|No knowledge of Latin, Greek or even the ancient world is needed for this popular subject, in which candidates have been extremely successful, the majority gaining Grade A or A*. The OCR specification offers the opportunity to explore the way of life and literature both of the Classical Greeks and the Romans, and we shall choose four topics for detailed study. During your study you will also be encouraged to compare the ancient world with modern day society.
| Thematic Study Literature and Culture
-Women in the ancient world -The Homeric World
Units 1 and 2 are examined in two separate 1-hour 30 minute
papers (50% of marks)
Students will develop knowledge and understanding of the roles of women in the societies of Athens and Republican Rome, although wider material, such as that from Sparta or Pompeii, is also included. The realities of life as a woman in these societies will be examined; both women who are portrayed as living a respectable, ideal life of virtue, and those who created more scandal. The role of women in religion will also be explored as an interesting and important area where women had possibly their greatest degree of parity with men. From Helen to Cleopatra, learners will enjoy learning about these figures in more depth and exploring how the ancient world thought about these famous women, about whom stories are still written.
The Culture section of this module involves a study of life in Mycenae, an ancient Greek city that flourished over three thousand years ago. We look at the archaeology of the site as well as its culture which was so rich in sculpture, frescos and jewellery, as well as the famous tombs and their accompanying treasure. Everyday life in Mycenaean times is also explored, allowing learners to consider what life was like for real people in this period, rather than simply focusing on the exploits of epic heroes.
Homer’s Odyssey forms the Literature half of this component. The selection of books chosen for study in this component combine the fantastical and enjoyable tales of the journey of Odysseus, a mythological Greek hero, but also give learners a possible insight into everyday life, including aspects such as palace life and the lives of women. The final books, which focus on the battle between Odysseus and the suitors, are exciting in themselves and also pose interesting questions about revenge and punishment
We organise visits to lectures and plays and to Classical sites both in England and abroad: we travel to either Greece or Italy every year at the end of the summer term.
Classical Civilisation offers a valuable perspective on our modern society and gives scope to girls with a wide range of talents and interests. It may also be studied at A-Level, and generally several girls each year go on to study a classical-related degree at university, including Oxford and Cambridge.