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Classical Civilization AS/A2 at King Edward VI School, Stratford-upon-Avon

Course description

It is expected that students will achieve an A* or A grade in GCSE English Literature or History in order to take this subject in the Sixth Form. A B grade is an absolute minimum.

AS Outline

AS Candidates will be introduced to two significant aspects of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds through a study of literature, history, politics and art. Candidates study all ancient texts in translation. No prior knowledge is required, only an enjoyment of history and literature. They will learn analytical and critical thinking skills as well as how to write a good essay. Two separate units are examined by structured, source-based questions and one short essay.

Each written exam lasts 1 hour 30 minutes.

Unit 1

The Life and Times of Cicero

Cicero lived in the turbulent period of civil war which led to Julius’ Caesar’s assassination. His speeches and letters are studied in detail to gain an in depth understanding of the political pressures and intrigues of the period 80-43BC.

Unit 2

Homer’s Odyssey

Homer’s Odyssey is one of the greatest works of Western literature as well as one of the earliest, composed in Greek at the dawn of writing in the 8th century B.C. It is a timeless epic tale of lost identity and revenge. Gods, monsters, heroes, loss, suffering and justice lie at the heart of this poem.

A2 Outline

At A2, candidates study two additional topics, which give candidates a greater understanding of the cultural, religious, social and political values of the classical world. They continue to develop their analytical, critical-thinking and essay-writing skills. The two units are examined by structured, source-based questions and an essay. Each written exam lasts 1 hour 30 minutes.

Unit 3

The Persian Wars

In the early fifth century B.C. the city states of Greece came under attack by the might of the Persian Empire. This great conflict between East and West reverberates through history and led to the triumph of democratic Athens and a flowering of Greek literature. The conflict is studied through two great works of literature,The Persians, a tragedy by Aeschylus (who himself fought in one of the battles) and the writings of Herodotus, ‘the Father of History’.

Unit 4

Virgil’s Aeneid

When Augustus brought to an end the period of civil war that dominated first century B.C. Rome, a new age of peace led to a golden age of literature. The most complex work of this period is Virgil’s epic poem, The Aeneid, which traces the struggle that went into creating the Roman Empire through the journey and conflicts of one man, the Trojan prince Aeneas.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact King Edward VI School, Stratford-upon-Avon directly.

Last updated date: 01 October 2014
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 52 Weeks - 104 Weeks