Classical Civilisation

The study of Classical Civilisation provides pupils with an insight into the ancient world and gives them an opportunity to examine how ancient values, morals and behaviour translate into modern western culture. Parallels between the ancient and modern worlds are traced to discover how the two are related and the ways in which one has developed from the other. Emphasis is on working with original literary and archaeological source material and this develops pupils' skills in forming independent judgments and opinions.

The Department brings the subject to life as much as possible by organising visits to places of relevant historical interest such as Rome and Naples and, closer to home, to the Roman Villas at Lullingstone and Fishbourne. Pupils also have opportunities to see productions of ancient plays, visit exhibitions of artefacts and to enter Classical essay competitions. The department runs an annual Classics Reading Competition, as well as Creative Writing and Art competitions.

In the First, Second and Third Forms (Years 7, 8 and 9) Classical Civilisation is studied within the Latin course and covers: the city of Pompeii, Roman Britain, the Roman Army, Greek Mythology, Ancient Egypt, and Julius Caesar.

At GCSE the course gives a broad introduction to the Classical World. Pupils read a selection of books from the Odyssey and learn about the history of the Mycenaeans as well as Roman mythology and religion. The subject is highly varied and develops pupils’ understanding of the world we live in today and how it was shaped by ancient civilisations.

At A Level, the course Classical Civilisation gives students an opportunity to learn more about the fascinating world of the Greeks and Romans. The course is broad and varied, and covers topics such as warfare, mythology, Homeric epic, art, architecture, archaeology, politics, and Greek tragedies and comedies. Any texts and sources are studied in English, so no knowledge of Latin or Greek is required.

Classical Civilisation is regarded as providing a good basis for the study of many subjects within the Arts at University.