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Greek Mythology Trivia Quiz: Gods of Olympus

Updated on January 7, 2015
Mount Olympus, Greece
Mount Olympus, Greece | Source

How Well Do You Know Greek Mythology?

Try this Greek mythology trivia quiz on the gods of Olympus!

Don't worry if you don't know all the answers. There's some real head-scratchers in it to challenge students of Greek myth. Just enjoy the zany questions, then check out the "mini-myths" and art following the quiz to learn more about the questions and myths you didn't know.

Gods of Olympus Quiz


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Birth of Athena - Greek Vase Painting
Birth of Athena - Greek Vase Painting

Athena's Grand Entrance

Is that a goddess in your cranium, or...

NEWS FLASH: Athena springs fully formed from the head of Zeus! That was the headline of the Olympian Times shortly before the war between the gods and Titans.

Let's back up. Zeus was infamous for hopping into bed with every goddess, nymph, or mortal who caught his fancy. Then he heard a prophecy that if he had a son by Metis, goddess of Thought, the child would rule in his stead. Since he had already deposed his father Cronos, who had deposed his father, this looked like yet another chain-of-revenge story so common in Greek myth.

Metis was already pregnant. Zeus followed his father's example and swallowed Metis! Nine months later, Zeus came down with the mother of all migraines. Hephaistos the smith-god cracked his skull open with an axe. Out popped Athena, fully grown and armed for battle.

For further reading: Birth of Athena according to several Greek poets

Thetis picks up new armor for her son Achilles (scene from the Iliad)
Thetis picks up new armor for her son Achilles (scene from the Iliad)

Not a child of Zeus, but could've been

Achilles the merely mortal

Poseidon and Zeus both courted the minor sea-goddess Thetis. Then the goddess Themis (Justice) said, "oh, by the way, the son of Thetis will be greater than the father." Sound familiar? So Zeus married Thetis off to Peleus, a mortal man. Her son was Achilles, greatest hero of the Trojan War, but not quite immortal.

-- Source: Apollodorus

Helen of Troy was Zeus' daughter by Leda; Dionysos was his son by Semele of Thebes; Hermes was his son by Maia, oldest of the Pleiades.

Delos Island, own photo
Delos Island, own photo

A Clever Marketing Coup

Lousy tourist destination upgrades image with celebrity endorsement!

Delos is a small, rocky, barren island that found a clever way to increase its fortunes. It's connected to yet another affair of Zeus.

Zeu's wife Hera got wind of his latest liaison and threatened to curse any land that offered sanctuary to Leto, now pregnant with twins. Delos didn't have much to lose, so it invited Leto to come there for the birth. Artemis was born first, then turned around and delivered her brother Apollo!

Delos Island thus acquired several major cults, lots of temples and offerings and a thriving Greek sea-port until the Roman general Sulla sacked the place for his war chest.

The nearby island of Ortygia sometimes tried to steal Delos' fame by claiming it was the real birthplace of the twins, or at least of Artemis. But most myths grant that honor to Delos.

(Above right, my own photo of Delos.)

Hephaistos returns on a donkey
Hephaistos returns on a donkey

Hephaistos' Hot Rod

The lamest of the gods

Hephaistos son of Hera got tossed out of Olympus on his ear. Why? The stories are a little muddy.

Myths aren't too picky about chronology. According to some versions, Hera gave birth to him alone in revenge for Zeus giving birth to Athena without her input -- nevermind that Hephaistos is always present at the birth of Athena. Then Zeus tossed him off Mt. Olympus, breaking his legs in the fall.

Other stories say Hera gave birth to Hephaistos alone and found he was crippled, so she tossed him out because he was lame.

Either way, a lot of semi-comic vases show the lame god riding back to Olympus in triumph on a donkey. As the gods' blacksmith, he became too indispensable to let go.

Source

Hades' Spiffy Hat

"Look, Sephie, I'm invisible!" "Whatever you say, dear."

Hades' cap of invisibility would seem to be a bit of a knick-knack; it's not like he needs to hide from the dead. Maybe it helps his wife Persephone cope.

We don't hear much about it except when Hermes loans it to Perseus to help him slay Medusa. Athena also borrows it in the Iliad so she can use it for a sneak attack on her brother Ares.

