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    A Level in Latin/AS Greek will enable learners to:

    • develop an appropriate level of competence in the language studied
    • acquire the language skills which enable learners to read literary texts, both prose and verse, in the original language
    • develop an interest in, and enthusiasm for, the literary, historical and cultural features of the ancient world
    • acquire the literary skills which enable learners to read ancient literature, both prose and verse, in its original language with appropriate attention to literary techniques, styles and genres
    • apply analytical and evaluative skills at an appropriate level which show direct engagement with original texts in the ancient language
    • make an informed personal response to the material studied
    • begin to develop a sensitive and analytical approach to language generally

    Students will be expected to study a range of authors’ work in order to develop a wider vocabulary and more complex understanding of syntax and accidence. This will enable them to translate unseen passages, and answer comprehension and grammar questions on an unseen prose passage.

    Over the course of the A/AS level, learners will have studied the works of at least four different authors in preparation for the Language and Literature examinations. In both the Prose and Verse Literature components students will be required to read additional literature in translation in order to understand the context from which the set texts have been taken.


    For A level Latin the prose unseen author is Livy, an epoch-defining author whose great work tells the ‘history’ of Rome from Romulus and Remus, via Hannibal’s elephants, up to civil war, Augustus and the foundation of the Roman Empire. His skill as a historian (or yarn-spinner?) made him a model for later writers throughout the centuries. The verse unseen author is the satirical and wickedly witty poet Ovid, whose works vary from advice on how to win a girlfriend, through a vast anthology of myths to his sad letters after his exile from Rome. Always clever and frequently quite racy, his poetry has entertained, influenced and informed for two thousand years.

    The set texts we are currently teaching include part of Virgil’s Aeneid - arguably the most influential Latin text ever written - as well as Cicero’s ferocious law court speech In defence of Milo (Pro Milone). Following these, we move on to Tacitus’ writing, which can read more like a modern soap-opera than history as we know it, as well as a selection of love poetry by Ovid, Propertius and Tibullus.


    There is no set unseen author. All authors presented in the unseen will be ‘adjusted’ to fit the style of Greek that students will have learnt throughout the year, so authors can be as diverse as historians, speechmakers and biographers.

    The prose set text is by Thucydides. After Herodotus, Thucydides was considered the greatest Greek historian, practically defining the genre in his great work on the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta. Famed for his new approach, using concision and accuracy, his works became a model for later writers in the Greek and Roman periods up to the modern day.

    The verse set text is Sophocles’ Antigone, a tragedy which brings to the fore the interaction between the power of governments and the power of the individual. In this play, Sophocles pits the young (and female!) Antigone against her tyrannical uncle, King Creon. Both are fiercely loyal to their own beliefs and both manage to convince the audience and the chorus of the merits of their arguments at different points of the play. However, it being a tragedy, all does not end well for either party.

    Entry Requirements: As stated in the Admission Policy

    Exam Board: OCR