From Gaia to Medusa: The Greek Mythology Quiz


What did Prometheus steal from Mount Olympus and give to humankind?

Prometheus, a Titan, stole fire and gave it to humanity as part of his constant struggles against Zeus. As punishment, he was chained to a rock, where an eagle ate his liver every day (being an immortal, he never died and grew a new liver).

Who was the first human woman created by the gods?

Pandora was created as a sort of punishment for humanity. At the instructions of Zeus, she was made with an array of gifts with which to seduce men.

When Jason assembled his crew of Argonauts to go on a quest, what were they seeking?

Pelias, king of Iolcus, tasked Jason with retrieving the Golden Fleece. Pelias knew Jason would take his throne because Jason was only wearing one sandal.

Who did Jason choose to join him on his quest?

The Argonauts were basically the Greek mythology Avengers/Justice League — every great Greek hero of the era, including Heracles, joined the quest.

Medea, who was Jason's wife at the time of the Golden Fleece quest, is the niece of what goddess?

In some versions of the story, Jason and Medea stop and visit Circe toward the end of the quest.

What is the Titanomachy?

The Titanomachy is the war that pitted Zeus and the Olympians against Cronus and the Titans. The Olympians won.

Who is the god of the sea?

Poseidon is the god of the sea, and he is Zeus' brother.

How is Jocasta related to Oedipus?

Adoptive parents raised Oedipus to avoid a prophecy that he would kill his father and marry his mother. He later killed a man who turned out to be his dad, then became king of Thebes and married Jocasta, who he later realized was his biological mother. Hence she was his mother and his wife.

Where did the 12 primary Greek gods dwell?

The 12 foremost gods were called Olympians, after their home atop Mount Olympus (specifically on top of the highest peak, Mytikas, since Olympus has over 50 peaks).

What is the name of the primordial goddess that represents Earth?

Gaia was born of Chaos. In some traditions, Chaos, Gaia, Eros and Tartarus were the four original primordials.

Who are the parents of the first generation of Titans?

Gaia and Uranus are the parents of the 12 Titans and creatures such as the Hekatonkheires and the Cyclopes.

Who abducted Persephone?

Hades abducted Persephone and took her to the Underworld, where she is forced to spend part of every year.

Why was Achilles, who was otherwise invulnerable to harm, vulnerable to injury of his heel?

His mother, Thetis, did not know that you have to toss your sons in a basket of Styx water to ensure an even coating of invulnerability. The same advice holds true for making chicken wings.

What is the most notable physical trait of the Hekatonkheires?

The Hekatonkheires are three giants with 100 hands each. They helped the Olympians battle the Titans because Uranus had thrown them into Tartarus in disgust.

The hero Bellerophon rode the winged horse Pegasus to defeat what monster?

Bellerophon rode Pegasus at the Chimera, lodging a chunk of lead in the monster's throat. Its fiery breath melted the lead and the Chimera suffocated.

One of the 12 labors of Heracles was to obtain the girdle of Hippolyta, queen of …

Heracles' journey to obtain the girdle was going well until Hera's treachery led to a battle in which Heracles killed Hippolyta. The incident led to a battle between the Amazons and Athens.

One of Heracles' less glamorous labors was to clean the poop of 1,000 immortal cattle from the Augean stables in a single day. How did he manage it?

Heracles used rivers to do the job. Eurystheus, who made Heracles do all these labors as penance for murdering his own children (after Hera drove him made, but still), decided Heracles had kind of cheated on the task and it didn’t count. This is why the original 10 labors became 12. Eurystheus also didn't count killing the Hydra because a buddy helped Heracles do it.

Different versions of Greek mythology have varying origins for Porphyrion and the other Giants, but the weirdest is that they sprang up when what happened?

The Giants were born from the blood of Uranus' discarded genitals.

Where was Athena born?

Some versions of the story suggest Athena was conceived entirely by Zeus' thoughts and burst from his head; in others, Zeus impregnated Metis and then ate her, with Athena somehow gestating in his head. In either case she was born armed and armored.

Which of these things did Zeus NOT transform himself into to seduce or rape a mortal woman?

Zeus never had sex with a mortal while in dolphin form — that would be silly.

What monster did Theseus kill?

He killed the Minotaur, with help from Ariadne.

Why did Theseus' father, Aegeus, kill himself when Theseus returned home?

Theseus left black sails on his ship, indicating he had died. Aegeus' death made Theseus king of Athens.

In her most common depiction as goddess of the hunt, Artemis is shown carrying what?

Artemis is often depicted with a bow and arrow.

Which Olympian is the messenger of the gods?

Hermes' speed makes him the ideal messenger of godly messages.

Why was the Trojan War fought?

Different versions disagree on whether Helen was in Troy willingly (or if she was even there at all), but she was the reason for the whole war.

Which two warriors fought a day-long duel at Troy, which was ultimately called off as a draw?

Ajax was chosen at random to battle Hector.

How long did it take Odysseus to get back to Ithaca after fighting in the Trojan War?

It took him 10 years, a journey known as the "Odyssey." It probably would have gone more quickly if he hadn't done things like hang out on Circe's island for an entire year.

What is Odysseus' wife's name?

When Odysseus returns home to Penelope, there's this whole thing with suitors and his son and a contest with axe handles and a disguise. It's like the world's worst episode of "Undercover Boss."

Who was cursed with the ability to warn of future events but never be believed and was usually considered insane?

To warn of future peril yet not have your warnings heeded is sometimes called the Cassandra complex.

Snake-haired Medusa is the most well-known of the Gorgons, but she had two sisters, Stheno and …

Perseus killed the mortal Medusa. Stheno and Euryale, however, were immortal.

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About This Quiz

The Greek myths are thousands of years old, yet they have incredible influence over Western thought and literature. Take a shot at going 30 for 30 on this quiz if you're familiar with these fantastic stories.

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