Mars and its moons, Phobos and Deimos
Mars and its moons, Phobos and Deimos | Source

All's fair in love and war

...and fear and panic?

Phobos and Deimos, fear and panic, are the sons of Aphrodite and Ares. (Sad but true: Aphrodite is Hephaistos' wife, but she considers him lame.)

Aphrodite and Ares are the gods of love and war. Their steamy affair pops up in classical poetry from Homer to Ovid. In Latin (i.e. Roman mythology), they are named Venus and Mars. So women are from Venus, men are from Mars, and kids are scary!

At right are the moons of the planet of Mars: Phobos and Deimos. They're probably stray asteroids.

Temple of Apollo, Delphi
Temple of Apollo, Delphi | Source

Delphi, Sacred Time-Share of Mt. Parnassos

Apollo's summer home

Delphi is sometimes considered the navel of the ancient Greek world. It was the site of the famous Oracle of Apollo, where rich and poor made pilgrimages to learn their future.

Apollo was the god of reason, mathematics, music, medicine and self-control. Therefore it's a little surprising to find that he traded place with Dionysos, god of wine and loosened inhibitions, the flip side of everything Apollo stood for. Or is it? In a way, giving Dionysos part time in Delphi was a sort of counterbalance to Apollo's extreme rationality.

At right is my photo of what's left of the Temple of Apollo and its famous oracle.

Hera Suckling Herakles
Hera Suckling Herakles | Source

Hera and Herakles

A semi-divine relationship that went bad

Greek mythology is full of hints of older myths. Herakles' name, "Glory of Hera," betrays one of them. By classical times, Hera had been demoted to the shrewish wife of Zeus. She was portrayed as a jealous rival of his mortal and divine paramours. They were originally local goddesses whose divinity was later "explained" by marrying them off to Zeus.

That meant that Hera was at odds with Herakles' mother and also with him. So why does he have Hera's name?

Long before Greece was Greece, Hera was the Lady half of a "Lord and Lady" pair of divinities. These god-goddess pairs appear in many world mythologies, and often have a divine child. Because of Herakles' name, I have a suspicion that he may have been Hera's son in some local traditions. But don't put that on a test, since that's just my guess! Later myths offer awkward explanations trying to account for the early stories of Hera nursing the hero.

"Poseidon and Ajax" by 19th-century artist Bonaventura Genelli
"Poseidon and Ajax" by 19th-century artist Bonaventura Genelli

Earth-Shaking Poseidon

God of horses and other forces of nature

Poseidon is the lord of the sea, earthquakes, and ... horses! Bulls, too, sometimes. Things that make the ground shake, from crashing surf to pounding hooves, are under his control.

Roman portraits often show him in a chariot drawn by hippocamps, giant sea-horses.

The Iliad depicts him riding in a chariot drawn by horses with bronze feet and golden manes. He also gifts horses to several heroes, including Achilles.

Second century BCE sculpture of a drunken old woman
Second century BCE sculpture of a drunken old woman

Baubo, trickster goddess of Eleusis

"When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple..."

Baubo is an eccentric figure in the myth-cycle connected to the Eleusinian Mysteries. The mysteries dramatize the story of how Demeter, goddess of grain and earth, travels the world in mourning after her daughter Persephone is abducted by the underworld-god Hades.

Eventually she comes to the king's palace at Eleusis. There an odd crone-figure, Baubo, tries to loosen her up with wine, but Demeter is too distraught to eat or drink. The old woman finally employs a crude form of shock therapy by lifting up her skirts and displaying her private parts. Demeter bursts out laughing! In some variants of the myth, Baubo (or Iambe, who may be a younger version of the same goddess) also amuses Demeter with dirty jokes. Demeter is cheered enough to eat something. Moral: humor is good for what ails you.

The figure at right is not Baubo, but a Hellenistic Greek sculpture of a drunk old woman.

© 2009 Ellen Brundige

Greek Mythology Guestbook - How did you do?

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    • Kimsworld LM profile image

      Kimsworld LM 7 years ago

      Horrible! 30% Maybe I should read some more of your lens????

      http://www.squidoo.com/quiz-cartoon-characters-who...

