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AS and A Level: Classics

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  • Peer Reviewed essays 5
  1. Is Herodotus the father of History or the father of lies?

    Although little is known about Herodotus life other the fact he was born in Halicarnassus, Asia Minor and that must have been from the upper class since he had the financial capability to travel, many things can be inferred about his personality and therefore the credibility of his writing. What is clear is his curiosity about past events and different culture?s tradition all of which Herodotus wanted to learn firsthand not just by reading but rather experiencing them first hand either by visiting distant lands such as Egypt where they occurred but also by hearing about them from as many people who had lived through them themselves, only to conclude and form his own opinion.

    • Word count: 1409
  2. In what ways and to what extent Does Herodotus overemphasize individuals in the conflict between the Greeks and Xerxes?

    A prominent element in Herodotus's narrative concerning the aspects of political power is his portrayal of powerful and ambitious kings such as Croesus, Cyrus and Xerxes. Persian being a monarchy, and Darius is one of its most of successful rulers being proponent of the system itself ,individuals that held the empire?s power are of utmost importance and influence and this is shown not only by Herodotus work which depict their greatness but in his narratives, but too Herodotus displays the various downsides of such a system it has on the person ruling and the the effects on the empire they

    • Word count: 1663
  3. This essay will analyse how Cassius Dio characterized Cleopatra in the passage provided and compare it with other written sources.

    In the quotes ?with the power to subjugate? and ?reposed in her beauty all her claims to the throne? Cassius characterized Cleopatra as a charming yet cunning woman who with her beauty has a capability to overpower and ensnare people even powerful leaders such as Caesar. The extract from the passage ?adorned and beautified herself? and ?pity-inspiring guise? shows that after obtaining permission to meet Caesar, Cleopatra purposely made herself very attractive.

    • Word count: 549
  4. To what extent does the evidence support the view that Roman emperors paid very little attention to the administration of the city of Rome between 31 BC-AD 96?

    In addition to this, extending the pomerium showed the people of Rome what territory they had gained and also make space for the ever-growing population of Rome. As well as extending the pomerium, Augustus also ?divided the city into districts and wards? (Suet. DA. 30). These 14 districts were further divided into 265 vici (wards) which, formed the backbone of the new organisational structure of the city. The vicomagistri, who ran the vici, were slaves and freedmen ?locally elected? (Suet.

    • Word count: 2170
  5. Do Augustan sources portray an accurate picture of the Battle of Actium?

    In addition to this, Horace highlights the idea of Eastern effeminacy when he writes about ?eunuchs? (line 14) and a ?foul and curtained tent? on line 15. These lines are referring to the castration of men and the Eastern use of mosquito nets, implying that Romans are not as feminine as the people of the East and so would never dare use such things. In addition to this, Horace also highlights Eastern effeminacy in Odes 1.37 when he writes ?diseased by vice, herself without restraint? (line 10).

    • Word count: 1257
  6. To what extent and for what reasons did Augustus resist the creation of an imperial cult during his lifetime?

    However, in public Augustus had to appear respectful of traditional practice, as shown on the Ara Pacis. After his death Augustus could be worshipped with no issues, during his lifetime however, it was in no way acceptable. Augustus had to resist the creation of an imperial cult during his lifetime to avoid losing all popular support and ending in the same way as his predecessor did. This said, the creation of an imperial cult, if successful, would bring together the disparate provinces that he governed, bringing not only power but also prestige.

    • Word count: 1688
  7. To what extent was the battle of Salamis a turning point in Xerxes' campaign against the Greeks?

    However, it provides valuable insight into how many viewed the Battle of Salamis as a Greek victory. Additionally, Aeschylus fought in the Battle and so had first-hand experience of the events the unfurled. By using the Battle to present Athenian supremacy in his play, Aeschylus must have viewed Salamis as a key component of Xerxes? campaign, perhaps the turning point, or it is likely he would have omitted any mention of it. It could be argued that Salamis was a turning point in Xerxes? campaign as, before the Battle, the Greeks were on a losing streak and appeared to be the unlikely victors of the campaign due to their defeat at Thermopylae, after, they defeated the Persian army twice more at Mycale and Plataea.

