Classical Civilisation A Level

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Classical Civilisation A Level


Classical civilisation is the term applied to the civilisations of Greece and Rome.

In terms of a time scale, Classical Greece is usually considered to be the 5th and 4th centuries, specifically the period between the end of the Persian Wars to the death of Alexander the Great: 479-323 BC.  The Roman period is more difficult to pin down to specific dates.

Most universities will start with the beginnings of Roman expansion into Italy in the early 5th century and run to Alaric’s sack of Rome in 410 AD.

This course is designed to allow you to study at your own pace and is designed to develop an interest and understanding of Classical Civilisation.

Read on to find …

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Classical Civilisation A Level


Classical civilisation is the term applied to the civilisations of Greece and Rome.

In terms of a time scale, Classical Greece is usually considered to be the 5th and 4th centuries, specifically the period between the end of the Persian Wars to the death of Alexander the Great: 479-323 BC.  The Roman period is more difficult to pin down to specific dates.

Most universities will start with the beginnings of Roman expansion into Italy in the early 5th century and run to Alaric’s sack of Rome in 410 AD.

This course is designed to allow you to study at your own pace and is designed to develop an interest and understanding of Classical Civilisation.

Read on to find out more about our A Level Classical Civilisation distance learning course and how you can learn with our amazing materials and online support.

The Aims of the Course

Develop an interest in, and enthusiasm for, the classical world.

Acquire, through a range of appropriate sources, knowledge and understanding of selected aspects of classical civilization.

Develop awareness of the continuing influence of the classical world on later times and of the similarities and differences between the classical world and later times.

Develop and apply analytical and evaluative skills at an appropriate level.

Make an informed, personal response to the material studied.

Course Content

AS Level

Classification Code: H041Unit 1:  Homer’s Odyssey and Society
Unit 2: Greek Tragedy in its Context

Each unit is examined separately in a separate exam. This makes it easier for you, the candidate, to focus your revision on each unit in turn, rather than having to revise both together.

The examination is 90 minutes long and has 100 marks available.

The examinations for Units 1 and 2 are equally weighted.

The examination has two sections: A and B.

Section A is worth 55 marks and is a commentary question.

In section A, candidates are required to answer one commentary questionselected from a choice of two.

Candidates answer three sub-questions set.

Section B is worth 45 marks and is an essay.

In section B, candidates are required to answer one essay question from a choice of three. Bullet point guidance is provided for the candidate for each essay question.

Candidates therefore answer two questions in total.

A2 Level

Classification Code: H441Unit 3: Art and Architecture in the Greek World
Unit 4: Virgil and the World of the Hero

As with the AS, each unit is examined separately, at a different examination. The A2 Units are subtitled ‘synoptic’.

Only examinations for A2 are ‘synoptic’. The structure of the examination, in which you are asked to draw your own links and comparisons between texts or materials, gives them that status.

The examination is 120 minutes long and has 100 marks available.

The examinations for Units 3 and 4 are equally weighted.

The examination has two sections: A and B.

Section A is worth 50 marks and is a commentary question.

In section A candidates are required to answer one commentary questionselected from a choice of two.

Candidates answer the two commentary sub-questions set.

Section B is worth 50 marks and is an essay.

In section B, candidates are required to answer one essay from a choice of two.

Candidates therefore answer two questions in total.

How to Study
It is recommended that student read the study guide, it contains some useful information some of which you will already know, but other details you may not. The importance of note-making has already been stressed in the study guide.

There are many methods you can apply to making notes; none of which is necessarily any better than any other. The actual method you choose depends very much upon yourself and which method suits your style of study. You must remember that some styles of note-making which are more suited to some types of data than others.

Thematic notes may be suites to a diagrammatic form of note making.  Bullet points are a useful technique to condense material and highlight the salient points. However you choose to make your notes (and you really should make some), you must do so methodically and regularly; if you get behind you will find it far more difficult to catch up later.

Further Study
It is the intention of the author and of this A-Level to provide you with a solid foundation upon which you will be able to build by further study.

Hopefully you will enjoy all of the subjects covered in the A-Level course, and will find some of them of enough interest that you would like to pursue them further, whether at tertiary level or in your own independent learning.

Some thoughts on how you can continue beyond the course are:

Visiting Museums
Many local museums have excellent classical exhibitions. Often, local museums contain archaeological information or artefacts about the history of the area in which you live. The museums in London house artefacts are of national importance, and are certainly worth a visit. In particular, the British Museum is a treasure house of Greek and Roman art and architecture, as well as housing the more everyday objects uncovered by archaeological excavation.

There are the numerous Roman sites outside of London, including the World Heritage Sites of Hadrian’s Wall and its many forts.

InternetAs you can imagine, there is a substantial amount of information available on the internet for the study of the civilisations of Greece and Rome. 

The Classical Association website is certainly worth visiting:
http://www.classicalassociation.org/

There is also an umbrella organisation called ‘JACT’ (Joint Association of Classical Teachers) which serves to provide a voice for Classics Teachers, though they are happy to accept non-teachers (i.e. students) as members.

Both groups produce a magazine of general interest as part of the subscription rates. They are also a first port of call for information on many different kinds of Classics-related events, such as workshops, day events, conferences and talks.  http://www.jact.org/index.htm

Finally, the Perseus Project, is strongly recommended. The aim of this project is to make accessible ancient source material in both the original language as well as a parallel English translation. Not every ancient writer is represented, but it is certainly worth investigating.  http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/

Books
Despite modern technology, the best sources are books written by recognised academics, often primarily focussed at undergraduates and those simply interested in the subject. These are quite simply invaluable in learning the subject.

Recommended hours of study
It is recommended that students allocate 150 hours to study fully for the AS in Classical Civilisation. Given that the Odyssey unit comprises half of the AS, you should expect to spend approximately 75 hours study time on it (including revision time).

It is recommended that students allocate around 180 hours to study fully for the A2 in Classical Civilisation. Since the Art and Architecture in the Greek World paper makes up exactly half of the A2, you should expect to spend around 90 hours preparing yourself for this exam in particular. This includes reading and revision time.

Recommended ReadingJ. Boardman, J. Griffin, & O. Murray, Oxford History of the Classical World
ch.2 (Oxford 1986) ISBN 0198721129

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