Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Classical Education

Latin’s Effective History

We have been blessed to welcome a number of historical contributors to the Latin Alive series.  These contributors come from several universities across the United States, each one sharing something from his own expertise and love of ancient history.  These vignettes appear in the unit reading chapters along side a piece of Latin literature.  Below is a small sample taken from the introduction to Latin Alive Book 4, generously provided by Dr. Nodes of Baylor University.  Latin Alive Book 4 features a wide variety of readings from the time of Cicero to Newton’s Principia.  Dr. Nodes writes about the incredible influence Latin Literature had on generations far beyond the fall of Rome.

The post-classical or ‘medieval’ Latin language in use from A.D. 400 to 1400 is still Latin, and it conforms in broad terms to the same principles of use as the Latin of Cicero and Vergil.  What’s different is the freer use of the language in terms of the grammar, vocabulary, and regional variations, and the subject matter expressed.  It was common for writers of every part of that long period to speak disparagingly of the classical authors at one time, and yet use their works and even praise them at another time.  The monk and scholar, Alcuin of York, for example, is said to have kept an elder monk company as they kept vigil one night.  At dawn, when the bells sounded morning prayers, the old monk continued to sleep, and immediately he was set upon by demons, who beat him terribly.  The boy Alcuin later prayed, “Lord Jesus, enable me to keep the vigils, and if I will love Vergil more than the Psalms, let me be beaten too!”

But Alcuin was nothing less than a monument of classical learning.  He is said to have died still reciting Vergil!  How can this be?  Scholars have tried to show that the two behaviors are not incompatible, if one remembers that the medievals held classical learning as a means to the goal of spiritual wisdom, and not the goal itself. They wisely could not fail to recognize the greatness of their classical Latin predecessors as an aid to gaining clarity and depth of thought and expression, and a good measure of wisdom.

– from “Latin’s Effective History” by Daniel Nodes (Latin Alive, Book 4)

To learn more about Dr. Nodes and all those who contributed such articles to the Latin Alive series, please see the page titled “contributing historians.”

Why do WE study Latin?

In this post Karen Moore departs from the typical "why Latin" essay to share her passion for this wonderful course of study. Read the rest of this entry »

ACCS 2011, Registration is Now Open!

Repairing the Ruins” Conference in Atlanta, GA

This conference is designed to provide the principles of a classical and Christian education and practical instruction in a broad range of subjects with designations for grammar, logic, and rhetoric level instructors, administrators, and board members.

When: Thursday, June 16, 2011 8:00 AM through Saturday, June 18, 2011 11:55 AM Eastern Time
Where: Renaissance Waverly Hotel, 2450 Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30339

Connect With Your Peers
Breakfast with other conference attendees.
Discussion groups organized by grade or content level.
Open house with the teachers from the Atlanta Classical Christian Academy.

For More Information Visit

Why Major In Classics?

According to Columbia University Classics Program . . .

we believe that the particular training offered by the Classics program will be more useful than most others when it comes to success later in life. Classics is a difficult subject, and students who have mastered Latin and Greek will find other intellectual challenges much less daunting than people who have never learned anything quite so difficult. Classics graduates know how to absorb large quantities of information quickly, retain it, and use it rapidly. They know how to analyse and interpret, to pay attention to details without losing track of the big picture, and to relate a work or event to its context. They have the kind of thorough understanding of grammar that only a training in Latin and Greek can give, and that understanding is reflected in the high quality of their English writing. Having been taught for four years in small classes by professors who know them as individuals and want them to succeed, they have received an education tailored to their own needs and goals. They also have the ability to read some of the world’s greatest literature in its original form, and at times when the task of earning a living seems tedious and uninspiring, many Classics graduates are very glad to have access to the riches of ancient literature, as well as to the many later works which cannot be fully appreciated without a substantial background in the ancient world. In addition, on a crasser level, Classics degrees are highly respected by law schools, medical schools, and employers.

– Columbia University, Department of Classics

Interview with Karen Moore

Recently I was invited to sit down with Dr. Christopher Perrin for an interview on the study of Latin.  We discussed a variety of topics including the benefits of Latin study, Latin pedagogy, teaching tips, the National Latin Exam, and even how I became hooked on this wonderful language.  You can listen to the interview on Dr. Perrin’s own blog site, Inside Classical Education.  Dr. Perrin has a series of interviews here with persons of interest in the classical education movement.  I encourage you to tune in to this series and enjoy some wonderful discussions.

 Dr. Perrin is the head of Classical Academic Press, publishing company for Latin Alive, as well as a consultant and frequent speaker on Classical Education.  He has also written many of the materials published by CAP, including the primer series Latin for Children and Greek for Children.  In addition he has penned a wonderfully insightful booklet titled “An Introduction to Classical Education.”  All can be found on the Classical Academic Press website listed in the blog roll to the right.

A Classical Education: Back to the Future

Here is a recent article by Stanley Fish, a columnist for the New York Times.  The article puts forth a case for classical education by offering opinions from three modern books on the topic and Mr. Fish’s own personal experience.

