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Classical Civilisation AS/A Level at Richard Taunton Sixth Form College

Course description

Classical Civilisation is the study of the ancient world of Rome and Greece. It covers sections of the sometimes violent political and social history, in addition to cultural values through the study of ancient sources and classical literature. Students gain not only knowledge but also cultural appreciation and the vital transferable skills of analysis and evaluation.

Course content

You will study two units in the first year for the AS Level, and two in the second year to complete the full A Level. The units will examine aspects of the classical civilisations of Athens and Rome. 

Unit 1: The Life and Times of Cicero – Assessed by Written Examination

This unit delves into the nature of Roman society, government and politics. Through his own words and historical texts, you will study the life and career of Cicero; a formidable public speaker and lawyer. This includes his relationships, aims and the major events within his career, such as the death of Caesar and the rise of Antony and Octavian (otherwise known as the emperor Augustus).

Unit 2: The Odyssey – Assessed by Written Examination

This unit explores elements of Ancient Greek mythology and the adventures of Odysseus. It critically analyses the religious, cultural and social values implicit in Homer’s epic, through themes such as the role of fate and the gods, and the concept of the heroic code. You will also study the techniques involved in oral composition.

Unit 3: Augustus and the Foundation of the Principate – Assessed by Written Examination

This unit covers aspects of the career of the Roman emperor Augustus, through his own words and classical historical source of Suetonius. You will examine his power, his policies, his relationships and his building programme. You will be expected to link understanding of the sources and Roman values to an analysis of Augustus’ career. 

Unit 4: Roman Epic, The Aeneid – Assessed by Written Examination

This classical text follows on from Augustus, as it is arguably propaganda for his reign mixed with Roman mythology. Virgil’s masterpiece follows the tale of the flawed hero Aeneas and the events that led to the foundation of Rome. You will study this classical book’s cultural, social and political context along with themes and techniques used by Virgil.

Entry requirements

  • At least five GCSEs at grade C or above, including English Language

You do not need to have studied any classical subjects before, but you should be interested in the ancient world, its history, literature, personalities and archaeology

Future opportunities

These units provide an opportunity to study the classical world and explore its history and cultural values. They provide excellent preparation for students wishing to progress to further study of archaeology or classical studies at university. The course also provides a broader experience for students interested in the study of literature or history. In addition, the course develops the essential disciplines of analysis and evaluation vital in any academic or business sphere.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Richard Taunton Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 24 October 2016

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