1st Class, Ba Economics and Philosophy, University College London (UCL)

CLASSICAL 

CIVILISATION

CASE STUDY: 

This is a possible route for a tuition course to take, but is not exhaustive. The below programme is based on Undergraduate level courses taught at Russell Group Universities, Classics departments such as those ran at Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, Durham, Exeter and St. Andrews.


Different students may require different modules, including choices such as: The Punic Wars, Alexander and the Successor Kingdoms, Ancient Greek Tragedy and Comedy, The Poetry of Catullus, or Cicero’s In Verrem.

Homer: The Iliad

 (2 hours) 

Homer’s literature is central to courses on the Classical World throughout the UK, and a strong understanding early on will lead to success in applications and at degree level.

This course begins with a module on the seminal epic poem of the ancient world. Students will learn through analysis of the text. Gaining an insight into the historical context of the period, themes and concepts within the poem, issues of translation, and the epic oral tradition.

Classical Athens & 

the Birth of Democracy

(4 hours)

 

A strong background in Classical Athens and the associated works is an excellent basis for undergraduate level work.

Students will learn through the study of historical texts about the rise and fall of Athenian Democracy in the 6th, 5th and 4th centuries BC.

 

Teaching will include an overview of the institutions of Classical Athenian Democracy, the system of tribes and voting, judicial processes and juries in Classical Athens, the reforms of Solon and Cleisthenes, and the tyranny of Peisistratus.


Included in the module is study of the philosophy of the period, such as Plato’s Republic, and Aristotle’s Politics. Also included is a study of the life of Socrates, and the survival of Democracy in Athens throughout the 5th century BC.

 The Persian War - 480-479 BC (2 hours) 

A historical study of the iconic Persian War between the Allied Greek Poleis in 480-479 BC and the Persian Achaemenid King Xerxes I.

 

Students will begin their study with teaching on the Ionian revolt and the origins of war, with a subsequent look at the Battle of Marathon, and its symbolic and historic repercussions, and Athenian preparations for war.

 

The module then moves to track the study of the war through the battles of Thermopylae, Artemisium, the sacking and evacuation of Athens, the battle of Salamis, and the battles of Plataea and Mycale.

 

Particular attention will be paid to textual analysis of Herodotus and his use as a historical source.

Virgil: The Aeneid
(2 hours)  

 

Practice of Latin translation will serve as a strong background to undergraduate level courses where advanced translation is taught.

Virgil’s most famous work and his origin story for Rome.

 

Students will read the poem in translation and will develop the capacity to analyse the themes, forms and background of this epic piece of Latin poetry.

 

For students already proficient in Latin, tutors will oversee the translation of certain parts of the epic poem. Through the translation work, students will gain a stronger understanding of Latin vocabulary and grammar.

The Fall of Republican Rome

(5 hours) 

 

This module educates the student in the period from the abdication of Sulla in 81 BC up until the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, including the history and literature from the period.

 

It includes historical investigation into the slave revolt of Spartacus (with a general look at Roman slavery in antiquity), the institutions and function of the Republic in Rome, Caesar’s Gallic War, the First Triumvirate and subsequent civil war, the Second Triumvirate and the final days of the republic.


In addition to this, there will be a study of Caesar’s De Bello Gallico, and of Cicero’s Philippics. Students may work in translation or can build on their latin from Module 4 and translate these texts themselves.

Twelve Caesars

(2 hours) 

Following on from the previous module, students will learn about the foundation of the Roman Empire and its rule by the Julio-Claudian and Flavian dynasties.

 

Beginning with the reforms of Augustus, the module moves on to take an in-depth look at the problems of succession, provincial revolts such as those in Pannonia, Britannia, and in Germania. The module also features roles of the Praetorian Guard in deciding the successor, public building works and games in the early empire, and the roles of the Senate and Equestrian classes under the Emperors.

 

An essential text for this module is Suetonius’ ‘The Twelve Caesars’ which gives historical insight into the Roman world in the first century AD, whilst also providing biographical details about the emperors themselves, from Augustus to Domitian.

XII

All of our programmes​ are entirely bespoke: what you saw above was just an example. 

 

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