صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

was only a wagon-road between the sea and the mountains, and was not in the mountains. The great temples and public buildings of Athens were not built till several years after 450 B.C. (43). We should be told about the destruction of Athens by the Persians and about the great battles of Leuctra in 371 B.C. and Mantinea in 362 instead of being made to skip from 404 B.C. to 330 B.C., when the Greeks were conquered by the Macedonians. On page 46 we have the antiquated idea that the Greek house had two courts. The Greek house had only a single court and probably no awning such as Mr. Wolfson mentions. A true peristyle does not occur till the houses of Delos of the second and first centuries B.C., and this late Greek peristyle was combined with the Etruscan atrium to form houses with two courts such as we have at Pompeii. Nor do I believe that the Greek men wore over the tunic a shawl fastened at the shoulder by gold or silver or jeweled pins (47). The theater of Dionysus in Athens would not seat 25,000 or 30,000; it certainly had seats for not more than 13,000 or 12,000, and few scholars now believe that there was a stage for the actors. Nor was it necessary for the actors to wear masks which contained concealed megaphones so that all the people could hear them, for the acoustic properties of Greek theaters, like that at Epidaurus, were such that even a clear whisper in the orchestra could be heard anywhere in the immense auditorium. Nor were the afternoon performances devoted almost exclusively to the works of the comic poet Aristophanes (54-55). There were other comic poets and tragedians whose works appeared in the afternoon. On page 59 we read that the visitor in Greece in the year 300 B.C. would have seen the Venus of Melos. But that famous statue was not made till many years later. On page 72, we read that the Romans were the first people to extend the privilege of citizenship to outsiders, but the Athenians granted citienship to non-Athenians, as in the case of Diphilus, the comic poet. The best Roman plays were more than poor adaptations of Greek tragedies and comedies, and it is hardly true that the Romans had no great dramatists or philosophers (89, 93). THE JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY.


CLASSICAL CONFERENCE AT BALTIMORE The Thirtieth Annual Convention of The Association of Colleges and Preparatory Schools of the Middle States and Maryland was held under the auspices of Goucher College, Baltimore, December 1-2 last. At the Classical Conference, held on December 2 as part of this Convention, with the present writer as Chairman, the topic of discussion was The Classics and Vocational Studies. Miss Anna P. MacVay, Wadleigh High School, New York City, Dr. Bessie R. Burchett, South Philadelphia High School for Girls, Mr. William Tappan, Principal of the Jefferson School for Boys, Baltimore, Dr. Charles S. Estes, Erasmus Hall High School, Brooklyn, Miss Helen H. Tanzer, Hunter College, New York City, and Professor Kirby Flower Smith, The Johns Hopkins University, treated this topic from different points of view, whether of theory or of experi


Miss MacVay discussed The Study of Greek and

Latin as Preparation for Business Efficiency; Miss Burchett's theme was Latin for the Student in the Vocational Course: Principal Tappan argued in favor of a stronger defence of Classics in the Schools in view of the threatening flood of vocational studies; Dr. Estes, under the title of Medio Tutissimus Ibis, made an eloquent plea for a better understanding between exponents of the two types of training under discussion; Miss Tanzer dwelt upon the need and the possibilities of inspired teaching; Professor Smith, treating the doctrine of formal discipline, defended the thesis of transfer of knowledge and power.

The timeliness of this discussion is obvious. It is precisely this conflict between the Classics and Vocational Studies that is likely to cause the most serious problems for teachers, for lovers of Classics. UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA.


My attention was called some time ago to a clipping from a paper published at Madison, Wisconsin, which commented on the wide range of occupations represented in the list of persons studying Greek and Latin this year by correspondence through the University of Wisconsin Extension Division. Through the kindness of Miss Frances E. Sabin and Professor M. E. Slaughter, of the University of Wisconsin, I have obtained definite information, as follows, on the subject. The students in Latin and Greek in the Correspondence Department of the University of Wisconsin during the past year give as their occupations the following: teaching, 42 (this includes 6 Catholic Sisters, 2 priests. The teachers deal with various subjects: some of them are not teachers of the Classics); locomotive engineer, I; lawyers, 3; farmers, 3; ministers, 3; housewife, 1; students, 12 (this includes 2 graduate students); school principal, 1; superintendents, 2; doctors, 3; medical students, 3; mailing clerks, 2; lecturers, I; stenographers, 2; mending tubs, 1; draftsman, I; bookkeeper, I. C. K.

