King George V College


If you enjoy films like Gladiator or 300, or playing computer games like Rome: Total War, then Ancient History is the course for you! Ancient History is the study of civilisations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome, with particular emphasis on political, social, and military history. Studying Ancient History will give you lots of factual knowledge, but it will also teach you to build an argument, to put source material into its historical context and to see how the same piece of evidence could be used to argue both sides of a question.

Our Ancient History course at KGV uses an unusual combination of modules which give you the chance to study the history of the 2nd Peloponnesian War whilst also reading the comedy that was produced during this conflict (an ancient equivalent of Mock the Week or Have I Got News For You), which gives a real sense of what mattered to ordinary people in this period of history.


Our course includes a mixture of topics, all linked by the civilisations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome. We study the rise and fall of Sparta, the state with the most powerful infantry in Greece, and how Sparta and her allies came into conflict with Athens, the major naval power, in the Peloponnesian Wars. We also study some of Aristophanes’ political comedies, written during this period, which make fun of Athenian politicians, philosophers, writers and other celebrities. On the Roman side, we study how Augustus created a new concept – the idea of an emperor of Rome – out of the ashes of the Roman Republic.


The Ancient History department at KGV has an excellent track record of encouraging students to aim high and apply to top universities. Since 2001, no less than 21 students have progressed to Oxford to study for a degree in Ancient History, and many other students have achieved places at top Russell Group universities like King’s, University College London; Durham; and Edinburgh. Former Ancient History students from KGV hare now working in museums, publishing, journalism, the civil service (including the foreign office), the armed forces and teaching in Further and Higher Education.



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