A Level in Latin/AS Classical Greek will enable learners to:
Students will be expected to study a range of authors’ work in order to develop a wider vocabulary and more complex understanding of syntax and accidence. This will enable them to translate unseen passages, and answer comprehension and grammar questions on an unseen prose passage.
Over the course of the A/AS level, learners will have studied the works of at least four different authors in preparation for the Language and Literature examinations. In both the Prose and Verse Literature components students will be required to read additional literature in translation in order to understand the context from which the set texts have been taken.
Our Latin and Greek students have the opportunity to form an integral part of our Sixth Form Classical Leaders team, helping to encourage younger students in their interest and achievement in Classics throughout the school, presenting assemblies, meeting and sourcing speakers, and exciting the school community about the Classical World.
For A level Latin the prose unseen author is Livy, an epoch-defining author whose great work tells the ‘history’ of Rome from Romulus and Remus, via Hannibal’s elephants, up to civil war, Augustus and the foundation of the Roman Empire. His skill as a historian (or yarn-spinner?) made him a model for later writers throughout the centuries. The verse unseen author is the satirical and wickedly witty poet Ovid, whose works vary from advice on how to win a girlfriend, through a vast anthology of myths to his sad letters after his exile from Rome. Always clever and frequently quite racy, his poetry has entertained, influenced and informed for two thousand years.
The set texts we are currently teaching include part of Virgil’s Aeneid - arguably the most influential Latin text ever written; the cheeky and intellectually challenging love poetry of Ovid, and Tacitus’ Histories, exploring the lives and intrigues of Imperial Rome, which can read more like a modern soap-opera than history as we know it. In future years we will also be exploring Catullus’ powerful neoteric love poems.
There is no set unseen author. All authors presented in the unseen will be ‘adjusted’ to fit the style of Greek that students will have learnt throughout the year, so authors can be as diverse as historians, speechmakers and biographers.
Our set text is The Symposium by Plato —a lighthearted but profound exploration of the nature of Love, from the perspective of seven different historical figures. All gathered at a traditional Athenian Greek drinking party, they each decide to take on the question of ‘What is love?’ in their own way. We will read Aristophanes’ speech, in which he explains the true nature of our pursuit to find the perfect partner: our real ‘other half’. We will explore the language of the text and the social context of 5th century Athens, to gain a deep appreciation of Plato’s most charming work.
The verse set text is from Book 1 of Homer’s Odyssey. In Book I, we meet Odysseus’s son as he despairs of the terrible difficulties he has faced with his father away at war. The goddess Athena soothes him and helps to make a plan to restore his status in the household and prepare the family for his father’s return. Homeric Greek differs from the Classical Greek you study for language at GCSE: the opportunity to read in a different dialect will deepen your understanding of Greek language and literature, giving an insight into the variety of ‘flavours’ of Greek which are available to explore.
Entry Requirements: As stated in the Admission Policy
Exam Board: OCR