The study of history is an inquiry into past experience that helps make the present more intelligible. Through the study of ancient history, students learn both about the interaction of societies and the impact of individuals and groups on ancient events and ways of life.
The study of ancient history gives students an understanding of the possibilities and limitations of comparing past to present and present to past by exposing them to a variety of perspectives on key events and issues. It also gives students opportunities to develop their own perspectives on the origins and influence of ideas, values and behaviours that are still relevant in the modern world.
Ancient History allows students to study and analyse past societies with a detachment conferred by the perspectives of at least two millennia. It draws on a variety of disciplines and sources, both written and archaeological, such as literary works, coins, inscriptions, art, architecture, artefacts and human remains, enabling students to piece together an informed and coherent view of the past.
Students study ancient history because it provides them with opportunities to satisfy their fascination and interest in the stories of the past and the mysteries of human behaviour. It allows them to develop and apply the research skills and methodologies of the historian and archaeologist. It equips students to question critically and interpret written and archaeological sources for the evidence they provide about the ancient world.
The Preliminary course is structured to provide students with opportunities to investigate past people, groups, events, institutions, societies and historical sites through archaeological and written sources by applying the methods used by historians, archaeologists and other related specialists and scholars.
The course comprises the following parts:
Part I: Introduction
(a) Investigating the Past: History, Archaeology and Science
(b) Two Case Studies
Part II: Ancient Societies, Sites and Sources
Studies of ancient societies, sites and sources are concerned with seeking the explanations to the ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions of history: how people lived in the past, why they may have lived that way, and how and why their life circumstances changed.
Part III: Historical Investigation
The investigation is designed to further develop relevant investigative, research and presentation skills
Part I: Core Study: Cities of Vesuvius – Pompeii and Herculaneum
Principal Focus: Students investigate the range and nature of archaeological and written sources available for the study of the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum through an exploration of issues relating to reconstruction, ownership and custodianship of the past.
Part II: Ancient Societies
Principal Focus: The investigation of key features of ONE ancient society through a range of archaeological and written sources and relevant historiographical issues.
Part III: Personalities in Their Times
Principal Focus:Students gain an understanding of the personality in the context of their time.
Part IV: Historical Periods
Principal Focus:Through an investigation of the archaeological and written sources of ONE historical period, students learn about significant developments and issues that shaped the historical period as well as relevant historiographical issues.