Professor J. H. Howard, of the University of South Dakota, has called attention to the fact that, according to an article published in a periodical entitled Midland Schools (Des Moines, Iowa), for December last, there has been during the past three years a marked increase in the number of pupils taking Latin in the High Schools of Iowa. He writes also that Professor Grove E. Barber of the University of Nebraska, gives similar evidence of an increased interest in Latin in that State. These reports will help to offset rumors or reports of failing interest in Latin elsewhere.

C. K.

THE CLASSICAL CLUB OF PHILADELPHIA The 129th meeting of The Classical Club of Philadelphia was held on Friday, January 5, with 44 members present. Dr. Stephen B. Luce, Jr., of the University of Pennsylvania Museum, presented a most interesting paper, illustrated, Athens in the First Year of the War and a Modern Aristophanes. Dr. Luce discussed Athens, the modern city; its topography, buildings, life and politics. He expressed the opinion that no other city in Europe has had a more remarkable growth. The Modern Aristophanes is a certain M. Souris, who publishes a small paper, in verse, in the dialect of the streets, in which he deals with persons and policies, lampooning them much after the fashion of the Old Comedy. Of this paper M. Souris is at once sole editor and sole author. Translations of many portions of the always witty, and often abusive, doggerel of the paper were read. Dr. Luce expressed the opinion that, if Aristophanes were alive to-day, he would be a pamphleteer, instead of a writer of comedies, as appealing to the larger audiences under modern conditions.

B. W. MITCHELL, Secretary.


Entered as second-class matter November 18, 1907, at the Post Office, New York, N. Y., under the Act of Congress of March 1, 1879

(Concluded from p. 106) Professor Payne warmly urges that the student of law should devote much attention to Greek.

The study of Greek is immediately a study of a literature that interests the lawyer, a literature that is a condensation of the history and thought of an integral civilization into a comparatively small literary compass.

From the beginning the student of Greek absorbs philosophy, politics, history and literary beauty from masterpieces. He can forget the Greek language, but he does not forget the absorbed increment. keeping in mind the immense value of laying a broad foundation for the future lawyer-citizen who must inevitably be something of a leader in the community in which he lives, if he amounts to much, it seems clear that Greek is preferable to any modern language. It will not make him a technical lawyer, but it should make him broad and powerful both as a lawyer and as a citizen.

Professor Akeley believes strongly (12), first, that the Classics afford a good discipline, and, secondly, that the product of such discipline is transferable to other fields of intellectual activity. The future engineer must be trained to think.

The future engineer needs to learn to think during a formative period some years antedating his opportunity of acquiring that technical information that is to constitute the material of his thinking as an engineer. The engineer as a thinker is made during the high school period. To work out the meaning of a Greek or Latin sentence requires all the mental processes of logical induction, of drawing conclusions from a mass of facts, and of insight, that are used in the solution of a complex problem in electrical engineering. But the Latin or Greek sentence can be offered to the boy at an age when the engineering problem is utterly beyond his reach, the time in his life when he must be led to think, if ever. The thinkers among engineers are the men who actually have transferred the results of discipline in an early training to the field of engineering. If such transfer were not possible, we would not have any thinkers at all, and all education would be an abject failure. nothing was ever yet devised that came nearer to concentrating all the efforts of a boy upon a real problem, in compass so limited as to hold his attention within the limited period during which a boy's attention may be held, as the aforesaid Greek or Latin sentence. If that training is not transferable to another field, then no training is transferable and no education can fit for life, and we might, in that case, as well discontinue our schools and let everybody learn his lessons in the school of life. If every youngster had to work out a page of a Greek or Latin author every day for two years in his

No. 15

high school course, not many intellectual mollycoddles would find their way into college.

