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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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  • CYong74 profile image

    Cedric Yong 15 months ago from Singapore

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

  • Scindhia H profile image

    Scindhia 3 years ago from Chennai

    Had great fun and learnt some facts too!

  • 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.

  • Baddew Fibes profile image

    Baddew Fibes 3 years ago

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

  • profile image

    anonymous 4 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!

  • suepogson profile image

    suepogson 4 years ago

    I really enjoyed that. Thanks!

  • HarrietC LM profile image

    HarrietC LM 4 years ago

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

  • Baddew Fibes profile image

    Baddew Fibes 4 years ago

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

  • AstroGremlin profile image

    AstroGremlin 4 years ago

    60% and that involved some lucky guesses!

  • saludsalud profile image

    saludsalud 4 years ago

    great lense

  • VspaBotanicals profile image

    VspaBotanicals 5 years ago

    Love this.

  • profile image

    anonymous 5 years ago

    70% . . . Fun and informative lens!

  • profile image

    anonymous 5 years ago

    i only got six...

  • Diaper Bag Blog profile image

    Stanley Green 5 years ago from Czech Republic

    Nice quiz. I like it. Thanx for sharing.

  • OrlandoTipster profile image

    OrlandoTipster 5 years ago

    Not well but enjoyed the challenge.

  • kevkev227 lm profile image

    kevkev227 lm 5 years ago

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

  • profile image

    anonymous 5 years ago

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

  • Mandy Stradley profile image

    Mandy Stradley 5 years ago

    Oh boy I only got one!!

  • melissiaoliver profile image

    melissiaoliver 5 years ago

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

  • NoYouAreNot profile image

    NoYouAreNot 5 years ago

    Still going strong at Greek mythology ;)

  • 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!

  • profile image

    huvalbd 5 years ago

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

  • TheLittleCardShop profile image

    Malu Couttolenc 5 years ago

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

  • Hypersapien2 profile image

    Hypersapien2 5 years ago from U.S.

    Really fun lens!

  • profile image

    anonymous 5 years ago

    enjoyed reading this lens, loved the quiz too.

  • JoyfulReviewer profile image

    JoyfulReviewer 6 years ago

    Thanks for the fun and informative lens.

  • profile image

    anonymous 6 years ago

    Great fun and very instructive. Thanks!

  • profile image

    Shadrosky 6 years ago

    Ouch! 2 of 10 :/

  • profile image

    anonymous 6 years ago

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

  • goo2eyes lm profile image

    goo2eyes lm 6 years ago

    learned a lot and earned points too

  • JK Sterling profile image

    Jim Sterling 6 years ago from Franklin, Tennessee

    I really need to brush up.

  • Heather426 profile image

    Heather Burns 6 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

    really badly:(

  • dahlia369 profile image

    dahlia369 6 years ago

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

  • verkeerd profile image

    verkeerd 6 years ago

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

  • profile image

    louvilejames 6 years ago

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

  • pramodbisht profile image

    pramodbisht 6 years ago

    Great quiz,had fun,thanks!

  • TolovajWordsmith profile image

    Tolovaj Publishing House 6 years ago from Ljubljana

    Great quiz, thanks!

  • ellagis profile image

    ellagis 6 years ago

    half and half. What a funny and interesting lens!

  • profile image

    Strangelet 6 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!

  • profile image

    anonymous 6 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

    Traderski 6 years ago

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

  • profile image

    anonymous 6 years ago

    nice 90%...awesome mythology quiz!

  • CarynJSwift56889 profile image

    CarynJSwift56889 6 years ago

    that's amazing lens, thanks a lot

  • pimbels lm profile image

    pimbels lm 6 years ago

    Very interesting. Great lens.

  • profile image

    anonymous 6 years ago

    Very nice. 90%, but it was tricky.

  • sukkran trichy profile image

    sukkran trichy 6 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

    very interesting and informative lens.

  • 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.

  • JanezKranjski profile image

    JanezKranjski 6 years ago

    Nice job. I didn't did very well.

  • profile image

    termit_bronx 6 years ago

    Good job on the lens :)

  • fashionality lm profile image

    fashionality lm 6 years ago

    very educational.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • profile image

    anonymous 6 years ago

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

  • 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

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

  • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

    MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

    Wow, I am shocked, I did terrible!

  • Demaw profile image

    Demaw 6 years ago

    I enjoyed doing this quiz, interesting subject.

  • 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}}

  • 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!

  • Linda Pogue profile image

    Linda Pogue 6 years ago from Missouri

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

  • 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

  • profile image

    GrinningFool 6 years ago

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

  • profile image

    JimH 7 years ago

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

  • MisterJeremy profile image

    Jeremy 7 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

    jgelien 7 years ago

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

  • Sensitive Fern profile image

    Sensitive Fern 7 years ago

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

  • Swisstoons profile image

    Thomas F. Wuthrich 7 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."

  • rootadesigns lm profile image

    rootadesigns lm 7 years ago

    I was terrible at that quiz!

  • isabella lm profile image

    isabella lm 7 years ago

    your quizzes are fun...and hard

  • damagedinc profile image

    damagedinc 7 years ago

    I really sucked at that quiz. WOW

  • emcueto profile image

    emcueto 7 years ago

    haha, only got half of the questions right!

  • emcueto profile image

    emcueto 7 years ago

    haha, only got half of the questions right!

  • BetsiGoutal1 profile image

    BetsiGoutal1 7 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!!

  • KokoTravel profile image

    KokoTravel 7 years ago

    Great lens! Challenging and revealing!

  • Megal LM profile image

    Megal LM 7 years ago

    Wow I know nothing about Greek Mythology...

  • Board-Game-Brooke profile image

    C A Chancellor 7 years ago from US/TN

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

  • GardenArbor profile image

    GardenArbor 7 years ago

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

  • Health-Gal profile image

    Health-Gal 7 years ago

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

  • Gloriousconfusion profile image

    Diana Grant 7 years ago from United Kingdom

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

  • profile image

    Oosquid 7 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.

  • drifter0658 lm profile image

    drifter0658 lm 7 years ago

    egads.....great quiz!

  • teemu profile image

    teemu 7 years ago

    Horribly. 30%

  • sheilamarie78 profile image

    sheilamarie78 7 years ago

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

  • KatPriebe profile image

    KatPriebe 7 years ago

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

  • ImmatureEntrepr profile image

    ImmatureEntrepr 7 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. :)

  • indigoj profile image

    Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

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

  • LizMac60 profile image

    Liz Mackay 7 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

  • missbat profile image

    missbat 7 years ago

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

  • eclecticeducati1 profile image

    eclecticeducati1 7 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.

  • AlaskaHydro LM profile image

    AlaskaHydro LM 7 years ago

    I only got 1 out of 10. Horrible.

  • profile image

    seegreen 7 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.

  • mythphile profile image
    Author

    Ellen Brundige 7 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...

  • JJNW profile image

    JJNW 7 years ago from USA

    Why would the correct answer be "C. She told dirty jokes and flashed Demeter."??? Maybe something is off here? ha ha

    In any case, I need to study!

  • Pete D profile image

    Pete D 7 years ago

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

  • LadyLovelace LM profile image

    LadyLovelace LM 7 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 :)

  • ElizabethSheppard profile image

    Elizabeth Sheppard 7 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.

  • profile image

    anonymous 7 years ago

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

  • profile image

    anonymous 7 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

    Kitsune64 7 years ago

    Woot! 9 out of 10 - Baubo got me. XD Great quiz. As always, much love for your lenses. 5*

  • 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.