Experiencing War: a GCSE workshop

[Image: Roman soldiers in the city centre, ©2016]

Generously supported by Classics for All and the Bristol Classics Hub.

This 1 hour workshop is designed for those studying GCSE Classical Civilisation and/or Ancient History, in tandem with the ‘Ancient War and Warfare’ curriculum. Available to secondary schools in the academic year 2017-18.

“Thank you very much for the excellent workshops.  They were very engaging and thought-provoking.” – Tom Wickins, Woodroffe School, Lyme Regis

Experiencing War in the Roman World
What was life like as part of the greatest military machine in history?

This workshop is designed to enrich the study of warfare in the Classical world, by focusing on the Roman soldier – not just his place in the ranks, but his individual experience of war in ancient Rome – and comparing his experiences to the modern military.

Why connect ancient warfare to the modern military?
Direct comparison between the ‘greatest military machine’ in history and today’s Western war-making reveal similarities in soldiers’ experiences. Exploring these connections will:

  • enhance the curriculum for GCSE Classical Civilisation and Ancient History
  • make the Roman world accessible to 21st century students through primary sources
  • demonstrate the relevance of studying Classics in the modern world
  • highlight contrasts between modern and Roman culture
  • teach students analytical and critical skills in response to new material

Workshop activity will mix analysis of primary sources with small group discussion, which will give students the opportunity to try out their analytical skills, and will encourage them to express themselves and to debate with their peers. Primary texts could include: the Vindolanda tablets, Plutarch, Julius Caesar, Lucan, Propertius, Plautus, Polybius, and more!

For more information, and to receive an introductory helpsheet for teaching ancient warfare, please get in touch: hc6198 [at] bristol [dot] ac [dot] uk.
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