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Virgil

Even a frontier newspaper got right what our current commodifiers of “conservatism” don’t understand. In fact, not only do they not understand, they don’t even know they don’t understand. I’m not sure they know much of anything. Well, they know about getting people riled up and getting better ratings.

I, of course, exclude the ever-excellent Mike Church from the above charge. God bless you, Mike.

“Should the time ever come when Latin and Greek should be banished from our universities and the study of Cicero and Demosthenes, of Homer and Virgil, should be considered as unnecessary for the formation of a scholar, we should regard mankind as fast sinking into an absolute barbarism, and the gloom of mental darkness is likely to increase until it should become universal.”— Cincinnati Western Review (1820)

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2 replies to this post
  1. that is a wonderful quote. I believe there is much truth in it. The best way to increase ENGLISH literacy is by reading the classics and going ad fontem to the source of our sophisticated language which is formed from Latin and Greek. Without its Latin stepmother English is a poor thing indeed barely a low Germanic dialect fit for herders of goats and hewers of wood. I myself cannot imagine my library without Cicero, Virgil, Horace and Caesar which I have in Latin and of course my Paideia (Werner Jaeger), My Classical Tradition (Highet) and my Greek books (alas only in translation). I have a lot of Spanish and Latin but much less Greek. But I am young yet and hope to be able to read the Bible and Homer in Greek before the long trick is over.

  2. Thank you for sharing this. The author might be happy to know that he had a beneficial impact on me: I received 5 years of Latin instruction in a Cincinnati public school during the early 80s. I do regret how little effort I put into memorizing vocabulary and forms at the time, but it was a great experience and has given me a foundation on which to build.

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