Classical Civilisation A-Level | Surbiton High School
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Classical Civilisation A-Level

Examination Board: OCR

Please note that all literature is read in English and no prior knowledge of Latin or Greek is necessary.
This subject is varied and fascinating, and also helps us to understand the legacy left by the Greeks and Romans and their effect on the world today. Studying Classical Civilisation offers you the opportunity to learn more about today by studying the two civilisations which have contributed so much to Western civilisation. You will read, in translation, some of the most famous literature of the Greeks and Romans, and study and admire Greek art and architecture.

If you intend to study English at university, you should definitely consider studying Classical Civilisation as you will be better informed and understand the classical background to English Literature and Drama. Classical Civilisation in the Sixth Form also combines very well with all other arts subjects, including History, Modern Foreign Languages, Theatre Studies and Art. It also forms, surprisingly you may think, a good combination with scientific subjects. As well as offering a different academic discipline, it indicates your interest in wider subjects.

You should enjoy reading and looking at works of art and artefacts, and be ready to develop your essay-writing skills. If you are looking for variety and interest, you will not be disappointed.

This A-level includes the study of:
■ Greek theatre and art
■ Greek and Roman Epic
■ Greek religion and politics
After taking Classical Civilisation, our students have read subjects at university as diverse as English, Art, Archaeology, History, Theology, Law, Music, History of Art and Classical Studies.

Learn about life at Surbiton High Sixth Form.



Component 1: The World of the Hero

Examination: 2 hours 20 minutes

In this compulsory component, we will study a work of the great epic poet, Homer, as well as Virgil’s masterpiece, ‘The Aeneid’. Learners will work towards an increasingly sophisticated level of knowledge and understanding of the epics themselves, the way in which they were composed, and the religious, cultural and social values and beliefs of its society.

The study of Homer provides us with the opportunity to appreciate the lasting legacy of the Homeric world and to explore its attitudes and values. The epics of Homer (with their heroes, gods and exciting narratives) have been in continuous study since their conception, and remain popular with learners and teachers today.

This is contrasted with a study of Virgil’s, ‘The Aeneid’, a cornerstone and landmark in Western literature. Drawing inspiration from Homer, as well as from his own cultural and political context, Virgil explored what it was to be a hero in the Roman world and created a work which has proved enduringly popular.

Component 2: Culture and the Arts

Examination: 1 hour 45 minutes

This component contains four options for study, all of which involve the study of visual/material culture, thus providing a more comprehensive understanding of the ancient world.
You will study Greek theatre, exploring the plays of Euripides, Sophocles and Aristophanes. You will gain an insight into how tragedy and comedy was performed and the pertinent place these stories and the concepts they discuss hold in modern culture and civilisation.

Component 3: Beliefs and Ideas

Examination: 1 hour 45 minutes
In this component, learners are given the opportunity to explore some of the beliefs and ideals important, not only to the ancient world, but also to the modern one. From ideas about love to those about democracy, learners will examine thought-provoking and interesting concepts that will develop their ability to evaluate and analyse ideas as well as sources.

This component contains four options for study, all of which include the study of classical thought.
You will be studying Greek religion, which blends very well with the module of Greek theatre and helps us to understand the nature of the gods and their relationship with mankind. Through this, you will understand how Greek society worked and why the ancients acted like they did.

Former Pupil to Row at Olympics 2024



Lola Anderson