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Classics and Cultural Greatness

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Classics and Cultural Greatness

Postby Raya » Tue Jan 06, 2004 2:18 pm

Am I the only Classicist who cringes at statements like this?
...works older than two millennia which portray the fragility, flippancy, resolve and, ultimately, the meaning of the human condition; works whose very existence up until the modern day is testament to the breadth and depth of the subjects dealt with therein; works whose linguistic beauty far surpasses anything that has been written subsequently or, doubtless, will be

Please!!! The ancient Greeks and Romans were people just like you and me - they had faults too, some of them quite grevious. Misogynist, warmongering, intolerant (to other cultures) tendencies have become the salient views of certain modern cultures - when we can yet overlook the prevalence of these things in the Classical world!

And whence comes this notion that Classical art (in all forms, including literature) is the most beautiful art ever to have been created? Sure, the Classical world had its geniuses and achievements... but what makes those achievements any greater than the achievements of all other cultures, ancient, modern, and those yet to come?
Who can say that the art of this culture surpasses all others in beauty, when what constitutes 'beauty' cannot even be universally defined?
And even if beauty could be defined, how can you claim that anything is more beautiful than everything else, when you can't even make the comparison because you don't know what everything else entails? You can't have seen all the art that existed before and up to this point - let alone, that which has not yet been created!

As for the survival of the works... how is that a testament to their greatness? Even within the Classics there is so much that has been lost; you can't mean to say, for instance, that the surviving plays of Sophocles are his best works simply because they're the ones which survived?
How do you know that there was never existed something far more magnificent than that which the Classical world produced, but has been lost?

...I could go on.

***
I study the Classics because I feel a certain connection to aspects of ancient Greece - but I recognise that this is a personal, not a universal, attraction. I also readily recognise that there are things about ancient Greece which I don't like at all...

In general, there have been (and still are) so many cultures out there - and as each is unique with its own set of good and bad points, I just don't see that any one of them can be placed above others, except for our individual purposes. So - fair enough if you feel that a certain culture works better for you than others, but that doesn't make that culture universally better.
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Postby whiteoctave » Tue Jan 06, 2004 3:59 pm

Being the author of the quoted, albeit rather out of context, passage at the top of your post, I naturally feel the need to respons.

I will concede as quickly as any other that the Romans and Greeks were people and thus subject to all the faults of human nature, in some respects more so than modern society, in some respects less so. I inhabit no fantastic world where anyone, by virtue of living in these regions over 2,000 years ago, is glorified for that very fact.

My comments, as the first word you chose to quote suggests, relate to the linguistic achievements of Greco-Roman civilisation. Indeed we do hit rather subjective ground as regards the merits of such works, but where would be if one couldn't express and argue one's own view in propatulo?

My main thrust was about the magnificent design of the Latin and Greek tongues and how their very nature provided the perfect tools to create superbly mellifluous and grandiloquent literature (if such a style was sought) or poignant and euphonic witticisms, or indeed any genre of writing as the syntactic and grammatical variations left the possibilities literally limitless.

It is this brilliant foundation combined with the insight of many surviving authors that makes Classical literature so magnificent. My comments about the human nature are anything but laudatory, indeed they are quite cynical, but Greco-Roman authors latched on to the make-up of human nature so accurately that their sentiments are directly applicable to modern society: I will not give ear to anyone denying that that is a wonderful achievement.

As regards my assertion that the fact that these works have survived to the modern age confirms their breadth and depth, I maintain it. The period of passing on literature from the Ancient World is analagous to that of natural selection. The most harsh period of survival were the Greek and Roman times themselves, when copies of a certain work were deemed not worthy of reproducing but the already existing copies were simply kept (and subsequently lost). Of course to say that these surviving works are the best works written by Romans and Greeks is folly (and, incidentally, I did not say that at all), but we must put some trust in their literary criticisms and assume that what survives, by dint of their reproduction of it and the subsequent copying by monks, is towards the best end of their works.

