Course specification: OCR: AS Level H043, A Level H443

Classic TripLatin is a fascinating entry to understanding a culture which has contributed hugely to our own world but is also completely alien from it. Continuing your study increases your fluency in Latin language and enhances general language acquisition, written and analytical skills, while also extending your knowledge of Roman life and values through study of ancient authors.

Content of AS Level

Unit 1 Latin language

Students build on their existing language skills by learning new grammar, constructions and a set vocabulary list. The first section of the examination involves translating a passage into English. In the second section, students choose between answering comprehension questions on a passage or translating five sentences into Latin.

Unit 2 Latin literature

In this unit, students study two set texts, learning a little about the events at the time of their composition, but the main focus of study is the authors’ use of language. In the examination, students answer comprehension questions on both texts and translate a short extract of each into English.

The current set authors are Cicero (a political attack trying to discredit his deadly enemy Mark Anthony) and Virgil (extracts from his epic poem The Aeneid about the struggle to found Rome).

Content of A Level

Unit 1 Unseen translation

Students will improve language skills by learning new grammar and constructions, and will study in particular the works of a prose author, Livy, and a poet, Ovid. They will translate a passage from each author and will also scan two lines of poetry, showing understanding of poetic metre.

Unit 2 Prose composition or comprehension

Students continue to develop language skills – in this paper they will have the choice of answering comprehension and translation questions on the language of a passage of prose or translating a short passage of English into Latin.

Unit 3 Prose literature

Students study either a larger extract of one prose set text or shorter extracts from two authors, including some study of the literature in translation. For 2020 students will study the Cicero speech mentioned above. Students will learn about the context of the literature as well as its style and content, and will answer questions on aspects of the text.

Unit 4 Verse literature

Students again have the option of studying one or two authors – for 2020 students will study the Virgil chapter mentioned above. They study the context of the literature and gain an understanding and appreciation of Virgil’s style, presentation of characters and the content and plot. They will answer questions on the text, including a brief translation.

Key skills

  • Analytical reasoning
  • Language skills
  • Enrichment opportunities
  • Trips to museums with classical collections
  • Attending the University of Cambridge’s classical lectures
  • Regular Classics trip to Greece or Italy

Higher Education and career prospects

Studying Latin provides a sound and highly esteemed preparation for a wide variety of academic courses, including Law, History, English, languages and Classics, and is frequently a pathway into careers in law, politics, journalism, academia and business.

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