Ashbourne follows the OCR specification for A level Classical Civilisation.
Students will study a selection of ancient texts and explore their literary, social and historical contexts as well as examining the techniques playwrights employ to create tragedy and comedy.
AS level students examine one epic poem and four plays (units 1 and 2). A level students study two epic poems and four plays (units 3–4).
Unit 1: Homer’s The Odyssey and society
Following the end of the Trojan War Odysseus begins an epic adventure to return home. The sea-god Poseidon and a myriad of monsters relentlessly hound him on his ten-year journey only for him to find his homeland besieged by his wife Penelope’s suitors.
Students will discuss Odysseus’ adventure and the context of society in Homer’s The Odyssey.
Unit 2: Greek tragedy in its context
Students explore plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides through text, screen or stage production and examine the literary, social and historical contexts as well as the tricks and techniques used to create dramatic effect.
Unit 3: Comic drama in the ancient world
How did the Aristophanes, Menander and Plautus portray the ancient world through their comic dramas? Students will examine the context in which the plays were produced and look at the techniques used to create comedy.
Unit 4: Virgil and the world of the hero
Students get to experience the epic adventures in Virgil’s Aeneid and Homer’s Iliad and examine the world in which they are set and the role of the hero. The texts are read in translation.
BA Hons (University of Thessaloniki); BA Hons (Cologne); PhD study (Cambridge); PGCE (London)
George teaches Latin, Greek and Classical Civilisation, and has been head of Ashbourne’s Classics department since 2003. He is a member of the Association for Latin Teaching and is an assistant examiner for the OCR exam board and the Cambridge Pre-U.
Book 1: Aeschylus’ Agamemnon
The Oresteia (Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides)
Aeschylus (Author), W. Stanford (Editor), Robert Fagles (Translator)
Book 2: Sophocles’ Antigone
The Three Theban Plays: ‘Antigone‘, ‘Oedipus the King‘, ‘Oedipus at Colonus‘ (Penguin Classics) Sophocles (Author), Bernard Knox (Introduction), Robert Fagles (Translator)
Book 3: Euripides’ Medea and Electra
Medea and Other Plays: Medea; Hecabe; Electra; Heracles (Penguin Classics)
Euripides (Author), Philip Vellacott (Introduction, Translator)
Book 4: Homer’s Odyssey
The Odyssey (Penguin Classics)
Homer (Author), Dominic Rieu (Editor), Peter Jones (Introduction), E. V. Rieu (Translator)
Book 1: Aristophanes’ Clouds and Lysistrata
Lysistrata and Other Plays (Penguin Classics)
Aristophanes (Author), Alan H. Sommerstein (Translator)
Book 2: Plautus’ The Pot of Gold (The Brothers Menaechmus and The Swaggering Soldier)
The Pot of Gold and Other Plays (Classics)
Plautus (Author), E.F Watling (Translator)
Book 3: Virgil’s Aeneid
The Aeneid (Penguin Classics)
Virgil (Author), David West (Introduction, Translator)
Book 4: Homer’s Iliad
The Iliad (Penguin Classics)
Homer (Author), Martin Hammond (Introduction, Translator)