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Classical Civilisation AS/A2 at St John Fisher Catholic High School

Course description

This is an exciting course which gives a detailed insight into the ancient world of the Greeks and Romans, forming the basis of our society today.  Students study literature, history and archaeology from a wide variety of texts and sources.  Students who have not previously studied Classics are welcome to do so at A Level.  A Classical language (Latin/Greek) is not required, as all texts are studied in translation.  You will also have opportunities to visit Classical sites both nationally and internationally!

Course content

Module 1: Greek Epic: Homer’s 'Odyssey' and Society: This module involves a study of The Odyssey. Students will be expected to understand and evaluate the historical and cultural context in which the poems were composed. They are also expected to analyse aspects of the text such as characterisation, heroism, involvement of the gods, social and moral values including the concepts of ‘guest friendship’, ‘honour’ and ‘reputation’, the role of women and narrative techniques.

Module 2: Greek Tragedy in its context: Students study tragedies by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides.  They are required to look at the concept of the tragic hero, the depiction of women and the conflict between men and women, the role of the chorus, the gods and narrative techniques. They will also be expected to have a thorough understanding of the historical and cultural context in which tragedies were written and performed, and will be expected to examine and compare the approaches of different tragedians.

Module 3: Roman Epic: Virgil’s 'Aeneid': This module requires students to have a detailed working knowledge of Roman history, society and politics in the early Roman Empire.  They will read and analyse aspects of the Aeneid including: characterisation; the concept of the hero; the role of the gods; moral and social concepts; ideas about Fate and narrative techniques.  Students will also be expected to identify and comment on the influence of the Homeric epics on the Aeneid.

Module 4: Ancient Comedy: Students study texts from ancient Athens and Rome.  They are expected to analyse and evaluate comic techniques and its development from Classical Greece to Imperial Rome. They will also be required to assess various themes which run throughout the plays and identify the moral messages outlined by these ancient comic playwrights.  This module involves a field trip to watch a performance of an ancient play.

Entry requirements

Minimum sixth form entry requirement is 5 A*-C GCSE or equivalent, including English and usually Maths.

Subject specific entry requirement for this subject - C grade or above in GCSE Classical Civilisations or English Literature.

Future opportunities

Classics is a rigorous, academic subject that is looked upon favourably by university admissions tutors.  It provides an excellent grounding for further study in Classics or any other Arts or Humanities subjects.  The skills acquired will also prove invaluable for those wanting to pursue careers in law, journalism, education and the civil service.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St John Fisher Catholic High School directly.

Last updated date: 27 November 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1-2 years

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