As regards the work of Socrates, no, I cannot say they are definitively his best seven plays, but they are towering works of literature and if indeed he had written better, than all the more necessary is it to cherish what we have. Of Euripides' 18/19 plays, however, ten have survived by being part of a select list of his plays, effectively a "top 10" of an ancient critic. The other eight are maintained by being next to each other alphabetically in a complete collection. So this evidence gives credit to both a selective and somewhat random process of passing on works. As the fame and popularity of Euripides eclipsed that of Sophocles and Aeschylus in the Hellenistic period, it is no surprise that we have more plays of his than the other two Attic tragedians combined and the case is the same with their fragments.

I do not feel it is necessary to get into a discussion of what beauty is as, of course, it will come down to subjectivity. That question was of course initially asked, albeit without a universal answer, by you know who.

I appreciate that there are many other cultures, many of whom deserve great merit. My comments, though, are given on a linguistic and literary level, and despite being in awe of the works of Milton, Ibsen, Eliot and Hardy inter alia, and despite appreciating that there are many works of value throughout space and time, I always find that what affects me most are those of the Classical world.

~dave

(I wish I had time to lay out a more coherent argument)
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Postby Episcopus » Tue Jan 06, 2004 6:49 pm

Despite the cornucopia of obscure words that I will not look up in the dictionary, I try to understand; but warning this is based on a severe lack of care , and thus knowledge, for Greco Roman...time. (I wish I had time to lay out a more coherent argument)

I've said this many times to benissimus, if I were to study for a while longer latin and to then go back in to Roman times (Greco-Roman whatever you classicists call it) I may well be regarded as an amazing writer who has predicted the future. However if I were to write latin works now I would be shunned and mocked, be it due to the quality of these works or for want of respect amongst the modern people for classics people. This is because of the fact that latin is still alive in grammar schools and christian schools (bishop of X school = very common name) but perhaps on account of jealousy of wealth or perhaps their feeling it to be unnecessary combined with that students are simply too dim in most cases. Anyway this is biased and I don't see the point of "neo latin" because I'm not going to be heard or read :?

I can't really create an eloquent or complex response like David here, because I suck; but I also often say to benissimus that I don't really like
Virgil and co. He seems to be obsessed with the works of, say, Catullus whereas I find them rather boring and immature. A certain poem, by him or Juvenal I didn't care enough to remember was called "Ad Mentulam" (Dear Díck, and that's not Richard!). They are about human things and do show the fragility, humility, noblity, rancidity of the human condition but they're only humans. I bet if some neo latin guy wrote (he probably has but just hasn't been noticed)...anyway that's unfair.

People such as Headmasters, my headmaster for example, are not able to learn German which is inflexious like latin. Latin when it becomes intermediate is harder than German. So it does take a strong brain to become latin person, bit like.

In this exam thing that I am supposed to be doing, I am dreading the monotony of the set texts (look in dictionary, write that word down) and the fact also that I just do not want to do them. I opt for board that give me the option, whether I choose Civilization or not. Is a good civilization one whose armed forces rape the daughters of the enemy. I saw that on T.V. Rather disgusting and inhuman. And it was like a whole cohort onto one, in turns, apparently. Hygiene, respect and morals they hadn't. And House Gods? And slavery, being born into it. It exists today with wealth but no one should be a slave.
Yes they brought many good things hither but is that good. Britain was a very Roman society even after the Gothics beat them down and some of these Brits went to America. I don't like Romans really, many faults did they have and they seems scary and nasty and their poets were loved by too many dodgy women.

This civilization is bad, that civilization may have been better. But it is certain to say that it was not all round "beautiful". Imagine how badly you would be treated were you born a slave even with all your knowledge. granted Latin is a sweet language and it sustains mental reflexes for me; I like to use the Romans. Now they can not hurt me. I learn their language, find everything else academic easy and have a hobby and become able to write many angry letters to the Vatican about its extreme corruption and disgusting acts last century.

