Why study this subject?
If you want to develop your skills of critical analysis and debate, whilst also looking at the fascinating worlds of Ancient Greece and Rome, then Classical Civilisation is the course for you. A multi-disciplinary subject, Classics allows for the development of a range of study skills and academic techniques. We will consider history, literature, philosophy, politics and archaeology in our investigations into the Classical World. We will be looking at written texts (in translation), material artefacts and world-famous archaeological sites, all of which will help to enhance your interest and understanding. Classicists excel in a wide range of university courses and future careers, including law, publishing, journalism, accountancy, PR, medicine, drama, the civil service, construction, archaeology and education. The reason for this is that, through studying Classics, you will develop a wide range of transferable skills. This is also why Classics complements so many other A Level courses.
In our lessons discussions of the materials we have read and evaluated will be integral. Your opinions and ideas are something that we are very interested in and we will help you to refine your ability to think critically and argue persuasively, with confidence. Our teaching of the subject will involve a good mix of group work, personal study, role plays, quizzes, timed essays, videos, source analysis, podcasts, presentations and an opportunity to attend conferences, productions and visits to significant sites.
Topics you will cover
The Classical Civilisation A Level focuses on three different, but interlinked, areas.
Unit one considers the ‘World of the Hero’. Here we will look at the epic poetry of Homer (The Iliad) and Virgil (The Aeneid), in translation. Their tales of the Trojan War and its aftermath are captivating accounts which raise many debates about what it means to be a hero, what the purpose of war is and allows us to reflect upon the social and cultural context of the worlds in which these tales were created. From the anger of Achilles, the intervention of the Olympian Gods and a consideration of the futility of war, there are many exciting angles to explore. English Literature students will find this unit especially engaging.
Unit two is a more visual and tangible consideration of ‘Culture and the Arts’. We will be studying the reign of the first Roman Emperor, Augustus. Through a historical study of his long reign, we will consider how he cleverly used political ‘spin’ to create an ‘Imperial Image’. This unit allows us to combine the disciplines of history, poetry, art and sculpture in forming our ideas and opinions. There are clearly many modern parallels to be drawn which might interest students of Politics and History.
Unit three is an exploration into ‘Beliefs and Ideas’ in the Classical World. Specifically, we will delve into the fascinating topic of Greek Religion. Here we will learn about the Olympian Gods and consider how Ancient Greeks had personal experiences of the divine. Through study of sites like the Parthenon in Athens and the Temple of Apollo in Delphi we will be able to consider how religion, politics and society were interconnected. This unit also allows us to delve into the philosophy of great thinkers such as Socrates. Students of RS and Philosophy will find this unit especially interesting.
Throughout your A Level, you will be fully supported by an enthusiastic department and a wide range of resources. If you want to be academically challenged and enthused by the study of the ancient world, join us. Classical Civilisation can be studied alongside one of our History A Level options.
Grade 5 in GCSE English Language. We do not expect you to have studied any areas of Classics before and all materials will be studied in English translation.