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AS and A Level: Classics

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  • Peer Reviewed essays 5
  1. In this essay I will be examining the reasons why against all odds the Greeks were victorious against the mighty Persians, during the Fifth Century BC.

    In 546BC Cyrus looking to expand his empire sent envoys to Ionia, the area west of Asia Minor inhabited by Greek descendents, offering peace terms of Earth and Water. The people of Ionia were of Hellenistic descent so did not look kindly to taking orders from a King. Help was sought from their fellow Greeks the Spartans, with a reputation of being mighty, having wiped out the great Asian city of Troy in a battle a hundred years previous. At this stage in history however, Sparta refused to help the Ionians due to them being an oligarchy state, committed only to Sparta and thus preferring to protect and defend only themselves.

    • Word count: 3104
  2. Was Julius Caesar an effective leader?

    Was Caesar's final victory of his own strategy and skills, or the failings of his opposition? Does assassination automatically mean failure as a leader? Was Caesar was justified in his actions? Especially military and how his wartime experience affected his later political career. First off approaching his military profession and subsequently then his political exploits; this allows creation of a clear comparison between his pre-war consulship and his dictatorship having explored his generalship. With all the evidence available of Caesar many interpretation are possible, as a tyrant or a benign dictator.

    • Word count: 6012
  3. Classical Civilisation AS coursework - the Mycenaean age

    Others were found in Pylos, Thebes, Athens and Iolkos. They were logically constructed and shared the same features, which proves there was a link between them. They were obviously not isolated from one another. One may assume Mycenae was the main palace and possibly had a primitive infrastructure connecting it to the other sites. The centre of the palace was a columned porch called a megaron (figure 1). A throne would have also been found on one side. This implies they had a King who held an important role in society.

    • Word count: 3209
  4. To what extent is the theme of gender confusion used to create comic effect in Aristophanes' The Poet and the Women?

    The first character we encounter is Mnesilochus, who, in Act I Scene I, is preparing himself to look like a woman so that he may able to blend in at the Thesmophoria festival. Euripides, having decided that he must send his in-law Mnesilochus to the Thesmophoria to defend him against the women, shaves Mnesilochus' face, singes his private area (says Euripides: "Now stand up and bend over, I've got to singe you"[1]) and dressed him in a yellow gown, girdle, wig and shoes (all belonging to the effeminate Agathon), in an attempt to create a feminine look.

    • Word count: 3998
  5. How far was Plato's perception of rhetoric a consistent one?

    It was not surprising that, with the arrival of democracy, rhetoric was considered an indispensable art in the education of the young men of Athens so that they could better themselves through their performance in the assembly. Athenian man became as interested in the art of public speaking as in sports and other leisure activities. For example, in Aristophanes Wasps, Procleon has blind faith in the court system, but even fashionable Anticleon knows the workings of rhetoric well enough to turn it into a game.

    • Word count: 3177
  6. history classics

    a Roman general and consul. By reading the works of Claudian, I get the idea that Stilicho was a very famous general who achieved lots for his country; Claudian sums up these achievements, 'Shall I relate how Latium flourishes, how Africa has returned to her allegiance and service, how Spain knows no more the Moor as her neighbour, how Gaul has now nought to fear from a disarmed Germany?'3. Stilicho had driven back both the Moors in North Africa, as well as the 'barbarians' in Germany.

    • Word count: 3286
  7. Why do you think the TV. programme The Simpsons is so successful?

    The Simpson's themselves are a simple family in a small town in Middle America called Springfield. They are: Homer (loyal but stupid father), Marge (dissatisfied, trapped housewife/ mother), Bart (rebellious son), Lisa (unappreciated genius daughter), and Maggie (silent baby). The show also revolves around a number of other characters. The members of the family have their own quirks and are constantly feuding amongst themselves. The hilarious show portrays the ups and downs of the Simpson's which real families are said to relate with, to a certain to degree.

    • Word count: 3495
  8. What impression is given of Aeneas as a man and as a leader in Books 1-6 of "The Aeneid"? How similar is he to Odysseus?

