For most of Western history, knowledge of Latin (and Ancient Greek) were the foundation of education.
When Yale was founded, students were supposed to converse only in Latin. When Cotton Mather—the son and grandson of two famous English puritan preachers in America—was a student at Harvard, he could listen to a lecture in English and take down notes in Latin.
John Stuart Mill was proficient in Ancient Greek by the age of three.
St. Augustine, on the other hand, wrote in Latin but despised Ancient Greek and resolved to never learn it.
How should we approach ancient languages today?
What is the utility of learning ancient languages—or any second language for that matter, dead or living?
If we wish to read old texts written in dead languages, are modern translations sufficient to enjoy and benefit from them?
Join us tomorrow, April 5th, at Noon EST for a conversation on the promise and purpose of ancient languages in our modern world.
I’ll be joined by ormer Eton ancient Greek teacher, Lalya Lloyd, and Anya Leonard of Classical Wisdom—and hope you join us, too!
Even if you can’t join us, please feel free to share with anyone you think might enjoy this conversation.
Hope to see you tomorrow!