The study of Latin at GCSE level combines the foundations of the Latin language with elements of the culture, social and political life of Roman civilisation. It is a useful grounding for modern European languages, especially English. It also provides an opportunity to study some of the world’s greatest writers, including Virgil, Ovid and Horace, in their original language. All areas of the Latin language are covered, together with literature set texts, including Virgil, Ovid, Pliny, Tacitus and Horace. Background topics include Roman Religion, Britain, The Roman Army, Social Life, the City of Rome, Women and the Roman Empire. The set texts for the 2020 examinations are: (i) Aeneid book II, lines 506- 558, 705-740 and 768-794; (ii) “Germanicus et Piso” and “Personae non gratae” from the Cambridge Latin Anthology.
What skills do I need?
No particular skills are needed but an interest in the ancient world is helpful.
How is the course assessed?
The exam consists of three components. In Component 1 (Language), you will be tested on your knowledge and understanding of Latin vocabulary and grammar through translation from Latin into English and vice versa. In Component 2 (Prose Literature) and Component 3 (Verse Literature) you will be examined on your understanding of prose and verse pieces, their cultural contexts and your knowledge of the literary effects they employ. Component 1 lasts 1 hour 30 minutes and is worth 50% of the GCSE. Components 2 and 3 last 1 hour 30 minutes each and are worth 25% of the marks each.
Cambridge Latin Anthology
Published by CUP, ISBN 978-0521578776
Exam Board and Specification Code
Head of Department
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