Sixth Form Classical Civilisation

Classical Civilisation

Classical Civilisation has been a well-established and popular course at BMS for many years. Across the two year course, students will learn about aspects of both ancient Greek and Roman culture through study of three units.

Year 1:

The World of the Hero (Homer’s Iliad): in this unit we read the story of an episode during the mythical Trojan War, culminating in the death of the Trojan prince Hector at the hands of Achilles.

Imperial Image: in this unit we explore how Rome’s first emperor, Augustus, manipulated his public image to persuade an anti-monarchical republican society to accept one-man rule.

Year 2:

The World of the Hero (Virgil’s Aeneid): in this unit we read the story of the mythical hero Aeneas’ destined journey from the ruins of Troy to found Rome, and consider how the story reflects the society and values of the Roman world.

Politics of the Late Republic: in this unit we analyse the attitudes, beliefs, conduct and impact of three political influencers (Cato, Cicero and Caesar) and consider through their eyes the development and fall of the Roman republic.

The examination requires students to comment on passages of text, analyse visual sources and write analytical essays. 

Lessons tend to be based around discussion and note taking, and assignments mostly take the form of essays. We also make visits to both the Museum of Classical Archaeology in Cambridge and the British Museum in London to study artefacts from the ancient world at first hand.

Traditionally the course has attracted a wide range of students, from those with a particular interest in the arts, to serious scientists who wish to retain the breadth that an arts subject can provide. It can lead, too, to a variety of degree courses, including Classical Studies, Archaeology, Ancient History and Anthropology.