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Learning objectives

6-1 | 6-2
7-1 | 7-2
8-1 | 8-2

Learning objective 8-1

Students will gain knowledge, skills, and experience to:

  • understand the complexity and diversity of social, political, artistic, and ideological aspects of the classical world and how these aspects influenced the lives of Greeks and Romans living in those times.


  • Selects relevant evidence and uses it to analyse the complexity and diversity of social, political, artistic, and/or technological aspects of the classical world.
  • Thinks critically about primary and secondary sources about social, political, artistic, and/or technological aspects of the classical world.
  • Analyses different perspectives on the connections between social, political, artistic, and/or technological aspects of the lives of the ancient Greeks and Romans.

Concepts addressed in this learning objective

  • Citizenship and society
  • Culture and identity
  • Empire and power
  • Conflict
  • Art and aesthetics

Key concepts in classical studies

Possible context elaborations

  • Power and freedom, as conveyed through literary texts such as Philocleon in Aristophanes’ Wasps, the role of destiny in Virgil’s Aeneid, Trimalchio’s banquet in Petronius’s Satyricon, the patron-client relationship in Juvenal’s Satires, Augustus’ constitutional reform in Suetonius’s The Twelve Caesars: who holds real power?
  • Literary conventions, such as the use of language and imagery, for example, Aristophanic humour, Virgilian symbolism: to what extent do literary conventions carry a message?
  • Art and architecture: the significance of features of work/s of art in their artistic/historical context, for example, Euphronios’s vases as illustrations of the development of Red Figure techniques: what makes a work of art realistic? OR the Arch of Titus illustrating imperial propaganda in the time of the Flavians: what is the connection between art and politics?
  • Exercise of individual power (historical and literary), for example, Virgil’s Aeneas, Philip of Macedon, Alexander the Great, Cicero, and Augustus: to what extent were these models of leadership successful?
  • Political alliances, such as the relationship between Alexander the Great and Parmenio or Augustus and Agrippa: how do you choose and use your friends?
  • Competing ideologies – religious, philosophical, political belief systems, for example, Mystery religions, Christianity and Roman state religion, Socrates and the Sophists, Stoicism and Epicureanism, Alexander’s Oriental Policy: whose ideas are most convincing?
  • Propaganda as an instrument of the state, for example, Alexander’s ‘divine’ status, prophetic passages in Virgil’s Aeneid: who is playing the instrument and who is listening to the music?

Possible achievement standards

At the time of publication, achievement standards were in development to align them with The New Zealand Curriculum. Please ensure that you are using the correct version of the standards by going to the NZQA website.

The NZQA subject-specific resources pages are very helpful. From there, you can find all the achievement standards and links to assessment resources, both internal and external.

Learn more:

Classical studies and external qualifications

Level 3 classical studies – draft NCEA standards

Last updated July 16, 2015