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Classical Civilisation

Classical Civilisation is an engaging and interesting subject which students can study from Year 8 onwards. The pupils study the Romans and the Greeks in depth and also look at other cultures which have had a direct impact on the Greek and Roman civilisations. The courses studied in Years 8 and 9 are varied and engaging, looking at archaeology, history, literature, art, religion and architecture. The aim of them is to give the students an opportunity to have a wide and varied appreciation of what Classical Civilisation is, whilst also developing skills of analysis and evaluation.

Year 8

  • Greek religion, gods, temples and sacrifice
  • Greek Literature - Homer’s Odyssey or a Greek play
  • Alexander the Great
  • Gladiatorial shows and chariot racing
  • The Roman Army

Year 9

  • Myths, gods and the Underworld
  • Sparta
  • Mycenae and Troy and the archaeological evidence
  • Roman or Greek literature (Ovid’s Metamorphoses or Euripides’ Medea or Homer’s Iliad)
  • Cleopatra, Mark Antony and Augustus
  • Legendary women (Helen, Lucretia etc)
  • Dacian Wars – Trajan Column


Pupils will follow the OCR GCSE specification (9-1).

Classical civilisation is the study of the civilisations of Ancient Greece and Rome, which have provided the foundations of modern European culture and society. Whether literature, politics, history, mythology, art, architecture, morality, science, or thought, the classical world helps us understand and appreciate our own roots and ideas.

Intrinsically interesting and very varied, classical civilisation combines well with subjects such as English, Latin, RS and history, and is also a highly valued GCSE and A level subject.

Course content

Candidates will sit two examinations taken at the end of Year 11.

Typically, pupils will study:

Both units compare the Greek and Roman worlds and use various types of evidence to understand them; visual (pottery, sculpture), literary (epic, poetry) and material (artefacts, weapons).

Unit 1:       

Women in the ancient world – We will study Greek and Roman                                    women, looking at topics on legendary women, women to be feared                           and ‘improper women’, as well as the more typical aspects of                                 women’s lives: the home and religion.

Unit 2:       

War and warfare.  We will be studying Sparta, Athens and Rome and considering how they each fought their wars: what equipment did they have, what sort of armour and what formations did they use to fight key battles, such as Thermopylae, Salamis and Actium?

Each unit is worth 50% of the total GCSE.