Classical Civilisation - Athens

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Everything you could possibly ever need to know for the OCR Athens exam! I hope this helps :).

The focus of this option is the everyday life of an ancient Greek citizen in one of the most flourishing city states in ancient times. Candidates should have a basic understanding of the concept of democracy as practised by Athens.

Candidates are required to have knowledge and understanding of the following main areas of Athenian life:

• religion – its role and importance in the lives of the Greeks, including a number of festivals;

• the family in Athens – the roles and duties of its individual members and their homes;

• entertainment in Athens – the symbolism and appeal of these activities in the context of Athenian society.

Specific Topics:

The gods

Zeus, Hera, Demeter, Poseidon, Hephaistos, Apollo, Artemis, Athene, Aphrodite, Ares, Dionysos (and his companion maenads and satyrs), Hermes.

Their responsibilities and how they are typically represented in Greek art.


Religious functions: the position of the altar, the cult statue, use by worshippers.


Its purpose, surroundings, officials, animals, the ritual and its significance.

The Panathenaia

The programme, the participants, its importance to the Athenians, the religious and political content; the Parthenon frieze showing the Panathenaia.

The City Dionysia

Participants, programme, judging. The religious, political and theatrical content.

Tragedy and comedy

Actors: typical roles, masks, costumes and acting styles of tragic and comic actors and chorus members.

The theatre: the shape, layout, position and use in performance of the skene, proskene , orchestra, altar, parodoi,  the mekhane,  the ekkuklema , scenery, and sound effects.

The Oikos

The husband: his duties and role as kyrios , property rights, legal rights.

The wife: her status as kyria , duties within the household, property rights.

Symposia: organisation, guests, entertainment, purposes.

An Athenian house: the basic design (courtyard,

andron and gynaikon) , layout, furniture, and the appearance of the rooms and areas.

Slaves: skilled and unskilled, ways to become a slave, the purchasing of slaves, duties inside and outside the home for both male and female slaves, opportunities for freedom.


The education of boys and girls in preparation for their adult roles.

The paidotribes , the grammatistes , the kitharistes , the paidagogos,  the palaistra.

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Thank you so much! This is an amazing resource - very grateful ***



Thank you so so much! My notes were so confusing and this is written and presented so well! Its going to be my Bible through Classics GCSE!



thank you very factful a lot of help



This is a brilliant resource, thank you!




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