As any one would I wish to go in a time travelling phone box like Bill and Ted and live their life for a short while, with a video camera, staying out of trouble trying to remain alive. It would be fun. Nothing else. Extremely fun to speak latin to people and see pronunciation and how they spoke peasant latin. Well Greek I would steal all those maths guys' formulae..s.
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Postby Raya » Tue Jan 06, 2004 8:02 pm

Dave:
Firstly, I hope you understand that I was not criticising you personally. If anyone feels as you do about the Classics, they are certainly entitled to do so (and to express it). I quoted you merely as an example of something I keep encountering in the field in general...

As for taking you out of context - I did almost post the above in the original thread on the Open Board, but it seemed to me that my point was aside from the question of whether we felt guilty about studying the Classics. Not to mention, this is something I'd like to debate, so The Academy seemed to me a better place for it.

My apologies if I have been in any way offensive or patronising.

On with the debate
I do not deny the achievements of the Classical world and its denizens; I merely object to the fact that there seems to be so much exaltation and so little criticism.

Adoration can come at the expense of objectivity, and it bothers me that I have never heard of a Classicist who doesn't adore the subject. And - whether or not it comes as a result of their love for the Classics - it seems to me that many have lost sight of certain problems of knowledge which are prevalent within this field.
Do I appear to be stating the obvious, for instance, if I say that Socrates was the first to question what beauty is as far as we can tell - if I point out that there might have been someone before him (perhaps someone from a different culture, perhaps not) who wondered the same, but of whom no record survives?
But there are people who will state it as though it were a fact - Socrates is the first to ever have questioned the nature of beauty - forgetting that there is too much which we don't know to be able to say that.
(N.B. Correct me if it was someone other than Socrates)

Another problem is that it is difficult to gain respect in the field if you don't claim a certain love for it. Just try admitting to established Classicists that you don't like Homer; in my experience, the usual reaction is to be told that I must not have understood him - as if you have to like something to be able to understand, or even appreciate, it!

Another thing I am wary of is that the vast majority of classical research comes from the Western world - which makes sense enough, considering that it is Western cultures which have their basis in the classical ones. But then people go on to make universal assumptions, when they aren't really looking beyond a certain culture.
Ancient Greek assumptions which seem to still apply to modern Western societies do not necessarily apply to non-Western cultures.
I suppose I am keenly aware of this on account of my own mixed cultural background/experience... I find that most cultures take for granted that certain assumptions are univeral - assumptions which, in many cases, don't apply beyond those cultures.
I am not saying that nothing the Greeks had to say applies to other cultures (indeed, it's often surprising what does!), but it is clear that they (and many modern Classicists) have never considered things from the perspective of a culture with different basic assumptions.

...and that's all I have time for; if I have a chance later, I'll respond to the other arguments raised here
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Postby Emma_85 » Tue Jan 06, 2004 9:57 pm

I learn their language, find everything else academic easy and have a hobby and become able to write many angry letters to the Vatican about its extreme corruption and disgusting acts last century.


Ahh... so that's why you're learning Latin? :wink:

Back to the topic:

and it bothers me that I have never heard of a Classicist who doesn't adore the subject


Uh... let me be the first to tell you about a Classicist who doesn't adore the subject then. My Zombie Latin teacher, the one I hate so much, is probably just the teacher you want. We'll be talking about some text (either in Latin or ethics class) and he'll then go on to say how much he hates Caesar and what a ghastly man he was and how stupid Cicero was and so on. I'm quite sure he doesn't like Virgil either.
He does like Homer, but there are other texts we've read with him he thought we had to read to appreciate them, but he didn't think everyone in the class would like them and he didn't like them himself that much (Ovid's Ars Amartoria). He's very critical of Plato too, but again he thinks you have to read him and try to understand him - then if you've really tried to understand him he said we should then ask ourselves if what he says is right and we go through the republic and there is quite a lot he criticises. He also thinks Plato is an incredibly boring read :P .
His opinion is also that if something is not applicable for all cultures, then it's not really true, unless you say it's only applicable for this western culture. One guy in my class, Paul, always reminds him of that, when he forgets it...

