Category Archives: Latin

Greek Ruins

Greek Ruins Columns

The following is an essay featured in Tracy Lee Simmons’ On Being Civilized from Memoria College Press. Once a common possession of the well educated,classical knowledge now bobs like flotsam amid the wreckage wrought by a century of educational scuttling. And with the passing of Greek and Latin we have lost part of the soul […]

The Language That Rose From the Dead

an older man looking up from his reading to the heavens where a heavenly orchestra of angels play instruments

“A language must die to be immortal.” When it comes to expressing the eternal and immutable truths of the Christian faith, the only good language is a dead language. Chesterton once made a disarming retort to the customary detraction of Latin as a dead language. He simply remarked that to say this is not a […]

Through A Glass Wine-Darkly

Through a Glass Wine-Darkly

Have you heard the one about the color blue? The story goes that the Greeks had no word for the color. In Homer, things traditionally thought of as blue—the sea, the sky—go by gloomy words like “brazen” or “wine-dark.” Trivial as it may seem, this is the fact that launched a thousand speculative ships towards […]

Latin Is Not Optional

When you ask a fellow teacher or homeschool parent what classical education is, you’re likely to get a different answer every time. To one person it is the study of history chronologically, to another it is simply a challenging academic curriculum. To many, particularly in recent decades, classical education is seen as the application of […]

A Defense of the Passive Voice

Defense of the Passive Voice

“Language is a technology, invented to take information in your head and put it in other heads.” It is with this most unromantic premise that I set off with my students to discover the Latin tongue. Worry not that such meager ceremony should christen my charges’ maiden voyage to those Lavinian shores. I do not […]

Latin: The Basic Subject

THE KEY TO THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE The most practical reason for Latin study is that it also teaches English. Over half of our English words are derived from Latin—and it’s not just any half, it’s the difficult half! The common one- and two-syllable words of everyday speech are English, but the big, three- to five-syllable […]

The Wrong Way to Teach Latin

Wrong Way

Modern languages are taught by the conversational method. If I understand this method correctly, it involves an emphasis on oral and written conversation in the classroom, supplemented with a secondary focus on grammar. This conversational instruction is most effectively augmented by travel and an immersion experience with native speakers. It could also be called the […]

How Latin Builds Vocabulary

Latin Builds Vocabulary

For many who study Latin, the ultimate goal is to read the classic literature of Rome—one of the foundational elements of Western civilization—in the original language. But, while on the path to reading Caesar, Cicero, Vergil, et al., the study of Latin subtly but surely enhances the way students express themselves in English, and, most […]

The Language of Learning

Can you discuss progressive, pragmatic, and classical education and why classical education is a valuable option? Each of these sees the purpose of education differently. Progressivism is the idea that education is a means to accomplish the end of changing a culture. Pragmatism does not want to change culture by using students, like progressivism; rather, […]

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