What will I study in A Level Classical Civilisation?
At A Level, Classical Civilisation does not require any previous knowledge and so is open to students who have never studied anything classical before, as well as those who have. Our aim is to offer students as wide an understanding and appreciation of the Classical World as possible. With this aim in mind we have selected modules which give equal opportunity to study the Greeks and Romans, as well as art, literature, archaeology, history, drama and society. Study of this subject at A Level helps students to develop good written communication skills and analysis skills, which are highly prized by Universities and employers. The A-Level itself is considered to be rigorous and is rated as such by Oxbridge and the top Universities in the country.
The subject is fascinating, engaging and varied at A Level, with opportunities to develop new knowledge or expand on existing knowledge. It also gives ample opportunity for discussion, debate and analysis.
Pupils study four tragic plays written by three different ancient Greek playwrights. They are encouraged to engage with the characters and situations, and also to put those into the context of the period in which they were written. Comparison of the playwrights is also a feature of this module, so students will look for key differences in expression and structure and will discuss them in some depth.
City Life in Roman Italy
The focus of this unit is on the three cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Ostia. Students learn about the buildings and lives of those who were residents. We consider what the design and layout of the buildings can tell us about the wealth and status of individuals, and also how the decoration can show us what was important to the people of these cities.
Virgil and the World of the Hero
This is a literature module in which pupils study the Aeneid and the Iliad. They consider similarities and differences in the two texts, including the authors’ ideas about destiny and the gods. Students are encouraged to debate issues, such as whether the Aeneid is a propaganda piece, and if so, what evidence we can find for this in the text.
Greek Art and Architecture
Sculpture, pottery and temple buildings are among the areas studied. Students are encouraged to consider aesthetics and design, as well as techniques. We consider the value the pieces have for our understanding of the period studied and how Greek ideas about art changed over time; namely the change from Egyptian style statues to the more natural look which became prevalent later.