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 7 years ago

      I got only 30% as well. Crazy that I guessed that splitting headache correctly :) Anyhow, will feature on my religion and spirituality quizzes lensography: http://coolest.spiritual-quizes.ever.com

    • imolaK profile image

      imolaK 7 years ago

      I like Ancient mythology but it seems I have to read again the stories because I got only 4 good answers. I enjoyed your lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Aries

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      bye

    • Mythological profile image

      Mythological 7 years ago

      Ahem, I only got 30%. And I thought I knew this stuff! OH well, I will have to read and try again. By the way, that slideshow is really annoying, the bigger and smaller pictures are horrible because they make the page move depending on their size. They should all be one size to make it smoother in my opinion.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      50%. 5/10. 0.5. Half. I didn't do very well at this.

      P.S. Who in their right mind would flash a goddess??

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Now that I've read everybody else's comments, I feel better. Yay. :) :) :) :)

    • ElizabethSheppard profile image

      Elizabeth Sheppard 6 years ago from Bowling Green, Kentucky

      I have always liked Hera, but I also like Diana and Athena. It's hard to pick just one. Hera sure has gone through a lot.

    • LadyLovelace LM profile image

      LadyLovelace LM 6 years ago

      I failed miserably at the quiz, which is a little more terrifying for the fact that I'm taking a class in Mythology this semester, but I enjoyed it anyway :)

    • Pete D profile image

      Pete D 6 years ago

      cool quiz, not as good results as I thought :)

    • mythphile profile image
      Author

      Ellen Brundige 6 years ago from California

      @JJNW: It is funny, isn't it? Scholars tie themselves in knots trying to explain the fact that in many of the world's solemn rites and festivals, there are moments of humor, inappropriate behavior, and acting out!

      Baubo is like the crazy old aunt or grandma who shocks you by saying things you'd NEVER think a lady her age would say or do. Obviously a founding member of the Purple Hat Club.

      Here's more about this intriguing "zooty goddess" figure:

      http://www.goddessgift.com/goddess-myths/greek_god...

    • profile image

      seegreen 6 years ago

      Wow, did worse than I thought I would, but I do owe my correct answers to Percy and the Lightning Thief. Not a bad series ... of course my kids made me read it ... that's my story anyway. Blessed by an Angel.

    • AlaskaHydro LM profile image

      AlaskaHydro LM 6 years ago

      I only got 1 out of 10. Horrible.

    • eclecticeducati1 profile image

      eclecticeducati1 6 years ago

      I actually got 4 right (by guessing! lol!!!). It's been a long time since I have had a chance to study mythology. The closest I have come lately is Percy Jackson. :) Blessed by an Angel.

    • missbat profile image

      missbat 6 years ago

      Ouch, only 3! I guess it's time to brush up on my Greek mythology. Fun quiz!

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Wow! I'm no good at this Grecian stuff. Another area I need to brush up on. Thanks for an interesting quiz

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 6 years ago from UK

      I did very badly indeed.... but you did make me laugh so I'm glad I had a go!

    • ImmatureEntrepr profile image

      ImmatureEntrepr 6 years ago

      Okay, so know I now I need to brush up on my mythology. I haven't studied since high school. It was one of the few things about school I actually enjoyed. :)

    • KatPriebe profile image

      KatPriebe 6 years ago

      it's amazing how much you think you know and don't...I better get reading!

    • sheilamarie78 profile image

      sheilamarie78 6 years ago

      Not great, actually! But I had fun! Now I know what I don't know.

    • teemu profile image

      teemu 6 years ago

      Horribly. 30%

    • drifter0658 lm profile image

      drifter0658 lm 6 years ago

      egads.....great quiz!

    • profile image

      Oosquid 6 years ago

      Well I didn't think that I knew much about Greek mythology and your quiz proved me right :0)

      It was fun though.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Well, I didn't get much right - sad really!

    • Health-Gal profile image

      Health-Gal 6 years ago

      planning a trip to the Greek Islands to this was great info for me!

    • GardenArbor profile image

      GardenArbor 6 years ago

      Only 40% - back to the classroom - great lens! Apollo is my favorite!

    • Board-Game-Brooke profile image

      C A Chancellor 6 years ago from US/TN

      Wow -- I thought I knew a lot of mythology but this quiz was hard! Artemis is my favorite.

    • Megal LM profile image

      Megal LM 6 years ago

      Wow I know nothing about Greek Mythology...

