A Level Classical Civilisation (Reformed 2017)

What is Classical Civilisation?

Classical Civilisation is the study of the ancient world from the earliest known civilisations until the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in 476 CE. In this course understanding of our ancient past is gained through the study of the Greek and Roman worlds, looking at their history, politics, culture and literature. We look at the way the ancient world has shaped the modern and influenced us in ways both obvious and subtle.

The A-level specification is divided equally between the Greek and Roman worlds in order to provide insight into both and focuses upon key aspects of their history as well as some of their most famous literature.

What sort of student does it suit and what will you get out of the course?

Classical Civilisation is a complex but deeply interesting subject that requires students to analyse the past and critically consider the causes and effects of major events.

Classical Civilisation combines well with English Literature, History, Sociology, Media Studies, Geography, Government and Politics, Law, Theology/Religious Studies and Philosophy. In terms of careers, it leads to many possibilities including academic research, teaching, media, journalism, government roles, heritage, cultural roles, anthropology and museum work.

AS Level

MPW approach to AS study

The AS specification focuses on some of the great works of Greek literature – Homer’s epic poem the Iliad and some of the early works of Greek drama. study of the prescribed texts will be combined with developing analytical and evaluative skills, and weekly timed assignments and homework activities will test understanding and expression of ideas.

AS Specification Number
OCR H008

 

The World of the Hero – Homer’s Iliad
1 hour 30 mins written paper, 65 marks – 50% of total AS

Set during the epic Trojan War, the Iliad is a story of gods and heroes, death and glory, war and the suffering it causes. Centring around the flawed Greek hero Achilles, students will study the key themes and complex characters of one of the most famous stories in the world. This topic is examined through a series of short questions, followed by two larger essays testing skills of analysis and evaluation.

Culture & the Arts – Greek Theatre
1 hour 30 mins written paper, 65 marks – 50% of total AS

Students will examine the birth of drama in 5th century BC Athens, studying both the technical aspects of staging and performing plays, along with the role of drama in Athenian society. Both tragedy and comedy will be studied, combining the violence and emotion of the great tragedies with the irreverent satire of the master of comedy, Aristophanes. This topic is examined through a series of short questions, followed by two larger essays testing skills of analysis and evaluation.

Reading list

 Copies of prescribed text and details of useful revision guides will be provided.

A Level

MPW approach to A level study

Classical Civilisation A Level contains the same components as the AS specification, with additional topics covering Roman literature and the evolution of Athenian politics & culture. Students will develop strong and rounded understanding of the values expressed in the literature of the ancient world, and will develop the skills of analysis, evaluation and expression necessary for the AS course. Students will also study, discuss and comment on the opinions expressed by modern historians and scholars.

A Level Specification Number
OCR H408

 

The World of the Hero – Homer’s Iliad & Virgil's Aeneid
2 hours 20 mins written paper, 100 marks – 40% of total A Level

Students will study the Iliad as described in the AS specification, and will also study Virgil’s Aeneid, a Roman sequel to the story of the Trojan War, telling of the Trojan hero Aeneas’ journey to Italy. Written during the reign of Rome’s first emperor, the Aeneid provides a fascinating insight into the attitudes of Roman society, as well as being a complex and entertaining story of war and adventure in its own right.

Both Homer and Virgil will be examined in the same paper – students will answer two questions on the Iliad, two on the Aeneid, one comparing and contrasting both poems, and one synoptic essay.

Culture & the Arts – Greek Theatre
1 hour 45 mins written paper, 75 marks – 30% of total A Level

The content of this topic is the same as that given in the AS specification. This topic will be examined through a combination of short questions, short essays, and one longer synoptic essay.

Beliefs & Ideas – Democracy & the Athenians
1 hour 45 mins written paper, 75 marks – 30% of total A Level

Democracy was one of the greatest creations of the ancient world, and democratic Athens produced some of the greatest minds and greatest works of literature in history. Students will study the historical development of democracy from its earliest beginning to the Athenian golden age, and will also explore some of the ancient praises and criticisms of democracy expressed in tragedy, comedy, history and philosophy. This topic will be examined through a combination of short questions, short essays, and one longer synoptic essay.

 

Reading List

Copies of prescribed text and details of useful revision guides will be provided.