Classical Civilisation

Classical Civilisation involves the study of Greek and Roman civilisation and covers aspects of classical history, society, religion and culture, models of heroism and citizenship, the visual arts and architecture. It can be studied at GCSE as well as at AS and A2 Level. Keen historians often opt for Ancient History in addition to History, and in fact, given the different challenges presented by the source material, the two disciplines do not overlap.

Why study Classical Civilisation?

Studying the civilisations of Ancient Greece and Rome helps us to understand the ideas and forces which have shaped much of the modern world we live in. It helps to improve pupils’ skills as thinkers, and opens their minds to thinking about how cultures develop and differ from one another. Our aim is that pupils should gain an insight into the societies, cultures and civilisations of the Greek and Roman worlds and appreciate the western world’s debt to these two ancient societies.

GCSE: At this level, there is opportunity for pupils to study a choice of units including Roman and Greek Life and topics based on Roman Britain, Pompeii, Sparta and the Olympic Games, plus Literature based topics on Greek and Roman Theatre. There are three examined modules (one hour each) and one coursework module. Classical Civilisation encourages pupils to be flexible and open-minded and willing to participate in class discussion, in order to develop understanding. The coursework (“Controlled Assessment”) may seem off-putting but is actually a great opportunity for boys to develop their skills as researcher and writer. They are always well supported through the process.

AS/A2 Level: There is no requirement to have studied this subject at GCSE and at this level there are a wide range of options for pupils to choose. Most recently boys have opted for Archaeology, Greek Tragedy, City Life in Roman Italy, Comic Drama in the Ancient World, Roman Society and Thought, the World of the Hero, and Roman Britain: Life in the outpost of Empire. There are two modules at both AS and A2. AS level modules each involve writing a commentary and a shorter essay.