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:
Listen to the podcast on this link (you will need an iplayer account, although you should be able to access this on other podcast providers) https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/b00txj8d and try and answer as many of these questions, in as much detail as possible. You may have to pause the podcast to write down your answers and don’t feel you have to tackle it all in one go. You can always do 10 minutes of the podcast at a time, just make a note of where you get up to.
Describe the location of Delphi.
Between what dates was Delphi popular?
What is the myth about Zeus and Delphi?
What is the myth about how Apollo found Delphi?
When did it emerge as an important settlement?
What word did the Greeks not have a word for?
What unites all Greeks? What examples does Paul Cartledge give?
How did the Greeks envisage their gods and goddesses?
What do we learn about heroes?
Why did the Greeks need to find out the will of the gods?
Delphi and Apollo
What do you find out about the god Apollo from Nick Lowe?
Why does Edith Hall think the experience of visiting the oracle was exciting? Give as many reasons as possible.
Delphi and its influence
Why does Cartledge describe Delphi as a gigantic war memorial?
What was put up in 479 BC and why?
How often could the Pythia (the priestess of Apollo who gave the oracles) be consulted?
What do “gifts” have to do with Delphi?
What is unusual about the Pythia?
What else does Edith Hall tell us about her?
What do we learn about the process of consultation?
Bribery and interpretation
Was the oracle open to bribery?
What is the most common type of answer from the oracle?
What was special about Delphi compared to other ways of finding out the will of the gods?
Explain how Croesus gets the oracle wrong.
Explain why Xenephon ran into trouble with his