Classical Studies is the study of the life and culture of Ancient Greece and Rome and of their containing influence on the world today. The subject aims, through this contact with the ancient world, to introduce students to a wide range of knowledge important to an understanding of their world and to help develop desirable skills and attitudes.
Junior Certificate Classical Studies can be studied at Ordinary and at Higher level. The syllabus is structured around a number of topics, both Greek and Roman. There are ten topics prescribed of which five are Greek topics and five are Roman topics. The ten prescribed topics are:
The Greek World:
Topic 1 – The Wrath of Achilles Topic 2 – Greece and Persia Topic 3 – The Life and Death of Socrates Topic 4 – Mycenae and Troy Topic 5 – The Athenian Acropolis
The Roman World:
Topic 6 – The Quest of Aeneas Topic 7 – The Roman Theatre – Comedy Topic 8 – The Life and Times of Julius Caesar Topic 9 – A Roman City – Pompeii Topic 10 – The Roman Army
In the Junior Certificate examination, candidates must answer questions on at least five topics. Two of these must be Greek topics and two must be Roman while the fifth may be either Greek or Roman. Each topic is worth 20% 0f the marks. The Ordinary level covers the same material as the Higher level but some of the questions set on each topic at Ordinary level are less difficult than those set at Higher level.
The current syllabus for Junior Certificate Classical Studies was first examined in 1983 and has been unchanged since then. The syllabus is under review by the NCCA.