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Classical Civilisation

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.


We aim to develop students analytical and evaluative skills, to gain insight into the classical world from the literary and material culture studied. This should result in an informed and appropriate response to the evidence and arguments presented in the course. Through myths, legends, and historical interpretations we aim to develop an awareness of the timeless themes to enable students to apply what they learn about the classical world to today’s world through questions on gender, belief, sexuality, and citizenship.

Key Concepts

These include a study of religion, the concept of heroes, myth, power, and death. All these are related to both Greek and Roman culture. With specific reference to Rome, we consider the home, family, society, and entertainment.

Key Skills

Students develop the following skills by studying Classical Civilisation:

  • The ability to select relevant and evidence-based knowledge.
  • Develop an understanding of classical texts and materials from the classical world, including how sources reflect their cultural contexts
  • Understand and write about a range of possible interpretations of the texts and images they study.
  • In addition, the best students analyse, interpret sensitively, and critically evaluate classical texts and materials.
  • Use a range of evidence effectively, to construct coherent and reasoned arguments.

What is taught?

Content of Myth and Religion:

  • The gods
  • The Universal Hero: Heracles/Hercules
  • Religion and the City:
  • Myth and the City: Foundation Stories
  • Festivals
  • Myth and Symbols of Power
  • Death and Burial Practices and beliefs surrounding death and burial
  • Journeying to the Underworld
  • Content of Roman City Life
  • Roman Housing
  • The Roman Home and Family
  • Society – Citizens and citizenship
  • Leisure and Entertainment

Academic Literacy in Classical Civilisation

A Classical Civilisation student should be able to select, interpret and meaningfully communicate about the ancient world of Greece and Rome. They should be able to read and understand translations of ancient texts and be able to explain the symbolism of their art and culture. They will have to learn key Latin and Greek terms, some of which are the basis of English words and sometimes are unique to the times. They need to deploy these with confidence both orally and when writing.

Students are encouraged to extend their interest in Classical Civilisation by… 

We encourage reading around the subjects we study, with the acknowledgement that in the modern world students can also use YouTube and the approved Classical sites as directed by members of staff. Extra and extending work is available to stretch and challenge students. We also make students aware of any competitions available with a classical theme.

Enrichment Opportunities

We offer many trips to museums, and places of archaeological interest, for example the British Museum. We also hope to run a trip to Italy (Rome) in the future.

Careers Guidance and Support for Classical Civilisation:





MGSG Careers