Classical Civilisation

Minimum Entry Criteria

Guarantees a place on the course: 7 in Classics or 7 in English Language or English Literature

May be accepted on the course: 6 in Classics or 6 in English Language or English Literature



Outline of the Course

  • Unit 1: The World of the Hero (H408/11) Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid
  • Study two of the cornerstones of Western Literature. Analyse the plot and characters present in the set books of both pieces of epic poetry and compare themes such as heroism, the role of the gods and fate, the position of women and the context in which both texts were composed.
  • Unit 2: Culture and the Arts: The Greek Theatre (H408/21)
  • This is unit takes a holistic approach to the topic. You will study two tragedy plays (Sophocles’ Oedipus the King and Euripides’ Bacchae) and one comedy play (Aristophanes’ Frogs) and analyse key themes and plot devices. Also you will look at the context in which the plays are set, theatre conventions and our sources of information on the Greek theatre and what it reveals about Greek society.
  • Unit 3: Beliefs and Ideas: Politics of the Late Republic (H408/33)
  • Study in details the political structure of 79-43BC and key individuals such as Sulla, Julius Caesar, Cicero, Pompey and Crassus who drastically changed the political landscape of the time. Analyse set sources to look at the causes and consequences of political scandals, alliances and civil wars.



Type of Assessment




A series of short answer questions and longer answers based on set books that have been studied as part of the course.

2 hours 20 minutes



A series of short answer questions based on sources studied as part of the course. An extract from a set play with short and longer questions based on this.

1 hour 45 minutes



A series of short and longer answer questions based on studied sources from the course. A choice of 2 essays.

1 hour 45 minutes