Classical Civilisation at Merchant Taylors' Boys' School
Literature and ancient history are at the heart of the course. Students study Homer’s epic poem of the Odyssey: a tale of monsters, gods, and a hero; a tale of revenge and of one man’s mission to return home from the Trojan War after a twenty-year absence. Homer’s Odyssey is the foundation of Western literature and remains one of the greatest stories ever told. The second unit is a study of Cicero’s life and times. Through Cicero’s letters we get an exceptional glimpse into the thoughts and actions of Rome’s most illustrious lawyer and politician who lived through extraordinary times. His life spans a particularly bloody and turbulent period in Rome’s history, known as the Late Republic.
Students will be expected to study, discuss, think about and form judgements on the works on the specification. An appetite for reading and for seminar-style exploration is welcome and we encourage lively debate. There will be regular extra-mural activities including theatre trips and exposure to artefacts from the classical world.
One of the unique advantages of Classical Civilisation is that it is open to anyone, regardless of whether a student has taken the subject at GCSE. No previous knowledge is necessary, nor will any be expected. The only qualifictaions required to emabark on the course are an interest in the subject matter and the ability to write answers which are clear, relevant and organised.
The subject may appeal to students of English, History and Drama as it complements many of the skills and qualities required in the study of those subjects. But it serves equally well to provide breadth in the AS year to students undertaking virtually any combination of A levels. The course is taught entirely through the medium of English - no knowledge of Latin or Greek is necessary.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Merchant Taylors' Boys' School directly.