Again, nothing is better to provoke mental activity than acquaintance made in early years with a civilization as remote from ours as possible. The average man is the victim of habits of thought and action imposed by his modern environment. The thinker must be able to challenge habit, custom and convention when necessary.

Professor Christophelsmeier says (18):

My experience as a teacher of history and political science has left the strong impression that the students most capable of comprehending these subjects have received a training in Latin and Greek. I ascribe this fact to three sources: (1) the character of the students who take Latin and Greek; (2) the mental discipline obtained from the study of these subjects; and (3) the historical and political insight and perspective which the study of the life of the ancient Greeks and Romans gives.

Active minds constantly make comparisons and draw contrasts. This is peculiarly true within the field of the historical sciences, including politics. The greater the difference in the subject matters considered, the more interesting they often are, especially to the minds of the young. The present is ever studied in the light of the past; our present civilization becomes real and vital only because of the knowledge of the past that led to the present.

Professor Brown holds (24) that "An educated engineer is one who possesses information, culture, power". On page 26 he says:

But it is on the part the study of the classics has in producing the power an engineer must have that I wish to lay emphasis. The foundation stones of accuracy, efficiency, and ability to reason, upon which power must be built, can be shaped by the study of the ancient languages as well as by the study of mathematics. These languages, which require a close attention to detail and precision of interpretation, followed by close reasoning, train the mind of the student along the lines he must later follow in his professional work. The value to us is that we are taught how to think. Thought properly controlled is power.

Were I given the choice of any of the three attributes previously noted that an engineer should have and told the others I could not have, I should unhesitatingly choose power. The study of the classics then, first of all, develops power in an engineer. Next it gives him an opportunity to absorb culture and this is more necessary to him than to other men, as his first few years after leaving school are often spent in environments pulling strongly the other way. Lastly, it furnishes a reserve storehouse of information, potential information it might be called, possibly not very often used, but none the less a valuable asset.

C. K.


It is possible that an assemblage of classical scholars may feel some interest in the views of a mere layman in this field, an unprejudiced observer of Greek from outside the inner professional fold, a teacher of English and an administrative officer who has never used Greek vocationally, who has never found it of any direct practical and professional use, in the narrower sense, who has forgotten how to read the language, and who, in the face of these obvious objections, is profoundly grateful that the College requirements of her undergraduate years forced her to study Greek, and enthusiastically believes in its value to-day.

Of course, Greek is of no practical, vocational use, save for the very few who are privileged to teach it. Its appeal in College must be to those who expect from it far other things-joy in beauty, exhilaration of adventure, and illumination of the mind. The purpose of College Greek should be to communicate these things in much the same manner in which they are conveyed to the spirit by actual travel, by journeys across the sea to civilizations older and in some ways richer and in many ways different from our own.


In offering myself as an humble example-a kind of Exhibit A-of this sort of pleasurable result of classical study, I must apologize for the rather personal, autobiographical flavor of some of my remarks. In order to give my opinion any value as a scientific specimen, I must state briefly the history of my own Greek studies. Having reluctantly decided to enter college, and finding that Barnard prescribed Greek for entrance, I began the language in the October preceding my admission. other pupil and myself, in a cosy class of two, with an excellent teacher, met for seven periods a week and easily covered, by June, all the entrance requirement and more, except the three books of the Iliad, which I studied with a tutor for three weeks after school had closed. I have always been extremely glad that I covered beginning Greek so rapidly, swallowing the grammar in large, hasty doses, and arriving within a couple of months at pleasurable reading. Had I been obliged to drag through these early stages at one-third the pace, I am confident that I should not have loved the language so well.

