This course introduces you to the ancient Greek and Roman worlds through their mythology, literature, drama, and art, as well as a little history and archaeology. It will open up to you ways of viewing the world spiritually, morally and culturally which contrast and compare in a fascinating way with our modern western world.
Unit 1: Homer’s Odyssey and Society – we study the whole of this great epic poem about the adventures of the hero Odysseus as he returns home from the Trojan War. You are expected to know selected chapters in especially close detail, and so we teach you to develop skills of critical literary analysis, looking at content, character and style. In addition we discuss social and moral values, including the role of women, gods, religion and fate.
Unit 2: Greek Tragedy in its Context – we read four plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides which dramatise famous Greek myths. We look at how in 5th century B.C. the Athenians presented their plays using music and dance in their great open-air theatres, and we examine the roles of gods, men, women and children in the life of the city .
Unit 3: Art and Architecture in the Greek World – we study Greek sculpture, from the Archaic to the Classical period, i.e. 600 – 400 B.C. We also look at Greek temple architecture and Athenian vases, with their scenes of mythology and everyday life, also from the Archaic to the Classical period.
Unit 4: Virgil and the World of the Hero – we study Virgil’s ‘Aeneid’, the Roman epic written during the rule of the first emperor of the Romans, Augustus. Part entertainment, part nationalistic propaganda, it is a fascinatingly complex epic about love, loyalty, war and death. We also explore the relationships between Homer’s ‘Iliad’ and the ‘Aeneid’ – looking at style, characterisation, creative imitation and thematic similarity and dissimilarity, with special focus on the ideas of heroism and the hero.
Examining Board – OCR.
Special Entry Requirements
Career and Progression Opportunities
The analytical and critical skills developed on this course prepare students extremely well for any Higher Education course, especially Humanities degrees in Literature, History, Archaeology, Anthropology, Sociology, Philosophy and Education .
This information is correct for September 2013 entry.