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Why Latin & Greek


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Why Study Latin & Greek?

The classical languages Latin and Greek form the basis of western civilization. Latin, in particular, is the language in which the most sophisticated thoughts of the western world have been expressed. Studying Latin allows learners to gain a deeper comprehension of their own milieu, thus acquiring a more profound understanding of manifold aspects of their lives and culture. 

Latin and Greek—highly organized and logical languages—sharpen the mind, forge critical thinking, create keener attention to detail, cultivate mental alertness, and enhance problem-solving abilities. Studying Latin and Greek, the quintessential languages of oratory and philosophy, affects positively the way we shape discourse in English, helping us express ourselves with greater effectiveness and confidence, teaching us to coordinate ideas well, and thus to write and speak better in English.

Engaging Ideas of Consequence

"We have lived to see the second death of ancient learning.... If one were looking for a man who could not read Virgil though his father could, he might be found more easily in the twentieth century than the fifth." 

– C.S. Lewis 

“School ought to be a training ground for the intellect, not a clearinghouse for “skills”….“We need to describe the ideal type of human being we wish to see around us. Do we wish merely to produce better skilled, smoothly cut cogs in the elaborate machine we now call the ‘global economy’? Have we finally determined that supertolerant neighbors and sexually adept, flawless drivers are all we can hope to be? Is this the juncture to which 3,000 years of civilized life have brought us?” 

– Tracy Lee Simmons - Climbing Parnassus

I will say at once, quite firmly, that the best grounding for education is the Latin grammar. I say this, not because Latin is traditional and medieval, but simply because even a rudimentary knowledge of Latin cuts down the labor and pains of learning almost any other subject by at least fifty percent. It is the key to the vocabulary and structure of all the Teutonic languages, as well as to the technical vocabulary of all the sciences and to the literature of the entire Mediterranean civilization, together with all its historical documents.

– Dorothy Sayers - Lost Tools of Learning

“The heroic books, even if printed in the character of our mother tongue, will always be in a language dead to degenerate times.”

– Henry David Thoreau

Emmalie Foos
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