So, now you know there are critical people maybe you just haven't looked hard enough.

There other teachers that are just as you described above, but only a few, most are somewhere in the middle or never really get themselves into such discussions and just concentrate on teaching you grammar and other such boring stuff.
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Postby 1%homeless » Tue Jan 06, 2004 10:34 pm

I salute your bavery to standing up to traditional Academia, Raya. Although I really like philosophy and the like, I tend to stay away from this forum. I just like to soak up the conversations. Not only do I avoid unendless debates that way, but I have more time to study. :-)
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Postby bingley » Wed Jan 07, 2004 5:49 am

My ignorance is profound. I have no idea of how the grammar of Quechua or Nahuatl works, so I have no idea what range of ideas and styles great speakers of those languages may have been able to express beautifully when their civilisations were at their peak. My knowledge of Chinese, Sanskrit, Pali, Egyptian, Arabic and many other literatures ranges from complete ignorance to having read one or two works in translations which for all I know may be considered complete travesties by those competent in the original languages.

I am in therefore no position to say that the Latin or Greek languages and literature represent a unique high point in the history of the human race. What I do know is that they are at the root of the culture to which I happen to belong, and without some knowledge of them it is quite impossible to fully understand the majority of the great literary, linguistic, and philosophical works of that culture. That is why I think Greek and Latin are worthy of study. But it doesn't mean I approve of everything the Greeks and Romans did and believed or that I find all of their literary output intrinsically interesting or enjoyable.
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Postby Raya » Wed Jan 07, 2004 6:39 am

Emma_85 wrote:So, now you know there are critical people maybe you just haven't looked hard enough.

Indeed, I am limited to just what I've read and who I've met... I think I'm just incredibly put off by what I've seen so far, and the reactions I've received from other Classicists when I've been honest about my motives and responses to my studies. When you haven't encountered anything to give you hope that things will be otherwise, you can end up with some pretty horrifying thoughts about how people with views like Episcopus and myself are likely to be received...

So, admittedly, this is something of a touchy subject for me. Has that led me to overreact here? I do apologise if there is anything inappropriate in my demeanor - but I am not sorry for starting this discussion. I'd rather like to get it off my chest.

It seems to me that there are certain mainstream opinions; things which you are allowed to do, but which you have a hard time going against. In this vein, you are allowed find the Catalogue of Ships tedious and Socrates arrogant... you are allowed to play the feminist... but when I dared to consider the situation of the Anabasis in sympathy with Artaxerxes, I got:
If you don't like the Greeks, what on earth are you doing studying the Classics?
(this from a fellow student)

I think also of my interviews at Oxford: their disdain when I admitted that the ancient Greek poets were not the only decent poets the world would ever produce (isn't that stating the obvious?), and their memorably patronising question
Do you think you could *possibly* enjoy the Iliad?
- as if personal enjoyment were the only thing to be gained here!
No, this isn't bitterness about not getting into Oxford; if anything, I can see why I wouldn't have fit in there. Somehow, I had faith in them to keep certain basic knowledge issues in mind where others have lost sight of them, and I'm rather disappointed that they didn't.

Thanks, 1%homeless, for your compliment - but I'm not so sure I deserve it. It's one thing to say all this on an online forum which is seldom (if ever) visited by the bigwigs of academia - and even if they did make a greater presence here, I still maintain anonymity by being online.
The truth is, academia is starting to scare me.
Will I be able to stand up to the people I actually face at university?
More importantly, will I be able to avoid being unnecessarily stubborn? will I be able to distinguish between when it's appropriate to take such aggressive/defensive stances and when to just listen?
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Postby mingshey » Wed Jan 07, 2004 4:04 pm

One way to stand up against those snobbish academians is to keep low profile until you get higher expertise and work really hard on the material, and then make a relentless criticism on all the silly adorations. Look how Homer is (tho' carefully) evaluated "not proper" for the education of virtue by Plato. Use the struggle between poets and philosophers. Your enemy's enemy is your friend. :P

