Classical Civilisation

A Level

Wyke’s A Level Classical Civilisation qualification provides students with a broad and rewarding study of the classical world.

Students have the opportunity to study elements of the literature, visual/material culture and thoughts of the classical world while acquiring an understanding of their social, historical and cultural contexts.

100% Examination (3 Written Exams)

Course Information

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Entry criteria

A Level Classical Civilisation requires students to achieve the minimum entry requirements for their chosen pathway plus a minimum of a 5 in GCSE English Language and a 5 in History or Religious Studies (if offered at school.) We do not require any experience of studying Classics before, though an interest is important!

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Structure of the exam

100% exam; three written exams

Why should I study Classical Civilisation?

  • It is highly regarded by Russell Group universities 
  • You will develop a wide range of skills: engaging with ancient literary texts (in translation), understanding philosophical debates and gaining an insight into the ways in which classical civilisations have impacted on our modern world 
  • You will develop a sophisticated appreciation of the literature and ideas of the classical world that will enrich your understanding both of ancient and contemporary culture and debates  

How does it link to my other subjects?

Classical Civilisation has links to English Literature, Philosophy, Religious Studies, History, Government & Politics, and Theatre Studies.

Topics Studied:

The World of the Hero

In this unit we dive into the worlds of two of the greatest classical epics: Homer’s Odyssey and Virgil’s Aeneid. These two texts trace the aftermath of the Trojan war and the journeys taken by the Greek Odysseus, who travels home to his faithful wife, and the Trojan Aeneas, who escapes the ruins of his city and must wander in search of a new home. Through careful analysis and comparison we will seek to answer some key questions: What does it mean to be the hero of an epic? What do these stories tell us about the societies who first heard them? How are our interpretations different more than two thousand years later? 

Greek Theatre

In our study of Greek theatre we look at two of the most famous Greek tragedies, Oedipus the King by Sophocles and The Bacchae by Euripidesalongside Aristophanes’ satirical comedy The Frogs. In addition to this we will look at some of the archaeological and visual materials that have survived from classical antiquity to see how they change and enrich our understanding of these plays.  

Love and Relationships

This unit explores how Greeks and Romans thought and wrote about love, desire, marriage and sex.  We will explore how two deeply influential philosophers, Plato and Seneca, defined and advocated different approaches to love, and consider the contrasting poetry of two writers. The fragmentary but powerful remains of Sappho’s poetry offer a tantalising account of desire and longing, while the third book of Ovid’s Ars Amatoria, or Art of Love, offers very frank advice to women looking to find and keep a man.  

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