    • Word count: 1578
  8. To what extent do you think that Odysseus does things entirely his own way?

    This was a chance for him to be remembered as the one who tricked the cyclops. Another example is when Odysseus confronts Scylla and Charybdis. Circe advice and warns Odysseus to not fight Scylla, as she is immortal, and stay close to her and push on. Instead Odysseus decides to arm himself and not inform his men of what awaits them, to avoid panic, even though it may cost the lives of six men rather than risk the loss of his entire ship in the whirlpool of Charybdis.

    • Word count: 600
  9. Which do you think contributes more to the success of the Odyssey, realism or fantasy?

    The gods hold human emotions which has consequences on Odysseus throughout his journey, whether it being Ino?s sympathy or Poseidon?s wrath. Gods hold the ability to physically change into any human in the mortal world causing tests to the cities and enables Athena greatly in aiding Odysseus. The significantly differs to a modern audience?s potential view on a God, the Christian God is omnipotent and omnibenevolent. An Ancient audience is shown that the many gods do have the realism of human emotions but the powers to cause physical disasters (such as great waves and storms).

    • Word count: 1307
  10. Homer's Odyssey - role of the Gods and questions on Book 18 Lines 152-168

    gives a clear image in the reader mind of just how Amphinomus is feeling whilst also creating a brooding sense of some significant series of events that are read to occur .The word ?foreboding? is particularly effective in enhancing a feeling of impending darkness. Homer's use of individual word also adds tension and mystery to the passage, he places words such as ?detest? and ?evil? into a normally restrained and considered Penelope, by placing such emotive word into Penelope's language the tension is increased as the reader is not used to Penelope using such visceral language .

    • Word count: 1893
  11. Questions on Circe and Book 10 of the Odyssey

    Hermes gave Odysseus a herb to eat and how to fight off Circe. 8/10 B) How is vividness and excitement shown when Circe tries to drug Odysseus ?dark forebodings pursued? uses lighting imagery to show the eerie and ominous future Odysseus sees in the forest. ?high Olympus? in reference to where Hermes is returning to would be exciting to an ancient audience to see Odysseus gaining the help of Gods. The adjective ?beautiful? to describe the chair vividly shows the richness and elegance Circe has in her home. Odysseus drinks the drug ?without suffering any magic effects? the anticipation of whether the drug would have worked or not shows Odysseus as being immune to her ?evil? intent.

    • Word count: 846
  12. How does Telemachus change through Telemachaei?

    With his mum crying selfishly over the bard, Phemius, singing about the death of Troy. Penelope, Telemachus? mother, is described as ?selfish? due to her crying over her husband. Telemachus reminds her that she was not the only one to loose someone and that Phemius should continue entertaining the suitors with his song. Although he snaps at his mother, this truly foreshadows the importance of the coming events. Telemachus is about to help the great kleos obtained by his father in this 10 year battle. The misery of Penelope over the loss of her husband?s shows how she is unable to get over his lost, even after though it?s been 20 years.

    • Word count: 959
  13. How does Odysseus try to gain the pity of Nausicaa?

    He then continues to compare her specifically to the goddess Artemis, who has been chosen by Odysseus so that he shows her respect. The fact that Artemis is a virgin goddess may help Nausicaa to feel safer around Odysseus as he is saying her beauty isn?t sexual, and this is necessary for him after his aggressive entrance, where he is described as a ?mountain lion? to hunt prey. The use of religious imagery could also be a way to subtly remind Nausicaa that Zeus looks after the Phaeacians, and so she should show him xenia and help him so as to not anger the gods.

    • Word count: 581
  14. How is the character of Penelope portrayed in the Odyssey?

    Her emotions also mean that she is sometimes excluded from plans, however. For example, Telemachus doesn?t tell her when he is leaving because he fears she will be too upset, showing her fragile emotional state. On the other hand, Penelope also displays cunning and wit, and is not always helpless. For example, she often uses clever tactics to delay the suitors proposal?s to her. She believes she cannot reject them outright, and the Suitors see themselves as the victims of this situation, telling Telemachus that ?it is your own mother, that incomparable schemer who is the culprit.? This is because

    • Word count: 794

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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