Latin Language Advantages

Greek | Classics

"... it has been abundantly proved that there is no more effective means of strengthening the mind than by the earnest pursuit of [the Latin language]" (D'ooge, p. 4).

"... not to know Latin is to have missed an admirable training in precise and logical thought" (Simmons, xii).

"... the knowledge of Latin was the only light of learning that burned steadily through the dark ages that followed the downfall of the Roman Empire. Latin was the common language of scholars and remained so even down to the days of Shakespeare. Even yet [today] it is more nearly than any other tongue the universal language of the learned" (D'ooge, pp. 2-3).

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"You live a new life for every new language you speak. If you know only one language, you live only once." (Czech proverb)

"The limits of my language are the limits of my universe." (Ludwig Wittgenstein)

"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).

"... 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).

"Latin, as the language of law and imperium, made for cultural unity, its lapidary grandeur raising it far above the regional tongues evolving throughout the Dark and Middle Ages. Latin acted as a pan-European language" (Simmons, 83).

"Leonardo Bruni D'Arezzo, in his De Studiis et Literis, claimed a "sound and thorough knowledge of Latin" to be "the foundation of all true learning," along with its being a "study marked by a broad spirit, accurate scholarship, and careful attention to details." The language must be learned completely. And, in doing so, educated men and women would also drink in "fine taste"... Reading was not to be broad or "inclusive," but good: it should consist of the best. For the best authors, Bruni wrote, supply students with "tests of correctness." They show us what is rightly admired and wisely emulated" (Simmons, 95).

"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)."


D'ooge, Benjamin L. Latin for Beginners. Boston, Ginn & Co., 1909.

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

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

Colby Glass, MLIS