I have used many of these questions way too many times in previous classes.  I will often come up with a new question instead of what's here. I often give "creative" alternatives to the more typical questions I suggest below.  Sometimes, I will ask you to supply what you consider to be good questions for the assigned reading.  If you've done the reading, you should find these quizzes fairly easy.

On some quizzes I give students the option of creating a video rather than taking a traditional approach.  Here's a particularly good approach to an assignment I gave on Antigone.

Epic of Gilgamesh

Please read pp. 61-119 in the Nancy Sanders translation of  The Epic of Gilgamesh.  You do not need to read the introductory material (p. 7-60).

Gilgamesh, King of the Sumerian city of Uruk (Erech), was a favorite subject of Mesopotamian art and literature for over a thousand years.  The Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians--and maybe even the Egyptians--all told Gilgamesh stories.  The version you are going to read is based on the tablets discovered by Layard in the library of the 7th century B.C. Assyrian king, Ashurbanipal.

Potential quiz question:  Would The Epic of Gilgamesh make a good movie?  Why, or why not?

In evaluating your quiz, I will be looking primarily for evidence that you have read the epic.  Be sure to include references to specific characters and specific events described in the poem.  I will also be looking at your ability to organize your information.  Do not put all your information into one long paragraph.  Good topic sentences will help your grade.

Readings from the Old Testament

Please read Genesis 1-3 and Deuteronomy 5-6, Isaiah 1, Isaiah 53, and any one of the Psalms.

Potential quiz question: What did you find particularly interesting in the selections from the Bible?  What did you find hard to understand?  What would you particularly like to see discussed in class?


Please read Daniel 1-7 and Daniel 12. (Note: In Protestant Bibles, chapter 12 is the last chapter of Daniel.  In Catholic Bibles, there is some additional material.)

Most societies look not only to the beginning of the universe to try to explain the meaning of life, but to the end of time as well.  We call speculations on the end of time and the end of the world "eschatology."  The Hebrew view of eschatology, like the Hebrew view of creation, is particularly important, a fundamental part of the Jewish, Christian, and Moslem faiths.

The book of Daniel gives a clearer account of Hebrew eschatology than any other Old Testament book.  But the book of Daniel is not just an attempt to satisfy the curiosity of the Hebrews about what might happen in the future.  Instead, the author is attempting to deal with the problem of evil.  Why do the righteous suffer?  Why do the wicked prosper?  Is God just?  If he is just, is he powerless to help the righteous?  Why be righteous if you're only going to suffer for it?  Daniel confronts such questions head on.

Potential Quiz question:  How would the book of Daniel have helped to provide ethical guidance and emotional fulfillment to the Hebrew people?


You will find Antigone on pp. 80-110 in Moses Hadas’ Greek Drama.

Quiz question:  If you were to produce the play Antigone, who would you choose for the leading roles?  Why?  (Note: if you're not a big fan of movie or television actors, you can "cast" the play with friends or relatives.)

Trojan Women

You will find The Trojan Women on pp. 256-287 of Moses Hadas’ Greek Drama.

Quiz question: Imagine you have just watched the first performance of The Trojan Women. Write a letter to a friend in another city telling them about the play and describing your reaction to it.

The Apology

You will find The Apology on pp. 21-42 of  The Trial and Death of  Socrates.

Quiz question: Socrates has been called one of the greatest teachers who has ever lived.  Based on what you read in The Apology, suggest some reasons people would have been particularly attracted to him as a teacher.  What was particularly attractive about his teaching?

The Gospel of Matthew

Please read as much as you can of the Gospel of Matthew.  Be sure to read chapters 3-8.

Quiz question: Jesus has been called one of the greatest teachers who ever lived.  Based on what you read in the Gospel of Matthew, suggest some reasons people in the first century might have been particularly attracted to him as a teacher.  What was particularly impressive about his teaching?

The Gospel of John

Please read as much as you can of the Gospel of John.  Be sure to read chapters 1-4 and 19-21.

Quiz question: If a student had really read the Gospel of John, what kind of evidence could they produce on a quiz such as this?

The Prince

Please read as much as you can of Machiavelli's The Prince.  We will be dealing primarily with chapters 15-19 (pp. 84-104 in the Mentor edition), so if you're pressed for time, concentrate on these pages.

Quiz question: Summarize Machiavelli's advice to rulers.  Do you think a ruler who followed Machiavelli's advice would be successful?  Why, or why not?