But it's a pity if you get obsessed by such a fury and ruin your own motive and pleasure for studying the classics. Tho' I believe you won't. ;)

The situation seems quite the same in the Eastern classics academia. They seem to have a religious adoration for Confucius and ancient sages, those who study eastern philosophy. If somebody makes some un-mystifying argument, he gets hysterical(sorry this can be a politically incorrect expression, but I don't know proper word) responses. And when I read an introduction to Philosophy of Science, the chapters begin with unreasonable adoration for the scientific achievements. Those scholars are mad. (Did I recommend Levy-Strauss's "The Savage Mind?" Its a boring work, but it points out that science and totemism is different only by a hair's thickness.)
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Postby Lex » Wed Jan 07, 2004 4:21 pm

I think a lot of this is people that are not confident enough to assert their own value judgments, for fear of being considered somehow lacking in intellectual or aesthetic discernment. That, and the fact that it is easier for an academic to go with the current than against it. But the fact that you are using your own critical judgment is good, whether some others (such as those in Oxford) think so or not.

Raya wrote:The truth is, academia is starting to scare me.


In the immortal words of Sigourney Weaver, "Be afraid. Be very afraid." :wink:
I, Lex Llama, super genius, will one day rule this planet! And then you'll rue the day you messed with me, you damned dirty apes!
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Postby Episcopus » Wed Jan 07, 2004 4:28 pm

mingshey wrote:One way to stand up against those snobbish academians is to keep low profile until you get higher expertise and work really hard on the material and then make a relentless criticism on all the silly adorations


:lol: Hear hear! That's what I plan to do.

I agree with you Raya it is scary yet it's good to have a unique mind going thither. One bad thing about that type of people is that they are strikingly alike in what they think and they have certain unwritten rules it seems that they must praise those who wrote "the greatest works to this day". They can not state that they are the greatest. Or perhaps they are confusing the superlative with "very" (since it's the same thing in latin anyway) in which case it would be an opinion. I'm looking forward to trying, and so are you I'm sure. It's not as if you're not capable of giving valid criticisms wherever you come from, whatever your views. Especially if it deviates from the norm.

I also think that certain forms (not all obviously) are great and some of the best poems in the form of music ever. But that is just an opinion. I can not state that as a fact nor can I honestly say that I have heard and understood all poems in the form of music ever made to come to this sort of conclusion. I do not like that elite classicists never seem to accept rap, and are so ignorant about it. Sometimes the language is changed so much that it sounds like a different dialect. The techniques poetic devices musical talent of some of these men (and women) are amazing and very few people are able to do this. But it only seems to be met with ignorance although it is another opinion, as that of the classicists who say that Ancient Greek poems rule.
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Postby Kalailan » Fri Jan 09, 2004 4:37 pm

the same blind adoration exists in classical music as well.
if i would say that i don't really like Bach's mass in B minor, i would be told that i just don't understand it.
I must admit that my reaction would be the same in other cases.

but the difference is that i do know that, even if i don't like italian opera writers (not at all. can't stand them.), it doesn't mean they are no good.
many people hear music amongst the plain acompanishment and screaming vibrating singers.

i do adore certain composers but try to avoid not respecting others.
though, sometimes i am overcome by my disdain.
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Postby Episcopus » Sat Jan 10, 2004 1:06 pm

Raya wrote:
Emma_85 wrote: I got:
If you don't like the Greeks, what on earth are you doing studying the Classics?
(this from a fellow student)



I would love to give that student a piece of my...mind! I like bouncy balls but I don't think that they write the best poems ever known to man. One could reverse this and replace bouncy balls with Greeks.

It just shows how much people reject unorthodox views in general; Raya was the only one to even acknowledge my less than articulate yet honest response for it was rather queer admittedly.

