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> Classical Civilisation

This subject module is recommended for students wishing to apply to the following degree programmes: Ancient World BA, English BA, European Languages and Culture BA, European Social and Political Studies BA, Philosophy BA, Law LLB, Anthropology BSc, amongst others.

Physics Students Studying


The study of the Classical World is a quest for the roots and foundations of Western civilisation: Classical Greece and Rome have played a seminal role through the ages, and to this day continue to play, in all things human, from politics to philosophy, from literature to law, from art to the sciences.

The aim of this module is to give you an insight into the riches that the Classical World has to offer by studying a selection of Ancient writings in depth with an understanding of their historical context. You will reflect on the connections and the stark differences between Ancient Greek and Roman culture.

Content and skills

The course focuses on three main areas:

  • Epic Poetry: Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid.
  • Law and Justice: this part of the course is covered through the examination of the Athenian legal system in the 5th century BC and by reading Cicero’s On Laws.
  • Philosophy: Plato’s Republic and on Cicero’s Republic.

You will study these Ancient writings in chronological order alongside an overview of the political history of the corresponding periods from the 4th and 5th centuries BC to Republican and Early Imperial Rome. You will also have the opportunity to discuss the differences and similarities with contemporary historical and political problems.


Course structure

The course consists of lectures and seminars in which the different topics are introduced and then discussed. There is an additional weekly seminar in which you will study in smaller groups. Several field trips to relevant places in London (British Museum, Petrie Museum, etc.) will be carried out throughout the year.

Page last modified on 25 oct 13 12:38 by Martin L White