A level Classical Civilisation

Ashbourne has a long tradition of offering all Classical subjects and providing courses that are tailored to suit the needs and interests of students.

For those who wish to specialise in Latin or Ancient Greek Ashbourne is one of the few colleges in London to offer these options; students will require previous knowledge of the relevant languages.

Alternatively students can explore a wide selection of classical literature in translation for the Classical Civilisation A level.

George Chaldezos is a specialist teacher and head of Ashbourne’s Classics department. He is passionate about his field and encourages his students to discover the ancient world through theatre, art and events including London productions of ancient plays, British Museum visits and the annual Oxford and Cambridge Classics open day.

Why study Classical Civilisation?

Classical Civilisation students get to explore the ancient world through heroic tales, comic drama, Greek tragedy and art. You can hitch a ride with Homer’s Oysseus and Virgil’s Aeneas on their epic adventures as well as taking front row theatre seats to experience the drama and tragedy in plays by Aristophane, Menander and Plautus, and Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides.

Examining such ancient and classical civilisations reveals how Western culture, as we know it now, began particularly in relation to literature, art, politics, philosophy and theatre. So it is a great course for those also studying English, Drama, Politics, Philosophy, Art and History of Art.

Universities are keen to attract more students to study Classics as it is a rather undersubscribed course.

Which syllabus do we follow?

Ashbourne follows the OCR specification for Classical Civilisation.

What is covered in the course?

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 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4
Homer’s 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.

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.

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.

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.

Who teaches this course?

George Chaldezos

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.

Beyond A level Classical Civilisation

Classical Civilisation can be combined with other Arts, Humanities and Social Studies subjects such as English, History, Art or Psychology and offers students an excellent foundation for many university courses.

Students of Classical Civilisation enjoy success in a huge variety of careers from journalism to accountancy, and from management to publishing.

Textbooks

AS levelA level
Book 1: Aeschylus’ Agamemnon

Title – The Oresteia (Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides) – Aeschylus (Author), W. Stanford (Editor), Robert Fagles (Translator)

Weblink – The Oresteia

Book 2: Sophocles’ Antigone
Title – The Three Theban Plays: ‘Antigone’, ‘Oedipus the King’, ‘Oedipus at Colonus’ (Penguin Classics) – Sophocles (Author), Bernard Knox (Introduction), Robert Fagles (Translator)

Weblink – Antigone

Book 3: Euripides’ Medea and Electra
Title – Medea and Other Plays: Medea; Hecabe; Electra; Heracles (Penguin Classics) – Euripides (Author), Philip Vellacott (Introduction, Translator)

Weblink – Medea and Electra

Book 4: Homer’s Odyssey
Title – The Odyssey (Penguin Classics) – Homer (Author), Dominic Rieu (Editor), Peter Jones (Introduction), E. V. Rieu (Translator)

Weblink – The Odyssey

Book 1: Aristophanes’ Clouds and Lysistrata
Title – Lysistrata and Other Plays (Penguin Classics) -Aristophanes (Author), Alan H. Sommerstein (Translator)

Weblink – Clouds and Lysistrata

Book 2: Plautus’ The Pot of Gold (The Brothers Menaechmus and The Swaggering Soldier)
Title – The Pot of Gold and Other Plays (Classics) – Plautus (Author), E.F Watling (Translator)

Weblink – The Pot of Gold

Book 3: Virgil’s Aeneid
Title – The Aeneid (Penguin Classics) – Virgil (Author), David West (Introduction, Translator)

Weblink – The Aeneid

Book 4: Homer’s Iliad
Title – Penguin Classics Homer The Iliad – Homer (Author), Martin Hammond (Introduction, Translator)

Weblink – The Illiad

Scheme of Work

Why Choose Ashbourne College?
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I was drawn to apply to Ashbourne at first based on their phenomenal reputation in the UK, but the reality far exceeded my expectations… No single teacher had the same approach to teaching a subject, which was much more refreshing than the standard lecture & questions approach. From team quizzes during revision period, to weekly workbooks matching the syllabus – the organisation and creativity of my tutors really helped the content stick in my head, which made revision easier when exams came around. My personal tutor was extremely supportive throughout my UCAS application. He would reply emails near instantly if I had any questions, be on hand for regular support when I needed it and loaned me materials to read directly related to my chosen course – Law. Albeit slightly frustrating with the constant tweaking required to my personal statement every week, this was more of a fine tuning process as he would not stop until he knew my personal statement was as perfect as it could be, and I am very grateful for his determination! The hard work and determination required of you at Ashbourne really set me up for life at university as I knew what I had to do to stay ahead and still even applied revision tactics and tips from Ashbourne tutors to my final year of my law degree
NatashaLaw at Queen Mary (University of London); Legal Practice Course (LPC) at BPP Law School
Academic excellence in a relaxed atmosphere! Small classes means that the teachers are able to give the students the dedicated attention that they need not only to succeed but also to understand the material taught.This is a nurturing institution that equips students with all the tools they need in future. I would certainly recommend this school to anyone – but saying this I do not want Ashbourne to lose the close knit family relationship that my daughter enjoys with faculty staff, teachers and students. So I want this to remain as a closely guarded secret!!
Ashbourne is a wonderful place to teach and an even better place to study. The staff treat the students as adults and the mutual respect results in a relaxed university approach to study. Teaching classes that only have a max of 10 allows for individual tuition and greater differentiation within the groups helping the students grow in confidence and develop a love for their subjects. I really like the fact that students are encouraged to refer to their tutors by their first name and feel that this breaks down tutor/student boundaries and means that the students are confident in asking for help. Brilliant students, brilliant tutors, great place to work
Rachel TeasdaleFormer Head of GCSE and Biology Teacher
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