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Creative commons image Icon Chris Devers under CC-BY-NC-ND licence under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
BA (Honours) Classical Studies free course icon

History & The Arts 

BA (Honours) Classical Studies

The ancient Greek and Roman worlds have given us a heritage of extraordinary richness and diversity. This accessible and rewarding course explores classical literature, history, culture, philosophy, art and archaeology through key places and periods ? including Pompeii, Roman Britain, Classical Athens, and Republican and Imperial Rome. Your understanding of many aspects of the modern world will be enhanced, as you'll be provided with new perspectives on contemporary societies and cultures.

OU course
Exploring the classical world free course icon Level

History & The Arts 

Exploring the classical world

This module is for anyone interested in ancient Greece and Rome. You'll investigate a wide range of topics such as Homer's poetry and the society where it was created; fifth century Athens; republican Rome; and Roman social history. This module explores ancient poetry, drama and historical texts in English translations along with art, architecture and archaeological evidence, to build an understanding of the classical world. Whether your interest in Greece and Rome is long-standing or new, this module will give you a fresh perspective, develop your skills in analysis and evaluation and lay a firm foundation for further exploration.

OU course
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OU on the BBC: Ancient Greece: The greatest show on Earth: ARCHIVE article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

OU on the BBC: Ancient Greece: The greatest show on Earth: ARCHIVE

Join us on a journey to the ancient world and explore the heart of Athens: the theatre.

Article
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University
The Birth of Comedy audio icon

History & The Arts 

The Birth of Comedy

Take the topical satire of Have I Got News For You and mix thoroughly with the adolescent humour of The Inbetweeners, add in a healthy dose of Monty Python-esque absurdity and finish off with lashings of songs and dances. Then serve it all up to a baying crowd in an atmosphere more like a football match than a theatre stage. Welcome to the world of Aristophanes, ‘the father of comedy’. The rise of democracy in ancient Greece produced one of the greatest ever flowerings of culture and gave birth to history, philosophy, science … and ---- gags. Theatre first appeared in Athens 2,500 years ago to educate and entertain the growing audience of citizens. However Greek theatre wasn’t a quiet entertainment but a rowdy, competitive sport involving teams of performers battling each other for prizes.

Audio
1 hr 15 mins
The Dog of Alcibiades article icon

History & The Arts 

The Dog of Alcibiades

Getting people to gossip about your dog can be a useful way of distracting them from talking about you! 

Article
Creative commons image Icon 1950s biscuit tin (detail) / CC BY-NC 2.0 under Creative-Commons license
Stella Pierides' story article icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Stella Pierides' story

Explore the personal side of climate change with Stella Pierides' diary entry.

Article
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University 2009
The Acropolis and the Parthenon audio icon

History & The Arts 

The Acropolis and the Parthenon

The Acropolis is one of the most famous ancient sites in the world. Rising over the city of Athens 150 metres above sea level, it consists of several significant archaeological remains of temples dedicated to various deities, and civic buildings. This album offers a chance to tour the Acropolis and examine its many buildings, including its best preserved temple, the Parthenon, along with its friezes, known as the Elgin Marbles. Also, the album follows the route of the procession that took place during the Panathenaea festival which rivalled the Olympic Games in popularity, and contains a track to help the student understand the conventions used to draw up plans of ancient buildings and to visualise 3-dimensional structures. This material forms part of The Open University course A219 Exploring the Classical World.

Audio
35 mins
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University 2009
Greek Theatre audio icon

History & The Arts 

Greek Theatre

What was it like to go to the theatre nearly 2500 years ago? Greek theatre has survived through the ages as a powerful and influential art form. This album introduces what early Greek theatres looked like and the kind of audience they attracted. Using the Theatre of Dionysus as a starting point, experts discuss the significance of attending the theatre as a civic occasion, associated with the political and cultural achievements of Athens. Through archaeology and analysis of contemporary art forms, such as decoration on pottery, a picture is built up of ancient Greek theatre. The album reveals how precious Greek texts have survived, and how Aeschylus’ tragedy 'Persians' has been interpreted in modern theatre. This material forms part of The Open University course A219 Exploring the classical world.

Audio
45 mins
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: Controlled
Plato (427 - 347 BC) article icon

History & The Arts 

Plato (427 - 347 BC)

Plato, born in Athens, is one of the key figures of Greek philosophy.

Article
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: Tilemahos Efthimiadis under CC-BY-SA licence
Aristotle (384 - 322 BC) article icon

History & The Arts 

Aristotle (384 - 322 BC)

Introducing the Greek philosopher, Aristotle

Article