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Classical Civilisation GCSE

OCR J199 (9-1)

Classical Civilisation is a Humanities GCSE which builds on the Culture and Context aspects of your studies in Latin. In this course, you will study a wide range of material from both ancient Greece and Rome including artwork, material culture and some of the greatest works of literature ever produced. A Classical Civilisation GCSE is a fascinating and enjoyable look at the ancient world that will sharpen your ability to interpret, analyse and evaluate sources from a range of media and to present your judgements in a clear, concise and logical manner. You do not need to have studied Classical Civilisation or Latin in Year 9 to join this course.

Course Content

Note that there is no language component in Classical Civilisation. All of the works of literature and sources we study have already been translated into English. 

Year 10 in Classical Civilisation provides a solid foundation for the two papers in this course: Myth & Religion and War & Warfare. You will be introduced to all of the prescribed sources for this course and develop the fundamental knowledge. This includes:

  • Greek and Roman gods, their responsibilities and how they are typically represented in art

  • heroes, including their associated myths and role in ancient society

  • festivals and religious rituals

  • the impact of myths and the use of mythology to portray power

  • key aspects of the Spartan, Athenian and Roman military including the interplay between war, politics and society

In Year 11 we will build on the knowledge you've gained in Year 10, focusing on consolidation of content, exploring topics in greater depth and developing your writing skills.   


The GCSE syllabus is equally weighted between Paper 1 Myth and Religion (thematic study) and Paper 2 War and Warfare (literature and culture). There is no coursework.

For both papers, students will be expected to demonstrate their knowledge of the Classical world in a series of short-answer questions and their ability to analyse sources through a smaller number of extended written responses.