In those days Greek was prescribed for freshmen, and, though I never thought of specializing in the Classics, I chose to continue it, one course a year, through all the rest of my College days, just because I liked it. We read rapidly, I am happy to say, as we did not in our Latin courses, and I therefore covered a fair amount of literature-about ten books of the Odyssey, as I remember, Plato's Protagoras and Apology, some Lysias, which I recall but vaguely, the Clouds of Aristophanes, which we did not appreciate, at least two plays of Euripides and three of Sophocles, which impressed

1An address by the Dean of Barnard College, delivered before The New York Latin Club, February 19, 1916. Though Miss Gildersleeve confines herself to College Greek, much, if not most of what she says applies to all study of Greek, and, it may be added, to all study of Latin. C. K.

me deeply, several orations of Demosthenes, and his life by Plutarch, the fragments of lyric and bucolic poets-I remember vividly the beautiful bits of Sappho -and finally a semester of Pindar-very difficult. There was probably more, which I forget. I have always regretted that I read no Herodotus and no Aeschylus.

Perhaps my happiest recollection of those days of College Greek is of the weekly hour in my freshman year when as many of the class as wished met for voluntary reading at sight. We must have been conscientious and studious souls in those days, for, as I remember, most of the class came. We covered rapidly the Phaeacian episode and several other books of the Odyssey. The beauty of Homer penetrated the spirit of one freshman at least, as no other poetry had yet done. I still repeat to myself occasionally ten lines from the fifth book which I happened to admire greatly and to commit to memory that winter twenty years ago. It is the passage beginning πότνα θεά, μὴ μοι τόδε χώρο, in which Odysseus tells Calypso of his unconquerable yearning for the day of his homecoming.

Well, those pleasant hours of my College Greek passed long ago. What did I gain from them to compensate for the expenditure of time throughout four years of time in which I might have learned stenography and bookkeeping and cooking and many other useful things of which I am still ignorant? What can others gain from such hours to-day? On the basis of my own experience I will try to analyze what is, to my mind, the value and the purpose of Greek in our College curriculum.

Greek is, of course, an exquisitely adjusted linguistic instrument. I learned from my own superficial study of its grammar, syntax and vocabulary a good deal which has proved applicable to other languages and to the art of expression in general. But on the whole I do not believe that this disciplinary, linguistic side of the study should be emphasized, as I believe it should be in Latin. Knowledge of the language as a mere tool, a key to unlock the treasure house of its literature, should be the conception held before the students; they should be hurried as rapidly as possible over all philological preliminaries, and even accuracy of understanding should to some extent be sacrificed to rapidity of reading, so that the students may enjoy as widely as may be the abundant riches of the storehouse, before graduation and the pressure of worldy affairs shut them from further exploration in this delightful field.

Some bit of linguistic training we may, however, claim as the result of any Greek course. We may claim also some solid addition to our stock of historical and mythological information, and the ability to thrill responsively to allusions in other literatures to these great tales of the past. I vividly remember the aesthetic joy I derived even from the very crude production some years ago of Stephen Phillips's Ulysses-especially in the scene in Hades when a mysterious shade approaches the much-enduring hero, who greets it in awe-struck

tones, "Oh, mighty Agamemnon!" What a wealth of poetry, of tragedy, of the imagination of centuries, glowed about the sound of that great name! How all that rich association suddenly lifted the scene for me to thrilling heights! The comparative blankness of mind which results from lack of such connotations was impressed upon me a few years ago before the play became so fashionable-when I was reading to a group of students passages from Gilbert Murray's translation of The Trojan Women, and one interested girl inquired earnestly, "Who was Hecuba?" How comparatively little the poetry could mean to her!

Another function of College Greek is, I believe, to arouse in the students's minds the sense of the romance of archaeology, of the journeys which it has made possible into the long dead but still vital past. It is strange how many people look upon archaeology as a dull and musty pursuit. They have never thrilled to the story of Schliemann's life, or of the recent work in Crete which has made old myths seem concrete historical realities and unearthed a forgotten civilization. There is no child who is unconscious of the joyous excitement of digging for buried treasure, who has not read with bated breath tales of pirate gold. We should not neglect to make real to students the far greater joy and excitement of unearthing buried civilizations—a pleasure easily obtainable vicariously, if not in person, and a taste to be acquired more easily through classical archaeology than in other fields.

