Student Guide to Latin OCR GCSE Unit A403: Prose: Section B Set Texts 2017: Tacitus and Pliny

Student Guide to Latin OCR GCSE Unit A403: Prose: Section B Set Texts 2017

An excellent set of translations and textual analysis of the Prose (Unit A403) and Verse (Unit A404) set texts for examination in up to June 2017. Each text is broken down into manageable chunks, translated into English and accompanied by meaningful notes on style, grammar and literary effects. Additionally, for each text: a brief biography of the author, cast list showing key relationships and ideas for further study.

  • The perfect balance between literal, easy-to-follow translations and an eloquent rendering of the original text
  • Overview and biographical notes put the work in context
  • Detailed notes focus on key literary devices
  • Key technical vocab highlighted – glossaries included
  • Practice Exam Questions with mark schemes – fully prepare your students for the exams!

“Very useful. It produced a mine of background information which will save me some time doing my own research. The original characters are very colourful and the author highlighted their features by the use of some rather cheeky comments in the notes… I liked the conversational style of the translation and notes. It was all very readable while at the same time offering a detailed study of the text. The translators’ names were fun, as were the illustrations! I liked the inclusion of the summary of contents on the first page of the teacher’s introduction. I liked the inclusion of discussion topics at the start of each section; this should help the pupils to think about and form opinions on what they are reading… I liked the little personal comments in the notes, e.g. mock horror in Tacitus L.39, a miffed mother L.79 Ummidia, being like a teapot, Pliny L.1! Details about the political background and the character of Claudius e.g. L.25 the importance of freedmen L. 27, L.60, etc. The disadvantages imposed by the law on unmarried men Pliny L.11, Roman theatre. The summary of incidences of chiasmus, asyndeton etc. at the end of the commentary. The explanations of why these linguistic flourishes might have been used and what they add to what the author is saying. Insight into the writer’s personal bias e.g. the way that Tacitus leads the reader to believe that Silius had no option but to comply with Messalina… The notes are very comprehensive without being over-long or tedious. The explanation of linguistic features is very clear and easily understood. The commentary and the lively reflections help a modern audience to appreciate the political intrigue and the feistiness of Ummidia… I liked the Cast list at the beginning of each book. It was a useful reference.” – R Millar, HoD & Independent Reviewer

“A thoroughly well-researched, practical and valuable publication to enhance the teaching of these particular texts at GCSE. The translation is clear without drifting too far from the literal meaning and adopts the CLA vocabulary appropriately. Some of the notes provide a useful extension to the information included in the CLA teacher’s handbook… It should enable even weaker pupils to attain a clear understanding of the text, from how to approach the translation to understanding its historical context… The comprehensive historical background to the characters and Roman society is invaluable and interestingly recorded, allowing students to set the text clearly within its context and hopefully gain more of an insight into both Tacitus’ and Pliny’s underlying personal motives and opinions… The overall light-hearted approach should allow the resource to be well received by pupils – the drawings are great, conveying both a clear sense of the balance of power in each scene of the Tacitus and the contrast between the hard-working Quadratus and his fun-loving grandmother in the Pliny. The overview at the start of the Tacitus gives a sense of the whole story before students get tied up in the language… The questions at the start of each section are very useful as they will allow students to think through the story and make their own notes on the main characters; similarly, the discussion points at the end of each text… The practice exam-style questions are always valuable to time-pressed teachers… The resource provides a range of tools necessary for pupils which, if released bit by bit, should enable them to gain a thorough understanding of the text and approach this paper with confidence… The provision of the text with a possible word order for translation, together with additional vocabulary, will allow students to try to translate the passages for themselves, despite the Latin being somewhat more complex than that which they are used to, without being totally overwhelmed and the questions allow essential practice to test their knowledge… a solid base of well-presented accurate and necessary material, together with a wealth of interesting historical information to support. I will enjoy sharing it with my pupils.” – K Morris, Teacher of Latin & Classical Civilisation, Independent Reviewer

Price is £49 — Includes photocopiable master with site licence; electronic copies available. Orders are normally dispatched in 2-5 working days.
Click here for full details and to order.


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