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Key concepts in classical studies

Key concepts are the big ideas and understandings that we hope will remain with our students long after they have left school.

The following are key concepts in classical studies.

Citizenship and society

The interaction of status, gender, family, rights, responsibilities, and freedom and their importance to wider society.

Culture and identity

Social conventions and values, role models, mythology, and belief systems in relation to cultural and social identities, ranging from political and religious to scientific and philosophical ideologies.

Empire and power

The rise and fall of individuals and groups; the reasons for cultural, economic, and political imperialism; the causes and consequences of social and political change; the importance of place and environment to individuals and societies.


The contesting relationships between individuals, groups, and ideas, in both historical and literary contexts and the way that conflict can be a force for both continuity and change.

Art and aesthetics

The perception of beauty, ideals of harmony and balance, design, creativity, and invention; the influence of classical literature; how art, literature and aesthetics inform cultural values and traditions.


How and why the ideas and values of the classical world have influenced other cultures.

Last updated December 2, 2010