Akin to this is the desire for intellectual adventure which should be stirred in the souls of our College students the eagerness to explore new and strange fields, to venture on experiments in subjects far from their daily lives, in a different age, a different atmosphere, from which they may derive mental stimulus and often creative power. Many persons lack this spirit of intellectual initiative and adventure. I was glad to see it shown recently by a group of Barnard students who acquired from some elementary study of medieval literature an interest in old Irish romances, and a desire to study Old Irish. Our Professor of Celtic Literature in Columbia University kindly arranged an elementary course in this subject, and twelve energetic undergraduates are faring forth into this comparatively uncharted academic sea of intellectual adventure. Even more keenly should this spirit be stirred within students with respect to Greek. Some linguistic barriers should not deter, but rather lure on hardy souls to these joys of exploration and to the stimulus of remote and alien lands.

Just because Hellenic civilization is remote from us in point of time, intimate contact with it seems to me invaluable in giving us a sense of historical perspective, a realization that things develop slowly, with long lapses and backslidings, that we must not be too impatient of delays, nor too much carried away by the latest social nostrums and cure-alls. They were probably discussed some twenty centuries ago also, and their mere enunciation to-day is not going to revolutionize

forthwith the face of society. To both the feminists and the antifeminists who view with opposite emotions some ideas regarding the position of women and the home I commend the reading of the fifth book of the Republic, to which I myself occasionally turn-in Jowett's translation-and which I find both illuminating and soothing.

This long vista across the ages, and this sense of contact with what was in so many ways the fountain head of our civilization, give an intellectual experience which we should not wish to miss. It is sometimes, of course, discouraging, to realize how little we have progressed, if we have progressed at all, beyond that golden age of long ago. Deep was the depression in the hearts of some of us on a gray afternoon last May, when we sat in the new stadium and witnessed that probably un-Greek but moving presentation of The Trojan Women. 'Would ye be wise, ye cities, flee from war' fell from the lips of Cassandra with almost uncanny aptness. How are ye blind,

Ye treaders down of cities, ye that cast
Temples to desolation, and lay waste

Tombs, the untrodden sanctuaries where lie
The ancient dead; yourselves so soon to die!

It might have been written to-day, of the madness which is now abroad in the world. As we listened we felt that no one could realize more acutely than Euripides the hideous cruelty and the blank futility of war. The truth was evidently apparent in his time to a thoughtful man, and yet in all these centuries we seem to have made no progress towards obliterating this futile cruelty from the earth.

It is certainly discouraging at times, but I believe that it is in the main illuminating and right, that we should thus realize how like in mind and heart are we and the men of other ages. The essential kinship of the human race it is proper that we should learn, in order that we may understand and sympathetically interpret the course of history. The eternally clear and true intellectual power manifested in Plato, the touching appreciation of the elemental bond uniting man and wife and child shown in Homer's beautiful scene of the parting of Hector and Andromache-such examples as these show what a vivid sense of human kinship with other times the study of Greek should bring to us.

Such voyaging into ancient thought causes this realization of the essential likeness of humanity, and also a respectful toleration of unessential differences, and is thus in its effect much like foreign travel and residence in distant lands. Without it we are in danger of becoming provincial and narrow. You may remember that in Bernard Shaw's delightful play, Caesar and Cleopatra, when Caesar's British secretary expresses horror at some Egyptian practises, Caesar apologizes for him to Cleopatra, saying, "You see, he imagines that the customs of his own little island are the laws of nature". We, too, the island dwellers of Manhattan, are not immune to such imaginings.

Not even in times of peace, still less to-day, is it possible for most of us to break down this sort of provincialism by actual physical travel in foreign lands. But by study pursued in the proper mood of pleasurable exploration, and especially, I believe, by the study of Greek, our minds can travel afar, and we can gain much the same broadening effect upon our spirit.

