Hello and welcome to the History and Classical Civilisation Department.
My name is Sarah Bell and I’m the Course Leader for Classical Civilisation A Level at Reigate College. I’m looking forward to welcoming you in person at the beginning of the academic year and sharing my passion for Classics.
In the meantime, I’m going to be setting a series of activities for you to complete over the coming months. These are designed to not only fuel your enthusiasm, but show how important classical studies are to our understanding the modern world. For most of you, this will be a new subject, so these tasks will also give you a great insight into studying Classics at A Level.
At A Level you will be expected to work independently and motivate yourself, so use this time as a training session. I’m looking forward to discussing your findings when we meet in September.
The tasks will be released here, in three phases (see table below) and should be completed by Choices Day on 1 September 2021. Please throw yourself into them and above all enjoy them!
Please note, some Course Leaders (for example for Music) may release their tasks earlier, as they may form part of the College’s audition process. If this applies to you, you’ll be notified separately.
New Starters Course Tasks and Activities
To be completed by
Explore your Subject
Explore your Subject
The Trojan War
One of the key texts you will be reading as part of your Classical Civilisation course is Homer’s Odyssey. This is the story of the adventures had by the hero Odysseus during his voyage home from the war against Troy.
As an introduction and to give you some
background information, please begin by watching the following Turkish
broadcast about the British Museum’s exhibition on the Greek world, Troy: Myth and Reality.
Is there any truth in the tale of Troy? Homer’s epic accounts of the Trojan War are
among the most influential narratives in world history. But are they rooted in
reality – or mere myth?
Read the article by Classics Professor Paul
Cartledge and then answer the following questions:
You’ll be able to answer the questions in order as you follow
the podcast, but make sure listen to the whole 50 minutes.
Where would you find slaves in the Roman empire? (trick question)
What two things could happen to you if you were captured by the Romans?
Where did Julius Caesar capture about million slaves and later sell them into slavery?
Would the Romans always kill able-bodied men? If not, what happened to them?
Which is the only type of evidence we get written accounts from slaves themselves?
What type of work did female slaves perform?
Rank the price of slaves in terms of their value. Place the numbers 1-3 (1 representing the highest value) alongside these: Women, Children and Men.
What percentage of the population is estimated to be slaves?
Name one ‘defect’ that could be considered to be a reason for compensation when it comes to female slaves.
Livy writes a history of Rome. He details how a slave stopped a plot to bring the reign of kings back to Rome. What were the three rewards they received?
We have no evidence of the Romans wishing to abolish slavery. Instead, what were they concerned with when it came to slaves and their wellbeing?
What evidence do we have of slaves being treated with violence?
What can tomb stones tell us about slaves?
What is a peculium?
What is manumission?
What do you need as a slave in order to make a will?
Did Spartacus lead a revolt in Sicily or Italy?
What does the ‘animalisation of a slave’ mean?
How did the idea of slavery continue when Rome becomes Christianised?
Was race a defining factor of Roman slavery?
A day in the life of a slave
Write a diary entry from the perspective of a Roman slave. You should aim to write at least a page.
You must choose what type of
slave you are, where you live and who your master is. Imagine where you may
have come from and how your life as a slave may contrast with your beginnings.
You may have been born a slave and be very content with your life. You may have
a family who are all slaves who answer to the same master.