Classical Studies

Classical Studies offers the Sandford student the opportunity to delve into the ancient civilisations of Greece and Rome, civilisations that have had a profound effect on the development of every facet of Western society, be it art, architecture, literature, philosophy, politics, education, family, or war. In a Europe where we are asked to live ever more closely together, Classical Studies offers us a chance to truly understand our shared legacy that is Greece and Rome, the underpinning rudiments of our common European Culture.

Classical Studies is offered as a Transition Year Module and for the Leaving Certificate. At Leaving Certificate level, there are four main topics studied.

  1. Alexander the Great – Through the wonderful texts of the ancient chroniclers Plutarch and Arrian, we examine the life of one of the greatest and most influential men that ever lived. At the early age of 36, Alexander had built up the greatest empire known to western man and, more importantly, expanded beyond regional boundaries the ideas of the Hellenistic tradition, as well as embracing the cultures he conquered.
  2. Ancient Epic – A study of some of the most important texts left to us by ancient antiquity. Homer’s Odyssey, Virgil’s Aenid and our very own, the Tain. These primary and secondary epics are some of the greatest literary achievements of mankind and still hold huge importance as studies of man’s eternal battle with problems of a timeless nature
  3. The Philosopher in Society – Plato’s Republic forms the cornerstone of this exciting topic of study. The prot of Socrates, Plato provides us with his version of the Ideal State and, in doing so, gives us one of the most influential texts on modern society. We also get to examine Plato’s pragmatic efforts to put his ideas into practice in the Kingdom of Syracuse.
  4. Roman Art and Architecture – Often seen as a barometer of the development of a civilisation, this topic gives us a wonderful chance to explore the world of Roman Art and Architecture and will lead to the conclusion that far from being a second rate copy of its Hellenic inheritance, it is rather a manifestation of the expansionist aspirations of the largest empire of its day.