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Students do not need experience of either the Latin or Ancient Greek languages, as all of the texts are studied in English translation; all a student needs is an interest in mythology, the ancient world and its cultures. Classical Civilisation involves interesting discussions that are directly relevant to today's world with topics covered including: women in the ancient world; religious beliefs; ancient acts of intolerance.
GCSE Classical Civilisation provides students with a broad, coherent and rewarding study of the literature and culture of the classical (Greco-Roman) world drawn from the time period 3000 BCE to 500 CE. GCSE students study elements of literature and the visual and material culture of Greece and Rome and develop an understanding of their social, historical and cultural contexts.
The major topics studied at GCSE level are: (1) Myth and Religion - the study of the roles, symbols and depictions of the Greek and Roman gods, their festivals and temples, mythology and ancient beliefs in the Underworld. (2) The Homeric World - focusing on Homer's Odyssey, including an analysis of the characters and plots, as well as the themes of fate, revenge and justice. It also includes a study of real life in the Mycenean age, through various sites and artefacts.
A-Level Classical Civilisation includes the study of myths, literature, history, politics, art and architecture, philosophy and the way people lived in Greece and Rome. The A-Level topics are: (1) Society: relationships within the household, between the household and the wider community and between different communities. (2) Myths: heroes, villains, monsters. (3) Religion: portrayal of gods, attitudes to gods and the role of religion. (4) Values: concepts of heroism, honour, duty, virtue, justice and the good life. (5) Politics and leadership: bases of power, attitudes to those in power, accountability of those in power, processes for making decisions and resolving disputes, plus attitudes to war and peace. (6) History: a study of specific periods of Greek and Roman History.
If you are looking to apply to university, Classical Civilisation can be extremely useful. You not only acquire specific Classical knowledge, but also important transferable skills such as analysing sources and developing independent, critical and evaluative approaches. You learn to formulate and support an argument and develop a valuable understanding of cultures very different to your own.