And finally Greek is valuable in bringing us into contact with beauty. Perhaps this is its most precious function. Many people to-day forget a truth which I have had vividly impressed on my mind during the past few years-our need of food for the spirit, of sustenance which will rouse to a warmer glow within us the driving force of energy, ambition, idealism. There are, of course, various kinds of food for the spirit-friendship, religion, the influence of striking personalities, the desire for social service. One kind of very great value is the stimulation derived from the highest types of the fine arts, the aesthetic joy of contact with beauty. I can remember having a fine production of a great opera fill me with renewed energy, with consciousness of the value of life, with zest and increased ability for teaching required argumentation to sophomores the next morning. We differ somewhat in the types of art from which we derive this food for the spirit, but for very many of us, I believe, the riches that lie in Greek culture, the beauties of Greek literature,-unequalled except perhaps by English-of Greek architecture, of Greek sculpture, can give pleasure, inspiration and driving force beyond most other aesthetic joys.

These values which I have been enumerating-I realize how inadequately-can be achieved by the proper sort of study of Greek archaeology, history, philosophy, art, and literature. We should not confine our enthusiasm to literature alone. In travelling in a foreign land we can derive vastly greater pleasure, interest and profit if we can speak the language of the country. The study of Greek literature, of course, should be conducted if possible in Greek. Even a scanty knowledge of that tongue enables one to taste a flavor absent from any translation, however excellent. But I can not help feeling that it is better to know Greek culture through translations than not at all, and I should imagine that it would be well for teachers of Greek to do all in their power to arouse interest in Greek art, history, philosophy and even translated literature, with the hope that this contact with Hellenism may stir the students to desire the more intimate acquaintance to be gained only through a knowledge of the language. A rather amusing example of this sort of approach is furnished at Barnard by our Greek Games, a pleasant spring festival. The reciting of a Greek invocation to the presiding deity, the study of Greek costumes involved in the preparations, or even the hurling of the discus, sometimes fires our young freshmen and sophomores with the ambition to journey further towards ancient Hellas.

In meditating on the subject of this address I was led to wonder to what extent the women's Colleges during

the last ten years had been winning students to the study of Greek and had thus been enabled to achieve some of the good ends which I have been suggesting. The statistics which were courteously furnished to me by seven of the principal Colleges for women did not cover completely more than five years—from 1910–1911 to 1914-1915 inclusive-and they were based on such different systems of registration and compilation that it is impossible to draw from them any positive and definite conclusions. You may be interested in knowing, however, the sum totals of registrations in Greek for all the seven Colleges lumped together, for each of the five years. They run as follows:

[blocks in formation]

You will observe that they decline steadily for four years and then suddenly leap back to a figure almost equal to the first of the series. What caused this sudden revival in 1914-1915? Were the students seeking refuge from a world of war?

Another point which struck me in studying the statistics in detail was that a great proportion of the registrations, in certain cases, were in beginning Greek. At one of the largest Colleges, for example, out of 117 total registrations in Greck for 1914-15, 76 were in the beginning Greek course. Evidently the hope of College Greek lies largely in these elementary classes. Our classical departments—in the women's Colleges, at least-can not depend upon any considerable supply of students who have begun Greek in the Secondary Schools. They must somehow capture the imagination and the interest of students after they enter College, and initiate them then into the joys of Greek.


The difficulty of doing this to-day lies not in any diminution of the value of Greek, but in the rapid multiplication of other subjects also of interest and of This pressure on the curriculum is vividly realized by any one who advises students regarding their choice of studies. Greek can best hold a firm position in the College by emphasizing, I believe, these cultural and pleasurable aspects which I have tried to outline. What student would decline an opportunity to travel abroad with an inspiring guide and live for a time in a land alive with interest and beauty? Presented to her in the guise of a similar chance, a journey into Hellenic civilization should never cease to appeal.

You will have noticed that I use most often the analogy between the study of Greek and foreign travel. For many years it has always sprung to my mind when I have tried to explain to questioning doubters my benefit from my own College Greek. As I look back upon this, it seems to me most like a journey into a different land; it seems that I lived for a time in a clearer air, under a brighter sky, where minds played freely, where life was young, where the world was rich with a balanced and exquisite beauty. Perhaps the real Greece was not

« السابقةمتابعة »