Classics Studies Advantages

Latin | Greek

"I never touched a trained mind yet which had not been disciplined by grammar and mathematics--grammar both Greek and Latin; nor have I ever discovered mental elegance except in those familiar with Greek and Latin classics" (William Milligan Sloane, professor of history at Columbia, 1917, from Simmons, xv).

"Once classical education pointed to an elite course of instruction based upon Greek and Latin, the two great languages of the classical world. But it also delved into the history, philosophy, literature, and art of the Greek and Roman worlds, affording over time to the more perspicacious devotees a remarkably high degree of cultural understanding, an understanding that endured and marked the learner for life" (Simmons, 13).

"Greek and Latin... provided both a mental gymnastic and a training in taste" (Simmons, 14).

"Culture meant books, because from books we learn about what is best" (Simmons, 64).

"The classical pursuit fosters gratitude for the fruits of the past and feeds the sense that we stand on the shoulders of giants. The student of history gains a means of judging other times seriously and fairly. He learns to see that a civilized culture is a delicately poised edifice... easily destroyed" (Simmons, 20).

"It seems to be impossible to live in constant communion with the first minds of antiquity and not imbibe something of the spirit of moderation, of self-control, of cautious wisdom, that breathes through their counsels" (Gildersleeve, 22).

"The most indispensable viaticum for the journey of life is a store of adequate ideals [for judging anything], and these are acquired in a very simple way, by living with the best things in the world -- the best pictures, the best buildings, the best social or political orders, the best human beings. The way to acquire a good taste in anything.... is always the same -- be familiar with the best specimins of each" (Livingstone, 44).

"... it was the Romans, not the Greeks, who ensured the survival of that intellectual heritage underlying liberal learning and classical education. The Romans created much of the intellectual tradition we appeal to today" (Simmons, 61).

"[Isocrates] taught all who came after that anyone, before he can be called civilized, has to read his culture's books... a canon arose for the first time" (Simmons, 66).

"Within the two literatures of Greece and Rome are contained all the knowledge that we recognize as vital to mankind" (Desiderius Erasmus, late 15th century)."

F.M. Cornford "Francis Macdonald Cornford, FBA (27 February 1874 3 January 1943) was an English classical scholar... His work Thucydides Mythistoricus (1907) argued that Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War was informed by Thucydides' tragic view. From Religion to Philosophy: A Study in the Origins of Western Speculation (1912) sought out the deep religious and social categories and concepts that informed the achievements of the early Greek philosophers. He returned to this theme in Principium Sapientiae: The Origins of Greek Philosophical Thought (posthumously published, 1952). His Microcosmographia Academica (1908) was the classic insider's satire on academic politics. It is the source of a number of catchphrases, such as the doctrine of unripeness of time, The Principle of the Wedge, and Principle of the Dangerous Precedent

MICROCOSMOGRAPHIA ACADEMICA The full text of Cornford's satire on academic politics.

"... academic persons, when they carry on study, not only in youth as a part of education, but as the pursuit of their maturer years, most of them become decidedly queer, not to say rotten; and that those who may be considered the best of them are made useless to the world by the very study which you extol" (PLATO, Republic, vi).

Works of F.M. Cornford Online from UNZ

The life, times, and legacy of Marcus Porcius Cato the Younger by Tim Ferriss.

The New Stoa The Online Stoic Community

Stoic's College

Ryan Holiday Reading Newsletter


Gildersleeve, Basil Lanneau. Essays and Studies. Baltimore: N. Murray, 1890.

Livingstone, Sir Richard. Defense of Classical Education. London: Macmillan, 1916.

Simmons, Tracy Lee. Climbing Parnassus: A New Apologia for Greek and Latin. Wilmington, Delaware, ISI Books, 2012.

Colby Glass, MLIS