Classical Civilisation

Contact Teacher: Ms C Barnett, Teacher of Latin

Exam Board: OCR

Why study Classical Civilisation?

This course explores aspects of the ancient worlds of Greece and Rome, two of the greatest civilisations the world has ever seen; both of which influenced our culture and thinking profoundly and continue to do so today. Through studying ancient literature and art you’ll gain an appreciation of how these ancient peoples thought and learn about the similarities and differences between their worlds and ours. Incorporating aspects of archaeology, theatre, art, politics, history and philosophy, this course examines the culture, society and make-up of the ancient world and in so doing will provide you with a fresh perspective on the modern world.

It offers you the opportunity to think critically about some of the most controversial and influential philosophy and literature ever created, and to tease out its impact on later thought and life.

It is good preparation for a range of degree courses that require clear thinking and writing, especially (but not just) Classics, Ancient History, Art History, History, Theology, Philosophy or Politics.

Course Details

The A Level Course offered is run by the OCR board and the exciting new course allows students to explore three areas in depth.

  • Studying the Odyssey will help you understand Homer’s world of gods and monsters, of what it is to be a good man in the pre-Classical World and how that differs from today. You will also see how literature was used as a political tool in the Roman world through studying Virgil’s Aeneid. These works form the backbone of modern, western literature
  • The ‘Invention of the Barbarian’ gives you a glimpse into the 5th Century wars between Athens and Persia. This terrible clash between East and West is full of prejudice, heartbreak, history, art and some extraordinary plays that flesh out the history and development of the Western World
  • ‘Love and Relationships’ offers you the opportunity to look in depth at some of the historical practices and beliefs of the Romans and Greeks. From poetry to philosophy, these ideas can be as alien as they are familiar to us

How the course is taught & assessed

All the texts are read in English translation. The exams consist of answering context questions and writing essays on the topics studied. There is no coursework.

Entry Requirements

No knowledge of Latin or Ancient Greek is required. However, a grade 5 or above in English is preferred.