Latin and Greek
Learning Latin means learning fundamental grammar, the basis for at least three-quarters of English vocabulary, and the language from which French, Spanish, and the other Romance languages are derived. Learning Latin means developing sensitivity to language and habits of accuracy, attention to detail, and memory. Learning Latin means learning the language, literature, and civilization of the Romans. From the sophomore level on, we explore original ancient writings on political intrigue, natural disasters (Pompeii), heroic epic, and love poetry among other topics.
Learning Greek means gaining access both to the language that has been the mark of an educated person ever since the Renaissance and to the basis of most scientific language and terminology. In the upper level courses, reading Greek means exploring the first western histories, early theatrical plays, heroic epic, or even the New Testament in its original language.