    And in this way he must, and does, have some positive, somewhat redeeming features. Virgil created in Aeneas a new type of Stoic hero, a point that is perhaps most evident in Book Four when Aeneas leaves Carthage. His speech to Dido is indicative of his determination to suffer both silently, Aeneas did not move his eyes and struggled to fight down the anguish in his heart.", (Book 4) and willing, "Do not go on causing distress to yourself and to me by these complaints. It is not by my own will that I still search for Italy."

    • Word count: 3298
  9. How important is Book 11 to the overall meaning of The Odyssey?

    It is probable that the men were aware that their end was fast approaching. Any journey to Hades made by a living mortal is going to be dangerous. It would only usually be made by the souls of the dead, who would not need to sail, as Odysseus and his men did. This would have most likely made the men think that they would not complete their trip to Hades or would not return from it. At this point of the voyage I don't think that anyone, with the probable exception of Odysseus, expects to see Ithaca or their family again.

    • Word count: 3265
  10. The Simpson's media coursework.

    This show often refers to subjects like sex, violence, killing Kenny, killing alien, a chef and his women, beating up a little british kid and so on. King of Hill: This is also an animated sitcom, which is aimed at more adolescent audience. This series looks at a more realistic family with problems and regular life. The show contains adult-based humour and subjects. Even though the language isn't as strong as South Park, the show contains more realisitic problems and what family life is like for the Hill's.

    • Word count: 3186
  11. Whom do you admire more as a leader – Odysseus in the Odyssey or Aeneas in the Aeneid?

    Whilst Aeneas is born of the goddess Venus, Odysseus' lineage has no close link to a deity. However, whilst Aeneas is of divine descent, he receives little or no help from his mother. When he lands at Carthage and Venus is kind enough to give him information about Dido's people, she is disguised and departs immediately after having spoken, to the despair of Aeneas ("you so often mock your own son...you too are cruel" A.1.406). The other help he receives is limited ("thick mist" A.1.411) and with no knowledge of its existence. Whilst his mother is vehement in defending her son and his people when she is on Olympus ("it is unspeakable.

    • Word count: 3596
  12. What qualities does Odysseus show in the episodes he relates in Books 9-12? Does he appear to learn anything as these adventures progress?

    Thus we also see the first superficial contradiction by Homer of Odysseus as a Greek hero. When we define a Greek hero we would expect certain qualities to apparent. A hero would be a good speaker, leader of men, fighter, strong, talk with and/or protected by the gods (i.e. separated from ordinary mortals, excellent, 'aristos'), concerned about kleos, have high principles, and usually an early death is in store for them. However, though these may have been the definitions of an Iliadic hero like Achilles, these qualities are not all attributed to heroism in the Odyssey.

    • Word count: 3186
  13. In what ways does The Simpsons portray American family and social values?

    Other examples include toys, comics, and computer games But what is it about The Simpsons that continues to make it so popular? Is it Homer? Is it Bart? Or is it just the culmination of the shows different elements? These are some of the ideas I hope to cover in the course of this study. To this day, The Simpsons is still largely rated as the greatest of all the animated sit-coms. Since its release there has been a whole trail of subsequent cartoon impersonations, such as King of the Hill, South Park, Daria, and Beavis and Butthead.

    • Word count: 3561
  14. ‘There are tears for suffering’ Aeneid 1.462. Show how Virgil conveys the pathos of suffering in the Aeneid. To what extent is a sympathetic vision of life evident in Homer’s Odyssey?

    It is impossible to contest that Turnus deserves his death more than someone like Pallas ("he will bitterly regret this spoil" A.10.505). Yet the description of Turnus' fleeing spirit departing his body to "join the shades" is deliberately similar to that of Pallas' death two books earlier. Pallas is an inexperienced and beloved son of Aeneas' ally Evander, who bravely fought the aggressor Turnus as the "weaker" of the two and Turnus is an "insolent" warlord who scornfully and frequently disparages the father son bond ("giving him back the Pallas he deserves" A.10.493).