I will try to go thither Raya with hopefully the same qualifications (or rather knowledge) as those Greek lovers and see whether I become accepted. It will be an interesting experiment. I fear however they will have not changed their unwritten criteria and I will become a hobo.
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Postby Emma_85 » Sat Jan 10, 2004 5:42 pm

:? Replacing bouncy balls with Greeks is rather queer too. :-P

That made me laugh, thanks Episcopus.
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Postby Keesa » Sat Jan 10, 2004 10:24 pm

I don't usually think of Greeks and bouncy balls as automatically interchangeable. Do I lack imagination or something? :wink:
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Postby Raya » Mon Jan 12, 2004 10:17 am

I wouldn't have associated Greeks and bouncy balls either - but I can see the point Episcopus is making. If you feel that something excels for one reason, it doesn't mean that that thing excels in everything. Thus bouncy balls may excel in providing fun but they don't excel at writing poetry!

It doesn't only happen with the Classics, of course. It's like interviewing famous actors/musicians about major current events unrelated to showbiz, as though the fact that they're famous makes their opinion any more significant.
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Postby Keesa » Mon Jan 12, 2004 12:56 pm

I definitely don't feel that the Greeks are the best writers ever to have lived and the best writers who will ever live again. But I'm not very outspoken by nature, and if someone (including the rest of Academia) wanted to believe that the Greeks held a monopoly on fine art, literature, creative ideas, etc., I would probably just keep quiet and let them. But that's only a remark about myself, not a solution to Raya's problems.
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Postby Episcopus » Mon Jan 12, 2004 5:18 pm

Does any one think that the characters of Greek mythology are somewhat...stilted? There is a rap song, right at the end it says something blunt about greek mythology with which I agree. It's Immortal Technique - "Dance with the devil". That's what I believe to be some great poetry.
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Postby Emma_85 » Mon Jan 12, 2004 5:33 pm

Sorry I haven't made a lengthy reply to this topic yet, because it really is something very important that you mention here Raya. Well now I've got some time to spare:

I agree with you totally, and I just can't believe that this view of Classics still exists in academia. It's terrible really to be so naive as to think everything they thought then was 'great' or indeed to even think it might be right!
Just an example, in the third Reich schools like the one I go to where not forts of resistance, what ever some people may think. Some teachers of course opposed it all, but actually most didn't reject the Nazis ideas, especially the Classicist. The Nazis used to broadcast this message on all radio stations: Der Einzelne ist nichts, das Volk ist alles (The individual is nothing, the people are everything). Replace Volk with state...
Cicero - de re publica 1.1/8
In that paragraph Cicero says that the state is responsible for the individuals existence and education, and that is why the citizen must give the state everything, must sacrifice everything for the state.
This is the common view in ancient times.
In modern times of course we see it exactly the other way round. The individuals make up the state, without them the state would not exist. These many things the state does for us are of course nothing but our own work (the state protects us with police, who are citizens and are paid by our taxes which we worked for).
The classicist didn't need to interpret the ancient writings wrongly for them to appeal to the Nazis.
It's naive and I'd even go so far as to say dangerous to read the classics if you aren't sceptical of what the ancient authors had to say.

Only if you are sceptical when reading are you able to appreciate the subject most. What it's all about for me is to understand the roots of our culture and philosophy and understand today better.
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Postby Episcopus » Mon Jan 12, 2004 6:49 pm

Do you think this view of the classicist, cultural greatness and old fashioned sometimes oppressive (opprimo, -ere, -pressi, -pressus - crush; surprise) opinions of society, causes that classics decline nowadays? For there are only traditional schools who teach latin nowadays in U.K anyway. Classics are ignorantly seen to be a thing of the past: boring and pointless. Linguistically this is incorrect. So many benefits. But what of the study of Rome? I have not done this, might this affect my opinion and make that it become the same as all those entering Oxford Classics this year? Well I hope to doubt it.