    • KokoTravel profile image

      KokoTravel 6 years ago

      Great lens! Challenging and revealing!

    • BetsiGoutal1 profile image

      BetsiGoutal1 6 years ago

      I recommend adding an Amazon Spotlight module featuring Greek Mythology for Dummies because I sure feel the need to buy a book like that now! Only got 2 / 10 and I see I'm not lagging too far behind the curve either. Interesting quiz!!

    • emcueto profile image

      emcueto 6 years ago

      haha, only got half of the questions right!

    • emcueto profile image

      emcueto 6 years ago

      haha, only got half of the questions right!

    • damagedinc profile image

      damagedinc 6 years ago

      I really sucked at that quiz. WOW

    • isabella lm profile image

      isabella lm 6 years ago

      your quizzes are fun...and hard

    • rootadesigns lm profile image

      rootadesigns lm 6 years ago

      I was terrible at that quiz!

    • Swisstoons profile image

      Thomas F. Wuthrich 6 years ago from Michigan

      Way back when I was in grade school, I excelled at Greek (and Roman) mythology. Unfortunately, you didn't ask any of the questions they asked me in grade school. :) That is as much as I am willing to admit at this time. Aha...I see a quiz up there which may be more my speed; the "EASY Myth Trivia Quiz."

    • Sensitive Fern profile image

      Sensitive Fern 6 years ago

      Yup, the quizzes are hard but I like them that way. I especially like how the information follows them.

    • jgelien profile image

      jgelien 6 years ago

      Wow, I did a spectacularly terrible job on that quiz. Great questions!

    • MisterJeremy profile image

      Jeremy 6 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Oooh. Only 60%. I should have known another one or two. Fun quiz, and I like how you used it to introduce the rest of your lens. Blessed.

    • profile image

      JimH 6 years ago

      I think your quiz answers are inaccurate, I only got 30% and consider myself a genius.

    • profile image

      GrinningFool 6 years ago

      Ahhhhh, bombed that quiz like I bombed the ancient mythology class in college!

    • MoonandMagic profile image

      MoonandMagic 6 years ago

      I liked the quiz, thought I was going to swim through, but no! nice choice of question thanks

    • Linda Pogue profile image

      Linda Pogue 6 years ago from Missouri

      Messed that one up! LOL! Need to study more, I guess.

    • sponias lm profile image

      sponias lm 6 years ago

      Iâm Brazilian because I was born in Brazil, but also Greek because my parents are Greek. The Greek mythology is a very complex topic, usually very seriously analyzed. However, you found a way to transmit this knowledge with simplicity, and humor. Very interesting!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      When will I learn to cheat on your quizzes and read the lens first, I would do very well then! You must split a gut coming up with some of your answers! Always, brilliantly done! {{Hugs}}

    • Demaw profile image

      Demaw 6 years ago

      I enjoyed doing this quiz, interesting subject.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      Wow, I am shocked, I did terrible!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @Demaw: So did I..also learned a few new interesting Greek trivia!

    • chocsie profile image

      chocsie 6 years ago

      wow, 10%. i guess i'm not that good at this. although some of the answers were rather shocking :p

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      You did a great job on this lens, totally fun!

    • Cheryl57 LM profile image

      Cheryl57 LM 6 years ago

      3/10, My worst score yet!! Thank goodness for your informative lenses, so I can remedy this appalling lack of knowledge.

    • Lemming13 profile image

      Lemming13 6 years ago

      Four out of 10 - oh, the shame! Still, I did study Romans, not Greeks,,, Super lens, super quiz. Blessed.

    • fashionality lm profile image

      fashionality lm 6 years ago

      very educational.

    • profile image

      termit_bronx 6 years ago

      Good job on the lens :)

    • JanezKranjski profile image

      JanezKranjski 6 years ago

      Nice job. I didn't did very well.

    • JeremyCrow profile image

      JeremyCrow 6 years ago

      Excellent quiz lens! I didn't expect the answers and found them after doing the quiz. That is a great idea. Thanks for this.

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 5 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      very interesting and informative lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very nice. 90%, but it was tricky.

    • pimbels lm profile image

      pimbels lm 5 years ago

      Very interesting. Great lens.

