WHY STUDY CLASSICS?
Winston Churchill, highly regarded for his command of the English language, once described what he believed foundational education ought to include:
"Naturally I am biased in favour of boys learning English. I would make them all learn English: and then I would let the clever ones learn Latin as an honour, and Greek as a treat."
Of course, primary and secondary education today aims to serve both boys and girls—but millions are still deprived of the opportunity to learn classical Latin, not to mention Greek. Their English often suffers as a result.
The Honor of Studying Latin
- Study of Latin has been proven to improve students' performance in their vernacular language, by creating a care for accurate grammar and precise choice of words or phrases.
- Command of Latin provides a basis for learning the modern languages descended from it, such as French, Italian or Spanish.
- English speakers use countless words and phrases of untranslated Latin, as well as hundreds of other words that derive directly from Latin. Watch your vocabulary grow as you begin to understand words that you had never seen before, simply by understanding their Latin roots.
- Gain unmediated access to the eternal legacy that some of the greatest thinkers and writers of ancient, medieval and even modern times have left behind.
The Treat of Studying Greek
- No translation can do justice to epic Homer, tragic Sophocles or wise Socrates as Plato portrays him.
- Jewish Maccabees and Christian evangelists, Philo of Alexandria and St. Paul of Tarsus speak to us in the common Greek of Roman times, alongside "pagan" authors of biography and history, satire and romance.
- Like Latin, Greek is a part of our everyday English vocabulary, in words like "democracy" and "tyranny," in "philosophy" and "geography," in "theology" and "economics," in—you get the idea!
GREEK AND LATIN AT DU
Studying Latin or Greek at the University of Denver will take you on exciting adventures in time-travel by allowing you to meet minds and hearts from the past. Your studies will support a variety of academic pursuits, such as those in history or religious studies. Along the way, you will gain a greater appreciation for the English language.
After the first year of study, our approach to texts is both philological and humanistic. We encourage your "love of language"—both of Latin and Greek, as well as English. Broaden your perspective as you read ancient texts that still speak to our human condition in the best and worst of times.
Studying Latin at the University of Denver can earn you a minor in Latin. The study of Greek is available on a tutorial-basis only, but will satisfy the foreign language requirement that is expected of most undergraduate students at DU.
For more information about the Greek or Latin programs, contact the program lead:
Associate Professor of Latin
Sturm Hall, Room 327