How Well Do You Know Your Greek Mythological Figures?

ENTERTAINMENT

9 PLAYS

Torrance Grey

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Can you guess the character in Greek mythology from a one-sentence description? From Olympus to the underworld, the gods to the Gorgons, we've got a quiz to challenge your Greek myth savvy!

I'm king of the gods. Period.

Zeus rules Mount Olympus and is the father of several other Olympian gods. Some of his lesser children have mortal mothers.

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I'm queen of the gods ... yet I can't seem to keep my straying husband at home.

Zeus's wife is named Hera. She is very jealous, but Zeus gives her good reason to be, with his wandering eye.

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My better-known Roman name is Neptune.

Poseidon rules the sea, along with his consort, Amphitrite. He is the brother, not the son, of Zeus.

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I am said to have sprung full-grown from my father's forehead.

Athena's rarely-used full name is "Pallas Athena." Except in Roman mythology, in which she is called "Minerva."

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I never should have eaten those pomegranate seeds.

Hades fell in love with Persephone and pulled her down into the underworld. Because she ate six pomegranate seeds, Persephone was required to spend six months a year -- one for each seed -- with him ever after.

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I am the blacksmith and weapon-maker of the gods.

Hephaestus is an anomaly among the 12 Olympian gods. He's described as both ugly and crippled, which is unusual for a god -- they're usually thought of as very powerful and handsome or beautiful.

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I rose from the waves of the sea.

Aphrodite, or Venus in Roman mythology, was the goddess of beauty and love. A famous painting depicts her rising from the foam of the sea;​ she has no known father or mother.

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I am the god of war.

Ares is better known as "Mars," his Roman name. Earth's nearest neighboring planet is named for him, perhaps because of its blood-like color.

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I am the messenger of the gods.

This seems unfair: If you're a god, should you really have to run errands? But Hermes had fantastic winged slippers, so hey, maybe he liked getting away from Mt. Olympus and traveling the world!

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I am associated with physicians, logic, and light.

Phoebus Apollo was the god of the sun, reason, and logic. He was associated with physicians like Galen, one of the earliest practitioners in the empiric tradition.

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I am the goddess of the moon and the hunt.

Artemis was chaste -- interestingly, the Greeks attributed celibacy to her and to Athena, perhaps their two most admirable goddesses. The Greeks didn't seem to equate female chastity with being unfulfilled, but in being free to live as one pleased.

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As one of the three Fates, I spin the thread of life.

The three Fates respectively spun, measured and cut the thread of each individual life. Clotho, the youngest, did the spinning.

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I am a minor goddess representing the actual, physical moon.

While Artemis (Diana) was the goddess associated with the moon, the Greeks also had minor gods who "personified" important celestial or terrestrial things. Selene, in this capacity, represented the actual moon.

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A lesser-known Olympian, I am the goddess of the hearth.

Like Hermes, Hestia seems to have a rather blue-collar job for a goddess. However, she was important as the goddess of family and home.

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I am the goddess of grain and the harvest.

Demeter is the mother of Persephone. When Persephone goes to the underworld for six months of the year, to be the wife of Hades, Demeter mourns and nothing grows, causing autumn and winter.

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Invite me to your next party ... I am the god of wine!

Our favorite description of the god Dionysus comes from one of the Greek playwrights, who called him "So gentle, yet so terrible, to man." Like wine itself!

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I am the goddess of the dawn.

Eos is another minor goddess personifying a natural phenomenon. In his writings, Homer often refers to Eos as "rosy-fingered dawn."

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Secondary to Apollo, I personify the sun.

Helios embodies the physical sun, while Apollo is more metaphorically associated with daytime, logic and reason. Fun fact: A "heliotropic" plant is one whose movements track the sun.

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I just represent the entire Earth!

Gaia is considered a very early, primitive goddess -- that is, preceding the Olympian gods. She is the mother of the Titans, themselves a generation before the Olympians.

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My beauty was said to launch a thousand ships.

Helen was said to be a daughter of Zeus; she was also the most beautiful woman in the world. When she eloped (or was abducted by) Paris of Troy, it launched the fabled "thousand ships" and the Trojan War.

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The second of the three Fates, I measure the thread of your life.

Lachesis, the second of the Fates, is portrayed as a middle-aged woman, just as her two partners are a young woman and an aged one. In this aspect, the Fates resemble the "Maiden, Mother and Crone" of Wiccan mythology.

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Killing the Nemean Lion was one of my 12 labors.

Though his traditional Greek name, "Heracles," seems to evoke Hera, she wasn't his mother -- he was the product of one of Zeus's affairs. Hera, in fact, hated Hercules and briefly drove him mad, causing him to kill his children.

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I am the Queen of the Amazons.

Hippolyta was the daughter of Ares, the god of war. So it was probably inevitable that she would grow up to lead a war-like race.

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Athena changed me into a spider for challenging her to a weaving contest.

​As you might already know, this is the root of the word "arachnid," for eight-legged insects. The most common of these is the spider, which spins a web, like the weaver, Arachne.

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The last of the three Fates, I'll cut the thread of your life (hopefully not soon).

She has to do it. Don't "at" her (Sorry)!

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I turned Odysseus's men into pigs.

She was a powerful sorceress, known for her work at the loom. Surprisingly, Odysseus and Circe ended up getting along (after she changed his men back).

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I killed Medusa ... hey, somebody had to do it!

Perseus was one of many half-mortal sons of Zeus. Perhaps his greatest feat was killing Medusa, who could turn humans to stone with her gaze.

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We're the twins represented by Gemini.

Castor and Pollux were born twins, from the same mother, Leda -- yet one had a mortal father and the other was the son of Zeus. This phenomenon can actually happen in real life; fraternal twins can have different fathers.

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I put together the Argonauts, a dream team of world explorers.

Jason was the captain of the Argo, and his explorers were the Argonauts. They went in search of the golden fleece.

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The only part of me that could be harmed was my heel.

Achilles was dipped into a fire that conferred immortality -- but his heel was vulnerable​ because his mother, Thetis, held him by the heel, which thus wasn't exposed to the flames. Details matter, people!

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I am commemorated by one of the most recognizable constellations.

Orion, the great hunter, was a companion of the goddess Artemis. The constellation Orion is well-known because of its position over earth's equator, which means it can be seen from most parts of the world, and for its "belt" -- three stars in a perfect row.

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I'm now better known as a "Harry Potter" character.

Hermione was the only daughter of Menelaus and Helen of Troy. Helen left Hermione behind when she went away (or was stolen away) by Paris.

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If I act like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders, well ... I do!

Atlas was condemned to hold up the sky, but in art, this is portrayed as a man having the entire globe on his shoulders. He also gave his name to the Atlantic Ocean and the mythical island of Atlantis.

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I nearly won a footrace with the help of golden apples.

Atalanta, a tomboy, wanted to stay unmarried. So she challenged her suitors to a footrace. Hippomenes won the race by distracting her by throwing irresistible golden apples, provided to him by the goddess Aphrodite, which caused Atalanta to go off course while chasing them. (Hippomenes had to use golden apples because chocolate had yet to be invented).

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I gave fire to humanity ... and paid the price.

The Titan Prometheus angered Zeus by stealing fire from Mt. Olympus and giving it to humanity. He was therefore chained to a rock, to have his liver pecked out by birds -- repeatedly, as he was immortal.

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