7 - The Literary Quiz

1. What is the Latin for "book"?

2. Which of these English words comes from the Latin for book?

liberate library liberal libation

3. The language used by the Romans originated in

Greece? Campania? Latium? Umbria?

4. The original Latin alphabet comprised

19 21 24 26 letters.

5. In Latin verse, a couplet comprising a hexameter followed by a pentameter, such as was perfected by Ovid, is described as

alcaic iambic elegiac heroic

6. In Latin verse, the break in the middle of the third foot of a hexameter or pentameter is called a

caesura cedilla clausula caesarian

7. Virgil always wrote in hexameters.

True False

8. Ovid always wrote in elegiac couplets.

True False

9. The principal writer of the Greek “new comedy”, who influenced Plautus and Terence, was

Aristophanes Euripides Lysander Menander

10. Shakespeare’s play A Comedy of Errors is based on Plautus’s comedy The Brothers Menaechmus.

True False

11. The long Latin poem which reflects the tenets of the Greek philosopher Epicurus is

Horace's Ars Poetica Lucretius' De Rerum Natura
Ovid's Metamorphoses Virgil's Georgics

12. The poet who publicly lampooned Julius Caesar was

Catullus Juvenal Martial Ovid Seneca

13. Put the correct author to these quotations (if you don’t know Latin, count the syllables in each line, consider the metre from the sound of the lines, and think about the context from the translation):


Si quando sedem augustam servataque mella
Thesauris relines, prius haustu sparsus aquarum
Ore fove, fumosque manu praetende sequacis.

“When you need to open up the noble hive and extract the honey from its storehouses, first take a sip of water and rinse out your mouth, then hold out in front of you a source of piercing smoke.

Horace Ovid Virgil


Non semper idem floribus est honor
Vernis, neque uno luna rubens nitet
	Voltu: quid aeternis minorem
		Consiliis animum fatigas?
“The flowers of spring don't keep their bloom for ever, nor the blushing moon shine always with the same aspect: so why exhaust your mind, which is anyway unsuited to the task, by making plans for the future?”
Horace Virgil Ovid


Me miserum! Certas habuit puer ille sagittas.
	Uror, et in vacuo pectore regnat Amor.
Sex mihi surgat opus numeris, in quinque residat:
	Ferrea cum vestris bella valete modis!>

“Just my luck! The boy’s arrows never miss their mark. I’m all psyched up, Love rules my vacant heart. So let my couplet start with six feet, then subside to five: no more descriptions of epic battles with this metre of yours!”

Horace Virgil Ovid

14. The Roman poet who most frequently reflects in his verse the proverb “make hay while the sun shines” is

Catullus Juvenal Horace Martial Virgil

15. The patron of the arts who assisted both Horace and Virgil was

Augustus Epicurus Maecenas Pliny the Younger

16. The Hellenistic pastoral poet whose verses strongly influenced Virgil’s first published work was

Bion Moschus Homer Theocritus

17. The Aeneid is a deliberate continuation of which poem by Homer?

18. Didactic means having the purpose to instruct. Virgil’s Georgics is a didactic poem primarily about

farming philosophy Roman history warfare

19. Julius Caesar and his family claimed to be descended from Iulus, the name given to Aeneas’s son. The connection with Aeneas which enabled them also to claim divine descent was through Aeneas’s

father mother wife

20. The name Propertius gives to his lover in his poetry is

Lesbia Hostia Cynthia Silvia Julia Lalage

21. A literal translation of the title given to Ovid’s most lasting poem, Metamorphoses, is

Images Narratives Translations Transformations

22. Ovid died peacefully in Rome.

True False

23. Both Juvenal and Martial were observers of and commentators on aspects of daily life.

True False

24. The Golden Ass features a conversion to

Christianity Judaism Worship of Isis Mithraism

25. Julius Caesar wrote

6 7 8 9

books of De Bello Gallico.

26. Livy freely incorporated legends in his historical narrative.

True False

27. The name of Tacitus’s father-in-law who was governor of Britain in AD 78 - 84 was Gnaeus Julius . . .

28. The author of a series of biographies of the Caesars was

Livy Plutarch Sallust Suetonius

29. The writer who was killed observing the eruption of Vesuvius was

Lucretius Pliny the Elder Pliny the Younger Seneca

30. Cicero’s close friend with whom he corresponded regularly between 65 and 44 BC was

Antonius Atticus Brutus Quintus Pompey