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Classical Civilisation A Level at St Michael's Catholic Grammar School

Course description

Classical Civilisation is the study of the history and culture of ancient Greece and Rome, two of Europe’s greatest civilisations which rose to dominance over two millennia ago. You may be thinking how this is relevant or important in today’s world where so much value is placed on modernity and change. One answer is that the languages, laws and belief systems of modern Europe, and of the western world generally, derive ultimately from those of Greece and Rome. 

By studying what is essentially the beginnings of western European culture through its literature, art and ideas we can gain a deeper understanding of the Europe we live in today.

Classical Civilisation is a popular choice for AS study. There are typically between 15 and 20 students in the lessons and students often find it is a perfect complement to other subjects such as English, Drama and History. There is no requirement for any previous knowledge of the Classical world or its languages as the texts are studied are in English translation. 

Course content

Year 12
AS Unit 1 (CIV1F): The Life and Times of Cicero
This module explores the turbulent and violent world of Rome in the dying days of its republican system of government and the life of one its greatest statesmen and orators, Marcus Tullius Cicero. 
AS Unit 2 (CIV2B): Homer’s Odyssey
Homer’s Odyssey, composed in the 8th century BCE (or thereabouts), is the epic tale of the Greek hero, Odysseus, and his rather long journey home after fighting in the Trojan War. Students approach the text critically and are expected to analysise the story in terms of plot, themes, characterization and the religious and cultural values of the Homeric world.

Year 13
A2 Unit 3 (CIV3D): Augustus and the Principate
The study of the first emperor of Rome, Augustus. After defeating his arch enemies Mark Antony and Cleopatra he succeeded in bringing order and prosperity to the Roman world and established a lasting legacy and system of government.
A2 Unit 4 (CIV4B): Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great was one of the greatest generals of all time who brought Greek language and culture to the farthest reaches of the known world. 


There are two exams at the end of each year, one for each module. Assessment is written, in the form of short and longer essays ranging from 10 to 40 marks. Each paper is 1 ½ hours long.

Future opportunities

A number of our students go on to study Classical subjects at prestigious universities and we have a strong record of successful going on to study at Oxford and Cambridge and other leading universities.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Michael's Catholic Grammar School directly.

Last updated date: 22 March 2017
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