Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Lingua Latina in Temporibus

The New York Times says, Hooray for Latin:

As much as opening the concertina enlarges your imagination, squeezing it shut — translating English into Latin — sharpens your prose.
Years of reading and writing Latin have had some effect on the way I write, I'm sure -- though whether for good or ill, I can't say. I also liked this bit:
With a little Roman history and Latin under your belt, you end up seeing more everywhere, not only in literature and language, but in the classical roots of Federal architecture; the spread of Christianity throughout Western Europe and, in turn, America; and in the American system of senatorial government.
I've heard classicists quote Cole Sear on this point: "I see dead people." American culture is suffused with classical culture, but few see it.

Learning Latin and Ancient Greek is hard, but I rarely hear anyone who put in the effort to do it well say that it wasn't worth it. For most, it's a source of satisfaction and a path to interesting insights throughout their lives.

Update: Somebody could use a little classical eduction. Sheesh!

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