Students explore ancient Greece in 8 days

Over 40 Classical Civilisations and Ancient History students recently took part in a week long Archaeology study tour of Greece.

Travelling by coach the students visited 10 historical sites, including the Athens Acropolis (Pictured),Thermopylae, Sparta and Argos.

Students toured each site with the help of either a professional guide or one of their peers from the Royal Agricultural University (RAU).

“There isn’t a Classics student who doesn’t love the subject and this trip provides a fantastic opportunity for them to better understand the civilisations they’re studying,” said lecturer Karen Lemaitre.

Karen explains that Classics, in particular, is often misunderstood: “It’s a subject that’s not offered in schools, so we want to make more students aware of all the things they can study at the College.”

The subject involves learning about Greek and Roman culture through political, social and military history, philosophy, literature and the arts. In addition, students learn how the ancient Greeks interacted with their Persian neighbours.

Probably the most famous case of this is the Battle of Thermopylae in which the Spartans, a group of fierce Greeks, fended off an entire Persian army for 3 days with a mere 300 men.

“I loved learning about the Spartans and it felt so real standing there,” said student Naomi Swain. “Between my teacher explaining the events and witnessing the height of the surrounding mountains, you really got a feel for the battle,” she adds.

Students also explored Delphi: a UNESCO World heritage site, famous as a sanctuary to the god Apollo.

“The students’ absolutely loved it!” says Karen. “They were immersed in the culture and you got Greece in 8 days. Not staying in one place means you see how it all connects,” she adds.

“It’s the first time we’ve done this trip to Greece, but after this success we hope it becomes a regular feature in future.”

You can learn more about Cirencester College’s Classical Civilisations and Ancient History A-level courses at Open Evening, Thursday 27th June, 5-8pm.

For more information on the story please contact Izaac.cole@cirencester.ac.uk