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Classical Studies

What is Classical Studies?                                                               

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Classical Studies is the study of the civilizations of classical Greece and Rome and Ancient Egypt. These civilizations form the cultural tradition of Western Europe which is an important part of New Zealand culture, e.g. our laws, art, science, literature, philosophy, and politics. It is a "multi-disciplinary" subject - it covers aspects of history, literature, art and philosophy.

A Christian Perspective

For Christians, it is a wonderful opportunity to understand better the world of the Old and New Testament, the people Paul preached and wrote to in his travels and epistles, the fulfilment of some Old Testament prophesies and a study of the nature and character of the Lord.

Why take Classical Studies as a subject?
From this course students:

  • appreciate the links that exist between different intellectual disciplines
  • learn research and presentation skills
  • logical and creative thinking
  • reading and language skills.
Classical Studies helps students learn about "how societies work and how people can participate as critical, active, informed, and responsible citizens." (NZC pg. 30)
St Paul Preaching in Athens  small Mosaic Trojan Horse  small
The Apostle Paul preaches to the Greeks in Athens    Acts 17: 16 - 34 An intricate Roman floor mosaic The legendary Trojan horse

Classical Studies at Hebron Christian College

At Hebron, Classical Studies is taught in Year 13. Prior knowledge of the Classics is not a prerequisite, but good grades in English, History or Geography at Level 2 would be an advantage.

Topics studied:

  • Greek History: Alexander the Great, one of the most brilliant military generals of all time. He was never defeated in battle and led and inspired by example.
  • Roman Art: The Art and Architecture of the Roman Empire. The Romans invented the arch and cement which revolutionised architecture. Nelson's column in London, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and our own Museum are inspired by classical architecture. During this unit the students are encouraged to prepare a powerpoint and to present it to the class as a seminar - a useful skill for the future.
  • Roman Literature: Virgil's Aeneid. An epic poem about a man struggling to fulfil his divinely appointed destiny while being opposed by a ruthless and vindictive goddess. As Christians, we can often identify with the struggles of Aeneas, the hero. It is also
  • a great opportunity to study the character of our God.
  • Research Topic

Fun we have studying Classics

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Students arch  small
Roman sculpture - recreating the Bust of Philip the Arabian.  Recognise him? The Bust of Commodus! Could this be the Arch of Titus?

So what have we learned in 2,064 years ?

"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance."
-      Cicero  - 55 BC 

friendship Socrates (small)

Welcome to Year 13 Classical Studies.  I am excited about this course and trust that it will be an enjoyable and successful year for us.  Classical Studies is a subject that links very closely with Scripture, English Literature, Art, Science, Law and Politics and is the basis of our western culture.  The study of Classical Greece and Rome will give us a much greater appreciation of all these and more.
In order to understand ourselves, and our place in a bicultural society, we need to know about the societies that have laid the foundations for the world in which we live.  Classical Studies is the study of the people, places, and events of the classical world and how they influence the modern world.

New Zealand continues to be influenced by the classical world.  By understanding the political, military, religious, philosophical, technological, artistic, and aesthetic developments of the ancient Greeks and Romans, we learn how the past continues to inform the present. From the rise and fall of powerful individuals and empires to the creativity and invention of artists and engineers and to the formulation of ethical systems and the evolution of social justice, we become increasingly aware of the debt owed to classical Greece and Rome. By learning about the diverse and complex values of these societies, we develop the ability to form and reflect on our own viewpoints, respect others’ viewpoints, and make informed judgments based on critical thinking.                            Adapted from the NCEA Teaching and Learning Guidelines

An overview of the Year 13 NCEA Level 3 course can be found on a separate sheet.
26 Credits will be offered.
Achievement Standard Topic External/ Internal Credits
AS 91394  Analyse ideas and values of the classical world Virgil’s Aeneid External 4
AS 91395  Analyse the significance of a work(s) of art in the classical world Roman Art and Architecture External 4
AS 91396  Analyse the impact of a significant historical figure on the classical world Alexander the Great External 6
AS 91397 Demonstrate understanding of significant ideology(ies) in the classical world Roman Art Internal 6
AS 91398  Demonstrate understanding of the lasting influences of the classical world on other cultures across time Virgil’s Aeneid Internal 6
Please Note:  There will be ONE opportunity only to attempt each internal assessment.  It is important that you familiarise yourself with and understand the school’s Assessment Policy.  Pay particular attention to the sections:  Missed and Late Assessments and Authenticity. This policy is detailed in your Student Handbook.  

There will be several opportunities, however, to prepare for the external assessments – class tests and the mid and end of year exams.  It is vitally important that you complete all of your coursework in order to gain essential experience in essay writing and examination techniques.  It is also important that you read widely for yourself in order to maximise your achievement and understanding of the topics studied.
The school library has books on all the topics we cover.  Consider also:  films, eg Troy, read historical fiction, even Asterix, selected PC and console games, TV eg History Channel, and websites e.g. Spark Notes, Cliff Notes.  You are expected to read at least 2 historical novels or reference books on at least one of these time periods.
The Main Aims of the Course:
  • To provide you with a knowledge and appreciation of selected areas of Greek and Roman civilization.
  • To encourage comparisons between classical civilisation and contemporary
    New Zealand.
  • To provide experience of different types of subject matter, evidence and
    argument e.g. literature, art, history.
Have a great year.
Mrs L. Greybe
So what have we learned in 2,068 years?
“The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt.  People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.”   Cicero – 55BC
We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.  
Aristotle 356BC