Gods and Humans

Gods and Humans


Students learn about: The Greek and Roman gods, The Athenian Parthenon and Erechtheion and the Roman Pantheon and Temple of Vesta, Greek and Roman funerary practices and the afterlife, Philosophical ideas about morality and living well.


This strand introduces students to Greek and Roman stories, beliefs and explanations concerning the divine and its relationship with mankind. Studying myth, literature and art, they become familiar with the most important gods of Greece and Rome, seminal stories and domains associated with them, their key characteristics, attributes and roles within the pantheon, and how some ancient thinkers sought to explain their origins, nature and purpose. 


They learn about the significance of public religion through in-depth study of four temples, the Athenian Parthenon and Erechtheion and the Roman Pantheon and Temple of Vesta, examining their architecture, design and sculptures as those who participated in the rituals, ceremonies and festivals associated with them might have experienced them, and these participants’ roles. 


They explore personal religious experiences by studying the rituals associated with Greek and Roman funerary practices. They examine what these funerary practices might say about how Greeks and Romans regarded the afterlife, and think about the nature of ‘ritual’ by comparing the purpose and nature of ancient rituals with collective experiences today.


Finally, they interrogate their own ideas about what it means to ‘live well’ by studying extracts from the Roman poet Horace and ideas expressed by the Athenian philosopher Socrates as portrayed by Plato.