. He's the god who encompasses all of these concepts, partly because he's the son of Zeus. Even with these wild bachelor type of characteristics, he's actually married, and his wife is named Ariadne.

The "Iliad" and "Odyssey" are epic poems where many elements of Greek mythology are outlined. Who authored them?

Homer is the recognized author of the epic poetry works called "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey," the two major works said to have contained many of the Greek mythological stories and characters. Another ancient writer should share the credit, though, and his name is Hesiod who authored the "Theogony."

Hermes is the identified messenger of the Olympian gods. What particular item can attest to this description?

Hermes is the recognized god of communication and commerce since he is the designated messenger of the Greek gods. He wears a pair of winged sandals and a winged cap and holds a staff that has two snakes twisted together on its upper part.

This Olympian goddess is the mother of Persephone, queen of the underworld. Can you name her?

All things agriculture, harvests, nature's various bounty and the like are connected to the goddess Demeter, who oversees the fertility of all the lands on earth. Her spare time, though, is divided by being the lover of Zeus, and also Poseidon, as well as being the mother of Persephone.

How many Fates are there?

The Three Fates are recognized as minor goddesses in Greek mythology, but their jobs are very significant, as they are the ones who "dictate" how long each entity will survive. There is a thread of life that one of them spins, another determines the length of it, and the third cuts it off.

Hephaestus is the god connected to which particular industry?

Hephaestus is the recognized blacksmith of the gods who made many of their famous weapons. So industries connected to smithing and similar crafts such as metalwork, carpentry and sculpting, for instance, honor him as their guiding god.

Perhaps this is the most well-known war in Greek mythology. Can you identify which?

While the human called Helen is said to have caused the Trojan War, it goes back further to the bickering of goddesses Aphrodite, Athena and Hera, and the goddess of discord named Eris started it for them when she left an apple to be given to the fairest of the goddesses, producing a competition.

This god abducted Persephone and made her the queen of the underworld. Who's this forceful god?

When it comes to death and matters of the underworld, Hades is the god who oversees such things. But it's not easy to reach him there, for one has to cross the River Styx with some payment, and his three-headed dog named Cerberus guards the principal entrance.

This tragic hero was destined to kill his dad and marry his mom. Who is this unfortunate being?

Oedipus is the Greek mythological hero who was "destined" to wreak havoc in his family and, in effect, his city as well because he is a king. He was prophesied to kill his own father, which he accidentally did, not knowing the man was his father. The same thing happened when he married his mother.

He's the god responsible for love and desire combined. Who is this winged god?

The image of the cute baby with wings, a bow and arrow, shooting up people who end up loving each other, is often called Cupid. But that name is the Roman counterpart of Eros, the Greek god who embodies these traits and possesses this equipment, too. However, he is depicted as a full-grown figure.

Orpheus' love story is such a tragic-romantic tale. What's the name of his beloved?

Orpheus is recognized as one of the greatest musicians and poets in Greek mythology, who composed songs and played the lyre expertly. He was madly in love with Eurydice, his wife, who met an untimely death due to a snake bite. So he went all the way to the underworld to ask Hades to let her go back.

What element did Prometheus steal and give to humans?

Prometheus is a Titan god who believed in the capacity of the human race to develop and evolve. That's why he took fire with him and brought it down to earth, to the ire of the other gods. They punished him by having an eagle eat his liver for eternity, which grows back again since he's immortal.

If Gaia personifies the earth in Greek mythology, who personifies heaven?

Before the existence of the Olympian gods and the Titans, there were primordial deities who ruled the world in Greek mythology. Uranus is the identified god who ruled the heavens, and Gaia is the one who ruled the earth. As husband and wife, they are treated as Father Sky and Mother Earth.

Which Titan successfully overthrew Uranus, his own father, and later suffered the same fate in the hands of his own children?

Karmic destiny is an overwhelming theme found within many tales in Greek mythology. A huge example is the story of Cronus who led the Titans in overthrowing their dad Uranus. Sadly, Cronus was also overthrown by his own children, led by the Olympian gods Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades.

Speaking of oracles, this place is perhaps the most recognized place to hear them. Can you identify this worship space?

In Greek mythology, Delphi is a place where a temple of Apollo is erected, and there is a high priestess who receives prophecies from gods (or just the god worshipped in a particular temple) and distributes them to the people seeking them. A priestess who acts in this manner is called an oracle.

One scary Greek mythical creature is the Minotaur, which is half-human and half what?

The half-bull half-human Minotaur was indeed the product of a human and a bull mating together, birthed by a king's wife and sired by a white Cretan Bull. Poseidon sent the bull so the king can sacrifice it as an offering to him, but he kept it instead, making the god mad.

Jason and the Argonauts went on an expedition to find which particular item?

The famed golden fleece became one of the prerequisites of the Greek mythological hero Jason to become the king of Iolcus. In his quest, the collective crew of heroes called Argonauts helped him out, as well as his sorceress wife named Medea.

Historians speculate that Greek mythological stories were passed down from generation to generation in what form?

Historians speculate that the Greek mythological tales we now know today were fashioned, pieced together, and passed on from generation to generation via oral traditions. For instance, epic poems like Homer's "Odyssey" are speculated to have originated as oral performances later recorded in text.

The Greeks themselves debated upon the authenticity of their mythology, even if many regarded them as real accounts. Which philosopher insisted that these are fictional?

Plato was a philosopher more concerned with science, mathematics, and of course, philosophy. This is why he regarded most of the tales in Greek mythology as mostly fictional in nature, even though the majority of his countrymen at that time viewed them as real historical accounts.

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About This Quiz

Greek mythology offers the world a fascinating view of how things came to be, how specific nuances of human details evolved, and how certain common terms have mythic origins. Are you familiar with its elements?

First, there are the gods and goddesses. Their individual stories alone consist of intriguing details that mix creation stories with fantastic elements. Whether they are fighting with each other, competing with each other, or even conniving with other lower creatures, these gods provide us with multiple levels of entertainment.

The myths of various Greek heroes also serve as morality tales that teach people different lessons about life, love, war, family and everything else under the sun. Historians say that these stories may have been fictional teachings spread via folk tales, intending to teach people the elements of proper values and virtues.

When gods and humans mix, that's another line of stories. And so is the interaction of various humans and other mythical creatures who aren't necessarily gods. This whole body of work really has something for everybody to enjoy.

If you're familiar with these tales, heroes and godly pursuits, then open the quiz and see just how much of an expert you are in Greek mythology. Good luck!

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