    • CarynJSwift56889 profile image

      CarynJSwift56889 5 years ago

      that's amazing lens, thanks a lot

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      nice 90%...awesome mythology quiz!

    • profile image

      Traderski 5 years ago

      Great lens, loved the quiz even though I didn't do to well I learned something.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      educational lense and fun! didn't do so well on the quiz, would have done better if it was at the end:)

    • profile image

      Strangelet 5 years ago

      haha great fun! And here i was thinking that all the ridiculous options were there just for the heck of it! Very educational, great job!

    • ellagis profile image

      ellagis 5 years ago

      half and half. What a funny and interesting lens!

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 5 years ago from Ljubljana

      Great quiz, thanks!

    • pramodbisht profile image

      pramodbisht 5 years ago

      Great quiz,had fun,thanks!

    • profile image

      louvilejames 5 years ago

      Very interesting quiz... I enjoy it... :)

    • verkeerd profile image

      verkeerd 5 years ago

      I didn't do that well on the quiz, but did learn/remember things from this lens!

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 5 years ago

      Nicely done lens & great resource. ***Angel blessed*** :)

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 5 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      really badly:(

    • JK Sterling profile image

      Jim Sterling 5 years ago from Franklin, Tennessee

      I really need to brush up.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

      learned a lot and earned points too

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Lol, scored badly, didn't really know about Greek stuff! Great info!

    • profile image

      Shadrosky 5 years ago

      Ouch! 2 of 10 :/

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great fun and very instructive. Thanks!

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 5 years ago

      Thanks for the fun and informative lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      enjoyed reading this lens, loved the quiz too.

    • Hypersapien2 profile image

      Hypersapien2 5 years ago from U.S.

      Really fun lens!

    • TheLittleCardShop profile image

      Malu Couttolenc 5 years ago

      Another fabulous page with Greek Mythology history, trivia and quizzes :)

    • profile image

      huvalbd 5 years ago

      Enjoyable summary. Would have made my study of Greek mythology in school a lot easier to remember!

    • profile image

      Lindrus 5 years ago

      I wish the quiz would've been at the end of the lens, then I would have done much better... But I learned something new. Thanks for a great lens!

    • NoYouAreNot profile image

      NoYouAreNot 5 years ago

      Still going strong at Greek mythology ;)

    • melissiaoliver profile image

      melissiaoliver 5 years ago

      Oh dear, 0/10! I'd better brush up some more on my mythology!

    • Mandy Stradley profile image

      Mandy Stradley 4 years ago

      Oh boy I only got one!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      A great Quiz, and I love the way its set out.

    • kevkev227 lm profile image

      kevkev227 lm 4 years ago

      Fun quiz...I got 4/10. Guess I need to brush up a bit :)

    • OrlandoTipster profile image

      OrlandoTipster 4 years ago

      Not well but enjoyed the challenge.

    • Diaper Bag Blog profile image

      Stanley Green 4 years ago from Czech Republic

      Nice quiz. I like it. Thanx for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      i only got six...

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      70% . . . Fun and informative lens!

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 4 years ago

      Love this.

    • saludsalud profile image

      saludsalud 4 years ago

      great lense

    • AstroGremlin profile image

      AstroGremlin 4 years ago

      60% and that involved some lucky guesses!

    • Baddew Fibes profile image

      Baddew Fibes 4 years ago

      Learned lots on this lens, including the fact that I'm rubbish at Greek Mythology. :)

    • HarrietC LM profile image

      HarrietC LM 4 years ago

      I really enjoyed your quizzes, learned loads too. Thanks a lot! =)

    • suepogson profile image

      suepogson 4 years ago

      I really enjoyed that. Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      Well not so good LOL Greek Mythology is one topic I would eventually like to read about, it is on my list! I find it fascinating, but don't know enough yet to love it!

    • Baddew Fibes profile image

      Baddew Fibes 3 years ago

      Lots of wrong answers, but learnt loads too. Thanks!

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 3 years ago from UK

      I thought I would have done better but I failed miserably. I should do a little work and then try again.

    • Scindhia H profile image

      Scindhia 3 years ago from Chennai

      Had great fun and learnt some facts too!

    • CYong74 profile image

      Cedric Yong 8 months ago from Singapore

      Argg! I thought I knew it well but got two wrong!

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