High School Latin Programs Are…Numerically Healthy

Rocco Romano recently entreated high school students to study Latin, but before extolling its virtues, he informed the reader that “students are most likely to study Spanish, French, Japanese or German.” He noted that these are “the most common languages taught in high schools,” but Latin “seems to have been lost over time.” His assertions here… Continue reading High School Latin Programs Are…Numerically Healthy

Which of the 2020 Presidential Candidates Studied Latin?

The following is presented not to be facetious or jocular, but simply to address a nagging curiosity which a few people might have: which of the major candidates studied Latin? We have begun collecting information on this issue by scouring the Internet (of course), contacting campaigns directly with the question, and (sparingly thus far) reaching out… Continue reading Which of the 2020 Presidential Candidates Studied Latin?

Latinish Digest: Midsummer 2019

How did anyone survive as independent scholars, developing professionals, latrine-bound time-killers, and academic researchers before the Internet? Here are relatively recent articles related to ancient history, education, or the Classics which may interest Latin teachers and their ilk. 1. How did Ancient Greeks learn Latin? Dickey, E. (2015). Teaching Latin to Greek speakers. In E. P.… Continue reading Latinish Digest: Midsummer 2019

For Spanish teachers: the ancient Afroeurasian canon in comic form

One of the touted benefits of Latin class is that the attendant cultural material often leads to in-depth looks at Greco-Roman myths foundational to euroamericano societies (one supposes “Western” culture would work as a byword), and even Judeo-Christian stories if your school administration is open-minded and good with accountability. Students may not continue reading Catullus (mildly NSFW… Continue reading For Spanish teachers: the ancient Afroeurasian canon in comic form

In Search of the Benefits of Haag & Stern’s “In Search of the Benefits of Learning Latin”

2003 saw the publication of “In Search of the Benefits of Learning Latin” by Ludwig Haag and Elsbeth Stern in The Journal of Educational Psychology. Frothing opponents of Latin studies seized upon the study (beware the logical argument depending on one study), and even proponents remain concerned by it. Sixteen years later, Latin studies are holding strong in… Continue reading In Search of the Benefits of Haag & Stern’s “In Search of the Benefits of Learning Latin”

Misdemeanors against Etymology: Misrepresenting Sanskrit’s Impact on English

There are many reasons to study Sanskrit. It’s a classical language with massive influence, and it’s vital to unlocking ancient religious, philosophical, literary, scientific, and historical texts from the Indian subcontinent and beyond. Long before such inquiries were undertaken in the Greco-Roman world, Sanskrit had been studied extensively to produce insight into the structure and… Continue reading Misdemeanors against Etymology: Misrepresenting Sanskrit’s Impact on English

The Future of Classics Has to Be Bigger Than Classics Departments: Thoughts on Recent Jeremiads

The Classics are, as always, under attack and full of promise. In the midst of all this, one has to raise the important question: what about our young learners? On April 4 of this year, Kenneth Kitchell gave the ACL Centennial Lecture to the Classical Association of the Middle West and South on the topic of Latin… Continue reading The Future of Classics Has to Be Bigger Than Classics Departments: Thoughts on Recent Jeremiads

Misdemeanors against Etymology: “May”

In a delightful article about a contemporary celebration in Greece, one can stumble upon a misdemeanor against etymology committed by Greek City Times, drawing likely from conventional wisdom: Maios (May) took its name from the Goddess Maja, whose name comes from the ancient word Maia, nurse and mother. This is false: the name of the month… Continue reading Misdemeanors against Etymology: “May”

Spelling Bee Champions and the Value of Classical Languages

Does spelling matter? The New York Times offered this question to young readers, having recently printed a piece defending President Trump’s loose approach to spelling. Other publications have not been so charitable or sympathetic. Several writers in the popular media have assured us that spelling matters outside of the classroom, while academics have found that one’s spelling ability does… Continue reading Spelling Bee Champions and the Value of Classical Languages

Visualizing the Impact of Latin on English

Philip Durkin, author of Borrowed Words: A History of Loanwords in English, wrote an article for Slate a few years ago which is a wonderful resource for understanding the influence of Latin and other languages on English. The article is well-written, but the interactive element at the top is the true prize. In an earlier… Continue reading Visualizing the Impact of Latin on English