Classical Civilisation

The A-Level Classical Civilisation course involves the study of the life and literature of Ancient Greek and Roman culture. It covers 4 primary areas - Greek Epic, Roman Society and Thought, Comic Drama in the Ancient World and Virgil and the World of the Hero.

All topics are based on the study of primary evidence and there is NO requirement for prior knowledge of the ancient world or classical languages.  It is recommended that candidates have attained GCSE grade B in English Literature or History.  There is no coursework required.

Classical Civilisation students will acquire and develop skills which are demanded by both universities and employers such as analysis, independent research, interpretation, critical thinking as well as the ability to produce evaluative writing.

Course Aims

  • Acquire, through studying a range of appropriate sources, knowledge and understanding of selected aspects of classical world.
  • Develop an awareness of the similarities and differences between classical and later times.
  • Be able to apply analytical and evaluative skills at an appropriate level.


  • Homer’s Odyssey and Society(F382) - A study of Homer’s Odyssey including the analysis of content, structure, literary techniques and the society and values it represents.
  • Roman Society and Thought(F383) - The Roman writers include Horace, Petronius, Pliny and Juvenal, who provide an effective commentary on life and society under the Emperors, giving an opportunity for comparisons with contemporary media.


  • Comic Drama in the Ancient World(F389) - This topic studies a selection of plays by Aristophanes, Menander and Plautus, giving a fascination insight into the political, social and religious aspects of the times as reflected through humour.
  • Virgil and the World of the HeroF(F390) - Virgil’s Aeneid and Homer’s Iliad are studied, focusing on the literary aspects of both epic poems as well as the historical, social, political and cultural content.

Examination Board - OCR

Final Assessment:
Two x 1-5 hour examination paper for AS
Two x 2 hour examination paper for A2

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