To basically regurgitate what everyone says here, apart from whiteoctave bless him, I think that it is seriously (i.e id graviter fero) unfair that classics departments anywhere should exclude or mock or judge negatively others for not loving some classics authors, or the ancient civilizations. I fear that all my linguistic potency and eagerness will be annulled by those ignorant bigots who mock my detesting Ciceronem :(
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Postby Emma_85 » Mon Jan 12, 2004 7:23 pm

I'm quite sure that this attitude is partly responsible for the decline in interest, but as for the UK it's quite clear that the reason classics is in decline is that the government (don't know which one) decided it was a quite useless subject to teach and they'd be better off learning their maths. Nowadays of course courses which could equally be claimed to have no real 'importance' for industry are thaught at school. I mean how will it help the economy if people choose Drama or Dance? I believe it was because industry wasn't really interested in classics that it demised in the UK, but I may be wrong. Now it's much easier to find drama and dance teachers and also much easier to get people to take this classes than it is to get them to choose classics. Drama and dance are considered not valuable to industry but are there for the enjoyment of the students I think they say. Hmm... classics does seem like a subject more worthy of funding than dance, but well... dance is more fun (thing is you could just as well learn dance out side school as a hobby).

I really think you should also buy some history books Epicsopus. It is essential to know Roman/Greek history if you really want to understand those texts full (ok, maybe not for most of Ovid's works :P , but there are other authors, even though my teachers sometimes forget that).
There are none I can recommend, because we just listen to our teacher talk about the history and take notes or have to write essays on some aspect of Roman history. We've done loads of Roman history so far, but not much Greek history. Our Greek teacher thinks we've learned it all in our history class, where as Zombie doesn't trust the history teachers to do a thorough job (which is a good thing, because some history teacher are terrible and think all they need is a video recorder and a TV and voila, you have the perfect history class :x .) Luckily my current history teacher is my philosophy teacher and so all we do is the history of philosophy :wink: .
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Postby Lex » Mon Jan 12, 2004 10:28 pm

Emma_85 wrote:I believe it was because industry wasn't really interested in classics that it demised in the UK, but I may be wrong. Now it's much easier to find drama and dance teachers and also much easier to get people to take this classes than it is to get them to choose classics.


Exactly. Classics are in decline because almost nobody wants to study them, not because evil industry decided to kill the classics, or because the government didn't pump enough money into them. It's all supply and demand, as it should be.
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Postby Zeus the Goddess » Mon Jan 12, 2004 11:11 pm

Why is donut in decline?
Most in my country are knowing not of donut
How can demand be for something not being known?
How then to bring supply for us who are knowing and craving?
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Postby 1%homeless » Tue Jan 13, 2004 4:22 am

Zeus the Goddess wrote:Why is donut in decline?
How then to bring supply for us who are knowing and craving?


There are some answers to why donut is decline in my country. The book called "Who killed donut?". I mean "Who Killed Homer?" ...I don't agree all about what it says about donuts, but it gave me some rough idea to why it is in decline. It doesn't really give a good answer to the supply question though.
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Postby benissimus » Tue Jan 13, 2004 4:48 am

I do think that more people would know Latin and Greek if the schools taught them as they once did, but I still don't think that very many more people would enjoy it. I rather like the atmosphere around the two languages that there is now; it is now more of an enlightened (not overly sophisticated, as before) society of people with genuine interest, except for the very few who are forced by their parents or occupation.

I think socialism could work applied to donuts, what do you think?
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Postby Lex » Tue Jan 13, 2004 3:34 pm

benissimus wrote:I think socialism could work applied to donuts, what do you think?


I do nut think so. :roll:
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Postby Emma_85 » Tue Jan 13, 2004 5:23 pm

it is now more of an enlightened (not overly sophisticated, as before) society of people with genuine interest, except for the very few who are forced by their parents or occupation.


:P Don't forget evil Latin schools in Germany or university entry requirements for some subjects (here you need Latin and Greek to study theology, Latin for medicine, anglistic, germanistic, romanistic, philosophy, classical philology, history, early history (? what's that?), middleage studies, archeology, egyptology, art history, music science (?),... and whole lot more, loads more, but I have a train to catch :P .
(http://members.aol.com/medicamina/latgraec/latinum.htm)

If there's a demand for latin, schools have to offer it. And demand for Latin is created by the universtities mostly.
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