Test your Ancient Greek Philosopher knowledge with this quiz!

By: Sarah Crozer
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

How well do you know ancient Greek philosophy? Challenge your knowledge with this trivia quiz!

The ancient Greeks were the first people to do real science and recognize science as a discipline to pursue for “_____”

They investigated the world for the sheer pleasure of adding to their knowledge! They studied geometry for its logic and its beauty!

When did philosophical tradition begin?

Our western philosophical tradition began in ancient Greece in the 6th century BCE. The first of these philosophers are called "Presocratics" which designates that they came before Socrates.

What is “The Republic?”

The Republic is the most influential book that Plato wrote, and is still the most widely read philosophical book of all time! Referred to as “Plato’s Republik!”

What region is home to Socrates, Plato and Aristotle?

This is the central Greek region which was late to join the philosophical game.

What were the first of the philosophers called?

The first of these philosophers are called "Presocratics" which designates that they came before Socrates. The Presocratics were from either the eastern or western regions of the Greek world.

What did the Presocratic’s put emphasis on?

The Presocratic's most distinguishing feature is emphasis on questions of physics; indeed, Aristotle refers to them as "Investigators of Nature". Their scientific interests included mathematics, astronomy, and biology!

Philosophy was first brought into connection with practical life by whom?

Pythagoras of Samos, from whom it received its name: "the love of wisdom". Regarding the world as perfect harmony, dependent on numbers, he aimed at inducing humankind likewise to lead a harmonious life.

“Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.” This is quoted by whom?

This gives rise to understanding the modern form of the term, “soulmate!”

In 469-399 BCE a new period of Philosophy opened up with which Athenian philosopher?

Socrates made the thoughts and opinions of people his starting-point; Socrates questioned people relentlessly about their beliefs! He tried to find the definitions of the virtues, such as courage and justice, by cross-examining people who professed to have knowledge of them!

After Socrates was sent for trial, what was his sentence?

Socrates was sentenced to death by drinking the poison Hemlock. He was sent for trial for corrupting the young of Athens and for disbelieving in the gods of the city!

Which Athenian philosopher picked up a lot of Socrates works?

He was a pupil and friend of Socrates. He combined with them many the principles established by earlier philosophers, and developed the whole of this material into the unity of a comprehensive system!

One of Aristotle's best known ideas, was his conception of what?

“Avoid extremes” This was the counsel of moderation in all things. Ever heard the saying, “everything is better in moderation?” Now you know where it came from!

What was a hobby of Plato’s?

An aristocratic man with plenty of money and a superb physique, Plato at one time won two prizes as a championship wrestler. Actually, the man’s real (and little known) name was Aristocles; Plato was just a nickname given to him by his friends, whose original connotation made reference to his broad shoulders!

Who is thought to be the most important of Plato’s disciples?

Aristotle of Stagira shares, with his master, the title of the greatest philosopher of antiquity! However Aristotle tended to explain things starting from facts based on experience!

Who were the Peripatetics?

(Theophrastus of Lesbos, Eudemus of Rhodes, Strato of Lampsacus, etc.) To a great extent, they abandoned metaphysical speculation, some in favor of natural science, others of a more popular treatment of ethics, introducing many changes into the Aristotelian doctrine in a naturalistic direction.

Who was the first person to believe that diseases are common, and natural occurences are not due to supernatural forces?

He stated that diseases were created by environmental factors, diet, and living habits!

Who was Socrates’ student?

Plato became an enthusiastic and talented student of Socrates and wrote famous dialogues featuring his teacher verbally grappling with opponents.

The practice and treatment of fasting was used and emphasized by which philosopher?

The generalized treatment that he used included fasting and laid emphasis on the consumption of apple cider vinegar. He also quoted that "to eat when you are sick, is to feed your sickness!”

What was Socrates tried for?

Socrates was the big-city philosopher in ancient Athens. Accused and convicted of corrupting the youth, his only real crime was embarrassing and irritating a number of important people. His punishment was death!

Which philosopher was responsible for equilibriums, parabolas, and the sphere and cylinder?

In fact, Archimedes invented one of the most fundamental concepts of physics – the center of gravity!!

Plato believed in the pre-existence and immortality of the “_______.”

He believed in the pre-existence and immortality of the soul, holding that life is nothing more than the imprisonment of the soul in a body. In addition to the physical world, there is a heavenly realm of greater reality consisting in Forms, Ideals, or Ideas (such as Equality, Justice, Humanity, and so on)!

Who did Archimedes inspire to investigate the mathematics of motion?

Archimedes’ surviving works (tragically, many have been lost) finally made it into print in 1544. Leonardo da Vinci was lucky enough to see some of the hand-copied works of Archimedes before they were eventually printed!

What did the philosopher, Epicurus believe?

A simple lifestyle is the key to happiness! Epicurus founded a school which taught an opinion that a peaceful life free of pain was the path to happiness. Epicurus believed in atoms and taught that the humans had no control over fate!

Who did Aristotle tutor?

Aristotle was Plato’s best student. He went on to become the very well-paid tutor of Alexander the Great — probably the highest paid philosopher in history. Aristotle started his own philosophical school when he was 50 years old!

Aristotle was called a “_____” philosopher.

“peripatetic” Peripateo = “to walk around” He liked to lecture his students while taking walks!

What are “stoic” philosophers?

“Stoa”= porches. There was a group of philosophers called “stoics” because they preffered sitting around on porches (stoa) when they shot the breeze!

“Everything in excess is opposed to nature.” This was said by which Philosopher?

His teaching was as well-remembered as his healing. A symbol of the many students he encouraged is the "Tree of Hippocrates," which shows students sitting under a tree listening to him. In time he apprenticed his own sons, Thessalus and Draco, in the practice of medicine!

What was the focus of Archimedes?

He was generally regarded as the greatest mathematician and scientist of antiquity and one of the three greatest mathematicians of all time!

Aristotle’s key theme was that what is the goal of life?

Aristotle was a good deal less other-worldly than Plato. He voluntarily went into exile from Athens when conditions became a bit politically dangerous for him, in his words, “lest Athens sin twice against philosophy!”

Which philosopher said, “there is nothing permanent except change?”

The basis of his philosophy is the world of appearance, the sensible world. All things are constantly changing, and thus it is impossible to step into the same stream twice!

Who is “the father of medicine?”

As the founder of the Hippocratic School of Medicine, he is referred to as the 'Father of Western Medicine'. Hippocratic School of Medicine radically changed the system of medicine in ancient Greece.

Many philosophers mention the term, “logos,” what is it?

The divine reason implicit in the cosmos, ordering it and giving it form and meaning! Philosophers (4th–3rd century bc), defined the logos as an active rational and spiritual principle that permeated all reality. They called the logos providence, nature, god, and the soul of the universe!

What does Plato define man as?

His works have heavily influenced the western culture. All his writings focused on a wide range of subjects including philosophy of language, epistemology, cosmology, theology, discussions on aesthetics, beauty, justice, equality and yes, political philosophy!

Gogias, Prodicus, and Hippias were called what?

Those who were particularly gifted at persuasive argument and its corollary, useful knowledge, were in high demand! These individuals often would share their skills and practical knowledge for a fee!

Who tutored Alexander the Great?

Alexander the Great was the King of Macedon. Aristotle tutored him until he was 16. He was undefeated in battle and considered one of history’s most successful commanders!

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