On the Utility of Classics

NYT:

I couldn’t help noticing a theme running through the Book Review for Jan. 24. The lead review treated books by Garry Wills, whose primary academic training was in classics (Latin and Greek), and John Yoo, whose teachers at the Episcopal Academy in Pennsylvania, where I teach Latin and Greek, remember him as a stellar high school Latin student. (He graduated the year before I arrived.) There was a letter to the editor from Ralph Hexter, the Hampshire College president, one of many classical scholars now running colleges or universities. Later in the issue, Steve Coates reviewed David Malouf’s “Ransom,” a novel about King Priam of Troy.

Can we draw the obvious conclusion? If you want to make legal arguments from the right, or analyze politics from the left, or lead a college, or simply find a good story, spending a little time with Latin and Greek can’t hurt.

LEE T. PEARCY

(Via rogueclassicism.)