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There are 22 questions. You have to answer them based on a reading.

Reading and Questions

A Mesopotamian Creation Myth

1-According to this account, how is the world created?

2-Central to this creation story is a struggle to the death between two gods. What might the focus on battle reveal about Mesopotamian beliefs?

3-How and why are human beings created? What does this story reveal about how Mesopotamians understood the relationship between humans and the gods?

“Book of Genesis: The Hebrews Explain Creation”
1-Consider the stages of creation. What does their order reveal about the Hebrew faith?

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

2-God creates man on the sixth day, but a few verses later the text states that “there was not a man to till the ground,” then a mist watered the earth and God formed man from the dust of the ground. Why does God seem to create man twice, and what could this indicate about the way the text was created?

3-Explain the following passage: “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.” What does this indicate about how the Hebrews understood the relationship between their God and humanity?

4-Given that all of God’s creations through the sixth day are described as “good,” what does that suggest about the source of evil in the world? Does evil come from nature, from God, from human beings?

“Homer, The Odyssey: Odysseus and the Sirens”

1-What kind of a leader is Odysseus? How do his decisions affect his men? How does he balance their needs with his own plans?

2- Why does Odysseus ignore Circe’s advice about Scylla and Charybdis, even though her plan for escaping the sirens worked?

3-Of all the Greek heroes, Odysseus is described as the most resourceful. In what ways does this passage support that assessment?

4-Why might Homer have composed this story? Is it meant to be a history lesson, or is it for instruction, entertainment, or some other purpose?

“Livy, The Rape of Lucretia”

1-How did Tarquinius frighten Lucretia into having sex with him?

2-How did the men in Lucretia’s family react to what had happened to her?

3-What does the story tell you about Roman ideas about the family? About Roman values?

4-How did Lucretia’s relatives and friends connect her rape and suicide to the larger grievances of the Roman people? What pictures does the story present of the role of the common people in Roman politics?

“Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: William the Conqueror”

1-What were Williams’s principal faults and virtues? How did they support or detract from one another?

2-How well had William established peace after conquering England? Give specific examples to support your position?

“Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan”

1-How does Hobbes characterize human existence without the peace and order afforded by a ruler vested with absolute authority?

2-What is Hobbes’s view of religious or divine justifications for absolute power?

3-Having placed themselves under the sovereign power of a ruler, what freedoms of action do individuals have to govern their own affairs?

4-What options, according to Hobbes, do a sovereign’s subjects have in the event that he abuses his power?

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