Some students may have had the chance to do some Classics before, maybe at secondary school or even at primary school where some Greek and Roman mythology might have been taught. Usually, however, students do not really know what to expect with this subject and so very few actually apply to do it. But once the term starts, there always seems to be a steady stream of students coming along to try it out. The grapevine has it that it fits in well with a whole range of other A levels. Anyone doing English or Performing Arts, or Politics, or History, or Art and Design, or Sociology will find it helpful. Scientists will enjoy it for its own sake. Universities like it, so it is academically worthwhile. Whatever your background, the study of the classical world has something for you. You will probably start classical civilisation out of interest or curiosity - but beware! - you are likely to become hooked!

The Lion Gate at Mycenae

And the picture? It shows the famous Lion Gate, gateway to the palace of Agamemnon at Mycenae . The lion was the badge of his royal family. Imagine him passing through here on his return from the Trojan War, victorious. Little did he know that his wife, the formidable Clytemnestra, was waiting to chop him up in the bath, in revenge for his sacrificing of their daughter some ten years earlier. We will read Aeschylus' play "Agamemnon" and hear his screams. Remember the Lion gate!

Point of interest: the lady on the right of the picture is Dr. Elizabeth French. She was formerly the Director of the British School of Archaeology in Athens and has excavated for many years at Mycenae . Notice the huge blocks of stone which has gone in to the building of the wall and gate? They are called Cyclopean blocks, because only a creature the size of a Cyclops would have the strength to shift them.


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