Final Exam – Greek 201
1.) Why did Oedipus kill his father and marry his mother?
Because his friend, Sigmund, told him to.
2.) Who is the goddess Aphrodite?
Aphrodite is the barnyard goddess who visits donkeys in the spring.
3.) What lessons can be learned from the “House of Atreus”?
Don’t talk with your mouth full, don’t contradict your wife, and always lock the bathroom door.
4.) Why did Zeus become a swan?
Because Leda didn’t like woodpeckers.
5.) Why did the Greeks go to war against Troy?
Because Paris stole Helen’s pumpkin pie.
6.) How did the Greeks win the battle of Troy?
They built an enormous donkey that scared away all the Trojan horses.
7.) Why was Athena considered the goddess of wisdom?
Because she had grey eyes, and grey is a sign of strength, beauty, and extraordinary intelligence.
8.) Why was Prometheus bound to a rock?
Because trees can catch fire.
9.) Who was Homer and what did he write?
Homer was a poet who wrote a story about a hero named Ysseus who was very odd.
10.) What is a lyre?
A lyre is an ancient, string instrument that was popular until the invention of the trombone.
11.) Explain “hubris”:
Hubris is the idea that “pride comes before the fall”—like when you think you’re going to get an “A”, and then you don’t.
Doo dee doo dee doo, sang Blurtso, skipping across campus.
Ananta, katanta, paranta…
Pardon me, said the professor, what did you say? I don’t know, said Blurtso. You said “ananta katanta paranta,” where did you learn that? It’s just something I say, said Blurtso. It’s from the 23rd book of Homer’s Illiad, said the professor. Really? said Blurtso. Yes, said the professor, from the scene where the donkeys and mules are being driven into the hills to gather firewood. Loosely translated it means, “upalong, downalong, sidealong,” and is famous for the way the Greek syllables—ananta, katanta, paranta—simulate the clippety clop of the animals’ hooves. Wow, said Blurtso, my hooves speak Greek!
Hello, said Renzo. Hello, said Blurtso. I saw you on TV, said Renzo. You did? said Blurtso. Yes, said Renzo, and I thought you might like some help. Some help? said Blurtso. Yes, said Renzo, getting your greenhouse under control… my friends and I could help you graze. Thank you, said Blurtso, that would be lovely.
What are you doing? said Harlan. I’m grazing, said Blurtso, I’ve got to get this grass under control. What about school? said Harlan. School will have to wait, said Blurtso. O.k., said Harlan, I’ll take notes for you… is there anything you need? No, said Blurtso, I’ve got plenty to eat, and the snow will quench my thirst. O.k., said Harlan, I’ll tell the professor why you’re absent. Thanks, said Blurtso.
Hello, said the professor. Hello, said Blurtso. Your roommate told me why you missed class, said the professor. I’m sorry, said Blurtso, but this greenhouse is my responsibility. Your responsibility? said the professor. Yes, said Blurtso, it was entrusted to me, and I’ve neglected it too long. I admire your sense of duty, said the professor, but your grade will suffer. That is a price, said Blurtso, I’m prepared to pay. On the other hand, said the professor, I might be able to give you service-learning credit. Service-learning credit? said Blurtso. Yes, said the professor, for doing something that benefits the community. How does this benefit the community? Your greenhouse, said the professor, could be a model for self-sustainability in Cambridge. A model? said Blurtso. Yes, said the professor, but you’d have to be willing to talk to people about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. I’m doing it, said Blurtso, because I waited too long, and I can’t wait any longer. Exactly, said the professor.