Set texts 2024
Thucydides’ History Book VI tells the story of Athens’ disastrous Sicilian expedition. We see the fatal lack of agreement between the expedition’s leaders, the overly cautious Nicias and the devil-may-care attitude of Alcibiades and how this confused leadership leads to tragedy.
Sophocles’ Ajax tells the story of the hero’s descent into madness and eventual suicide in the aftermath of the Greek victory at Troy. Is suicide the only answer for a hero who has incurred the stigma of shame?
Set texts 2025-26
Herodotus in his Histories Book 1 tries to chart the beginnings of the conflict between East and West, that would culminate in his own day in the Persian Wars. He investigates local traditions and legends to try to establish a causation of the current political situation.
Euripides’ Hippolytus tells the story of Aphrodite’s revenge on the chaste prince for rejecting her worship. She inspires Phaedra with a fatal passion for her stepson. When she is rejected by him, she commits suicide leaving a letter for her husband, Theseus, accusing Hippolytus of rape. Theseus then curses Hippolytus resulting in his destruction at the hands of Poseidon.
Unit 1: Unseen Translation
Unit 2: Prose Comprehension
Unit 3: Greek Prose: Thucydides Book VI (2024); Herodotus Book I (2025-2026)
Unit 4: Greek Verse: Sophocles, Ajax (2024); Euripides Hippolytus (2025-2026)
Examination board: OCR