    • Word count: 3429
  15. The City Dionysia - Dionysus on His Festival

    This is a grand momentous procession, which reflects my grand self. Obviously sacrifices are offered, not pigs or sheep, but the most powerful creature the bull who is respected like me a powerful God. Others sacrifices are made but the greatest is the bull. The scene is colourful with any sponsors wearing magnificent gowns and other people wearing brightly coloured clothes. After these sacrifices the plays begin. These plays are devoted to me. My faithful and loyal followers the Bacchantes worship me. A fine example I made of Pentheus of Thebes through his mother Agave and her sisters, fellow Bacchantes.

    • Word count: 3294
  16. Is Aeneas pious, and would the Romans of Augustan Rome have thought him to be pious?

    wife Creusa is still alive, and (his) son Ascanius?, instead of ?aveng(ing his) country even as it fell? against the sexual corruption which Helen represents. Sexuality connotes danger throughout the poem, as we see in book 3, in line 556, when Virgil uses sexual language to describe how, near Mount Etna, there is heard a ?loud moaning of waters and grinding of rocks?, to pre-empt the danger that Aeneas and his men will experience at the cliffs of the Charybdis. Aeneas? unwavering obedience towards his mother, as he obeys her by rejecting his temptation to avenge his people, explicitly demonstrates his piety.

    • Word count: 3235

The study of the classical world and its civilisations is a fascinating subject which will introduce you to Greek and Roman societies. You may find yourself studying mythology, archaeology, drama, literature or society and you'll be asked to investigate and evaluate sources and explore the nature of the cultures involved. In studying the ways in which these societies were organised and how their citizens behaved will give you an insight as to how they've influenced our lives, behaviours and systems.

Classics or Classical Civilisation requires you to develop skills of interpretation, evaluation and expression as well as the ability to present your answers in a concise and clear manner. To enable you to master these skills Marked by Teachers has collated a wide range of essay examples, many of which have been marked and annotated by Classics teachers with many years of experience.

A level Classics is a valuable qualification to gain and the skills you'll develop are a strong preparation for studying Classical Studies atuniversity, as well as further study in Law, Philosophy or History.


Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Assess the leadership qualities of Lysistrata in Aristophanes 'Lysistrata'

    "In conclusion Aristophanes has shown Lysistrata's good leadership qualities such as organisation, manipulation and persuasion, her own passionate way of speaking and her ability to incite passion in others in a well rounded manner that makes her both identifiable to the other women and stand out as an independent, outwardly thinking leader. Helen Edwards Classical Civilisation Lysistrata 1"

  • Compare and Contrast the Portrayal of Clytemnestra in Agamemnon and Electra

    "In both plays we only see her through the eyes of others, she isn't actually strongly characterised. Her psychological reasons for the murder are the point and not her emotional state. Considering this, both Agamemnon and Electra reach similar conclusions concerning Clytemnestra's situation. She has ample grounds for hating her husband but no-one holds her justified in killing him in either play, "your words are just; yet in your 'justice' there remains something repellent." Electra disposes of her mother's defence in detail and leaves the audience feeling that Clytemnestra's murder of her husband really was not warranted. How different the plays are in their depiction of her character depend on how the reader chooses to interpret Clytemnestra's maternal professions; either genuine and loving or devious and selfish. Zoe Stimson"

  • To what extent does the architecture of Rome highlight the aims of the emperors?

    "In conclusion, it is clear that the architecture of Rome highlights the main aims of the vast majority of emperors of the time period studied. Almost all emperors sought to appease the people with the construction of buildings for public entertainment such as theatres of the Flavian Amphitheatre. Many also sought to present themselves as pious through the construction of religious sites or some sought to appease the masses by improving the infrastructure of Rome. However, some emperors such as Nero due to their personality or style of rule did not do as much for the people as emperors such as Titus or Claudius seeking only to glorify themselves or improve their own standard of living before others."

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