A Classical Education: Back to the Future

I wore my high school ring for more than 40 years. It became black and misshapen and I finally took it off. But now I have a new one, courtesy of the organizing committee of my 55th high school reunion, which I attended over the Memorial Day weekend.

I wore the ring (and will wear it again) because although I have degrees from two Ivy league schools and have taught at U.C. Berkeley, Johns Hopkins, Columbia and Duke, Classical High School (in Providence, RI) is the best and most demanding educational institution I have ever been associated with. The name tells the story. When I attended, offerings and requirements included four years of Latin, three years of French, two years of German, physics, chemistry, biology, algebra, geometry, calculus, trigonometry, English, history, civics, in addition to extra-curricular activities, and clubs — French Club, Latin Club, German Club, Science Club, among many others. A student body made up of the children of immigrants or first generation Americans; many, like me, the first in their families to finish high school. Nearly a 100 percent college attendance rate. A yearbook that featured student translations from Virgil and original poems in Latin.

Read the rest of the article online at the New York Times.

Visit Chris Perrin’s blog site, Inside Classical Education, to read his response to the article.

Why Classical Languages Matter

This month I was delighted to read a great article by Joanna Hensley on "Why Classical Languages Matter." I found myself yelling "Amen! Preach it, Sista!" at my computer screen. Here is a tantalizing tidbit Read the rest of this entry »

Latin Preparation for Teachers and Parents

Are you a parent/teacher who would wishes you had an opportunity to learn Latin?  Are you a Latin teacher that wishes you had time to go back and take some graduate courses?  Well, your wish has been granted.  Several university classics programs offer summer courses.  Here are a couple of excellent programs I have been made aware of recently.  Check your area college or university to see what they might be offering.  Some programs allow adults to audit a course for only a small fee without actually enrolling in the college.  If you find a good program, post a comment and let us know!

 University of Texas at Austin

Please note the following classics courses to be offered this summer at the University of Texas at Austin, which may interest you and/or your students. 
For more information contact Lynn Gadd ( 512-471-8502). 
Intensive Summer Greek
June 3-August 16
First Session: June 3-July 10
LAT 506: Beginning Latin I
LAT 311: Intermediate Latin I (Vergil)
LAT 323: Catullus.
Second Session: July 12-August 16
LAT 507: Beginning Latin I
LAT 312M: Intermediate Latin II: Readings in Latin Prose
Classical Civilization
First Session: June 3-July 10
CC 301: Introduction to Ancient Greece
CC 304C: Introduction to Ancient Egypt
CC 306M: Introduction to Medical and Scientific Terminology
Second Session: July 12-August 16
CC 302: Introduction to Ancient Rome
CC 303: Introduction to Classical Mythology

Each year the Institute offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate Latin and Classics courses, including, in odd-numbered years, Intensive Beginning Greek and, in even-numbered years, Intensive Beginning Latin. The Institute curriculum is supplemented by workshops and guest lectures by visiting master teachers and other scholars. The program is designed especially for Latin teachers who wish to continue their education or earn a Master’s degree in Latin on a summers-only basis. The faculty
of the Department of Classics share in a tradition of cooperation with high school teachers and their programs that culminates each summer in an exciting and challenging curriculum. Here are the offerings for the summer of 2010:

First Short Session – June 14 – July 2, exam on July 6
LATN 2050 – Intensive Latin, I 12:30 – 3:15 pm, Park Hall 225, Dr. Christine Albright
CLAS 8020 – Archaeology of Carthage, 9:00 – 11:45 am, Park Hall 228, Dr. Naomi J. Norman

Second Short Session – July 7 – July 27, exam on July 28
LATN 2060 – Intensive Latin II, 12:30 – 3:15 pm, Park Hall 225, Mr. Randy Fields
LATN 4/6020 – Roman Epic(non-Aeneid selections), 9:00 – 11:45 am, Park Hall 228, Dr. T. Keith Dix

Through Session – June 14 – July 26, exam on July 27
CLAS 8000 – Proseminar, 2:14 – 4:05 pm • Mondays Only, Park Hall 222, Staff
LATN 6030 – Caesar, 12:45 – 2:00 pm, Park Hall 115, Dr. John Nicholson

Classical Connections on Facebook

All you facebook junkies can now get the latest inside scoop on some of your favorite classical organizations via facebook. A number of groups are surfing the net and riding the facebook wave. Here are a few Read the rest of this entry »

ACCS National Conference

Registration is now open for the annual conference of the Association of Classical and Christian Schools (ACCS).  Each year this conference offers parents, teachers, and administrators a wonderful opportunity to attend workshops and exchange ideas in a very wide range of subject matter.  I always leave feeling inspired and ready to take on another year.  This year’s conference will be held in Durham, NC and features special guest speaker, Os Guinness.  You may visit the ACCS Conference website by clicking on the image below.

ACCS 2010 National Conference

ACCS 2010 National Conference