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Alexander the Great: A Multiple-Choice Quiz and Study Guide for Students and Homeschoolers

Dorothy is a Master Gardener, former newspaper reporter, and the author of several books. Michael is a landscape/nature photographer in NM.

"The Clemency of Alexander the Great" by Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini.

"The Clemency of Alexander the Great" by Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini.

  • Alexander the Great (Alexander III of Macedon) was tutored by Aristotle, something he probably found useful, especially after the death of his father, Philip II of Macedon, when he inherited his father's kingdom and his army. Alexander never lost a battle (thus the "Great" title), but according to all of the articles, texts, books and magazines I have read about him, his personal life could be classified as slightly less than great.
  • Author's Note: As a matter of fact, I don't think I would have liked him at all.
  • Alexander had three wives and some believe he had a number of mistresses (or concubines), one of whom bore him a son. He also had another son with one of his wives, but both sons died before reaching adulthood.
  • Mary Renault, the English writer who was best known for her historical novels set in Ancient Greece, also wrote a nonfiction biography of Alexander. She, however, never believed the aforementioned details of his personal life to be accurate, and is quoted:
  • "No record at all exists of such a woman accompanying his march; nor of any claim by her, or her powerful kin, that she had born him offspring. Yet twelve years after his death a boy was produced, seventeen years old...a claimant and shortlived pawn in the succession wars...no source reports any notice whatever taken by him of a child who, Roxane's being posthumous, would have been during his lifetime his only son, by a near-royal mother. In a man who named cities after his horse and dog, this strains credulity."
  • Note: The Nature of Alexander (1975) is the only nonfiction work by novelist Mary Renault (1905–1983).

Quiz

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. When was Alexander the Great born?
    • 466 B.C.
    • 356 B.C.
  2. Who was Alexander the Great's mother?
    • Cleopatra
    • Olympias
  3. Alexander named Bucephalus, a city in India, for what/whom?
    • His mother
    • His horse
  4. Which great Greek philosopher tutored Alexander?
    • Aristotle
    • Plato
  5. When did Alexander become the ruler of Macedon?
    • 336 B.C.
    • 440 B.C.
  6. Why did he become the ruler of Macedon?
    • He seized power from another ruler
    • His father, King Philip II, was assassinated
  7. How many wives did Alexander have?
    • Two
    • Three
  8. Who was the mother of Alexander IV, Alexander the Great's son?
    • His first wife, Roxane
    • His second wife, Statiera
  9. His other son, Heracles, was also the son of whom?
    • His third wife, Parysatis
    • His mistress, Barcine
  10. How old was Alexander when his father went into battle invading Thrace and left him to rule Macedonia?
    • 20
    • 16
  11. What was the name of the elite Greek force destroyed by Alexander the Great early in his career?
    • The Theban Secret Band
    • The Maidi Group
  12. During which battle did he destroy this elite Greek force?
    • Battle of Granicus
    • Battle of Chaeronea
  13. What caused the royal Macedonian family to split apart?
    • Philip II was assassinated
    • Phillip II married Cleopatra
  14. Who, at Philip's wedding to Cleopatra, implied that Alexander was a "bastard" and not legitimate heir to the thrown..
    • Attalus
    • Pausanius
  15. Who assassinated Philip II?
    • Pausanias
    • Attalus
  16. Once he became king, how did Alexander handle his domestic enemies?
    • He embraced them
    • He had them executed
  17. Which one of Alexander's generals attacked the Thebans, killing everyone in sight, women and children included?
    • Perdiccas
    • Antipater
  18. Approximately how many Thebans were killed in that attack?
    • 600
    • 6,000
  19. Approximately how many more were sold as slaves?
    • 3,000
    • 30,000
  20. The home of which poet was spared during the attack on the Thebans?
    • Plato
    • Pindar
  21. Why did he attack the Thebans in such a violent manner?
    • He wanted them to rethink their desire for freedom
    • He was tired of ruling that area
  22. Who did Alexander appoint as regent in his absense as he left to conquer Asia?
    • Antipater
    • Attalus
  23. How old was Alexander the Great when he left to conquer Asia?
    • 35
    • 22
  24. What was the legentdof the Gordian Knot?
    • Whoever could untie the knot would live forever
    • Whoever could untie the knot was destined to rule the world
  25. How did Alexander the Great handle the Gordian Knot?
    • He slashed it with his sword
    • He untied it with his teeth
  26. Who were Perdiccas, Craterus, Coenus, Meleager, Antigonus,and Philotas
    • They were all cousins of Alexander the Great
    • They were commanders under Alexander the Great
  27. Who was the Persian commander in Issus (Syria)?
    • King Darius III
    • King Philip
  28. When Darius III offered a truce to Alexander, why did he turn it down?
    • Because it only up some of the Persian provinces, and Alexander wanted the whole empire
    • Alexander the Great planned to assassinate Darius and take over the empire
  29. What was the name of Alexander 's Macedonia empire?
    • Hellenistic Empire
    • Macedon Empire

Answer Key

  1. 356 B.C.
  2. Olympias
  3. His horse
  4. Aristotle
  5. 336 B.C.
  6. His father, King Philip II, was assassinated
  7. Three
  8. His first wife, Roxane
  9. His mistress, Barcine
  10. 16
  11. The Theban Secret Band
  12. Battle of Chaeronea
  13. Phillip II married Cleopatra
  14. Attalus
  15. Pausanias
  16. He had them executed
  17. Perdiccas
  18. 6,000
  19. 30,000
  20. Pindar
  21. He wanted them to rethink their desire for freedom
  22. Antipater
  23. 22
  24. Whoever could untie the knot was destined to rule the world
  25. He slashed it with his sword
  26. They were commanders under Alexander the Great
  27. King Darius III
  28. Because it only up some of the Persian provinces, and Alexander wanted the whole empire
  29. Hellenistic Empire
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo's painting of Alexander the Great and Diogenes, painted sometime in the 1700's.  Diogenes the Cynic was one of the few people who mocked Alexander the Great and lived.

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo's painting of Alexander the Great and Diogenes, painted sometime in the 1700's. Diogenes the Cynic was one of the few people who mocked Alexander the Great and lived.

1818 Painting of Alexander the Great and Diogenes by Nicolas-Andre Monsiau, a French history and portrait painter.

1818 Painting of Alexander the Great and Diogenes by Nicolas-Andre Monsiau, a French history and portrait painter.

"I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion."

- Alexander the Great

Silver Alexander the Great coin.

Silver Alexander the Great coin.

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© 2011 Mike and Dorothy McKenney

Comments

Civil War Bob from Glenside, Pennsylvania on February 23, 2012:

Well done hub and the quiz was excellent.

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