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The Classical Weekly

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Columbia University
Summer Session

July 8-August 16, 1918

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No. 26




secured its initial success because of the author's name,
Benjamin L. D'Ooge-widely known as a teacher,
scholar, and skilfull textbook writer. Adoption after
adoption has followed the recognition of the value of
"Latin for Beginners", and now over 3000 schools are
using it.

Is your school one of the 3000?


70 Fifth Avenue


New York



This two-book course for beginners differs from the con-
ventional introduction to Latin in that the preparation it.
offers is simpler and more gradual. When used in the High
School, both books can be mastered in the first year.

The author is H. C. NUTTING, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Latin,
University of California.

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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

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SIR ARTHUR EVANS ON ARCHAEOLOGY For 1916 Sir Arthur Evans, well known for his excavations in Crete, was President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. At the meeting of this Association, held at Newcastle-onTyne, in that year, he delivered a most interesting and valuable address entitled New Archaeological Light on the Origins of Civilization in Europe, which was printed in full in Science, September 22 and 29, 1916.

In his opening paragraphs, Sir Arthur Evans has much to say of the value of archaeology. Thus, on page 400, he says that archaeology

has reconstituted the successive stages of whole fabrics of former civilization, the very existence of which was formerly unsuspected. Even in later periods, archaeology, as a dispassionate witness, has been continually checking, supplementing and illustrating written history.

Again, he says (401):

It will be found, moreover, that such investigations have at times a very practical bearing on future developments. In connection with the traces of Roman occupation I have recently, indeed, had occasion to point out that the section of the great Roman road that connected the valleys of the Po and Save across the lowest pass of the Julians, and formed part of the main avenue of communication between the western and the eastern provinces of the empire, has only to be restored in railway shape to link together a system of not less value to ourselves and our Allies. For we should thus secure, via the Simplon and northern Italy, a new and shorter overland route to the east, in friendly occupation throughout, which is to-day diverted by unnatural conditions past Vienna and Budapest. At a time when Europe is parcelled out by less cosmopolitan interests the evidence of antiquity here restores the true geographical perspective.

Sir Arthur Evans speaks next (401) of the extent to which archaeology has "redressed the balance where certain aspects of the ancient world have been brought into unequal prominence, it may be, by mere accidents of literary style".

In other cases again, as for example, in the case of Magna Graecia and Sicily, written records carry us but a very short way. Here we must depend largely, if not mainly, on the results of excavations and on the study of the magnificent coinage (401).

Take the case of Roman Britain. Had the lost books of Ammianus relating to Britain been preserved

No. 26

we might have had, in his rugged style, some partial sketch of the province as it existed in the age of its most complete Romanization. As it is, so far as historians are concerned, we are left in almost complete darkness. Here, again, it is through archaeological research that light has penetrated, and thanks to the thoroughness and persistence of our own investigators, town sites such as Silchester in Roman Britain have been more completely uncovered than those of any other province.

Sir Arthur Evans speaks next (401-402) in some detail of the continuous work of exploration and research carried out by the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle, and the valuable publications of this Society.

The British Vallum, it is now realized, must be looked at with perpetual reference to other frontier lines such as the Germanic or the Rhaetian lines; local remains of every kind have to be correlated with similar discoveries throughout the length and breadth of the Roman Empire.

This attitude in the investigation of the remains of Roman Britain-the promotion of which owes so much to the energy and experience of Professor Haverfield has in recent years conducted excavation to specially valuable results. The work at Corbridge, the ancient Corstopitum, begun in 1906, and continued down to the autumn of 1914, has already uncovered throughout a large part of its area the largest urban center-civil as well as military in character-on the line of the Wall, and the principal store-base of its stations. Here, together with well-built granaries, workshops, and barracks, and such records of civic life as are supplied by sculptured stones and inscriptions, and the double discovery of hoards of gold coins, has come to light a spacious and massively constructed stone building, apparently a military storehouse, worthy to rank beside the bridge-piers of the North Tyne, among the most imposing monuments of Roman Britain. There is much here, indeed, to carry our thoughts far beyond our insular limits. On this, as on so many other sites along the Wall, the inscriptions and reliefs take us very far afield. We mark the grave-stone of a man of Palmyra, an altar of the Tyrian Hercules-its Phoenician Baal-a dedication to a pantheistic goddess of Syrian religion and the rayed effigy of the Persian Mithra. So, too, in the neighborhood of Newcastle itself, as elsewhere on the wall, there was found an altar of Jupiter Dolichenus, the old Anatolian God of the Double Axe, the male form of the divinity once worshipped in the prehistoric Labyrinth of Crete. Nowhere are we more struck than in this remote extremity of the empire with the heterogeneous religious elements, often drawn from its far eastern borders, that before the days of the final advent of Christianity, Roman dominion had been instrumental in diffusing.

Sir Arthur Evans next remarks (403) that "Crete of four thousand years ago must unquestionably be regarded as the birth-place of our European civilization in its higher form". But, he adds, "are we appreciably nearer to the fountain-head?"

He then considers in detail the archaeological discoveries made in recent years in Southwestern Europe. These discoveries definitely prove a high level of artistic attainment in Southwestern Europe, "at a modest estimate some ten thousand years earlier than the most ancient monuments of Egypt or Chaldaea!" There is no space, however, to follow him through his discussion of this matter, or in his discussion of the culture of the Reindeer Age, further than to make the following quotation (405):

For the first time, moreover, we find the productions of his (= man's) art rich in human subjects. At Cogul the sacral dance is performed by women clad from the waist downwards in well-cut gowns, while in a rockshelter of Alpera, where we meet with the same skirted ladies, their dress is supplemented by flying sashes. On the rock painting of the Cueva de la Vieja, near the same place, women are seen with still longer gowns rising to their bosoms. We are already a long way from Eve!

It is this great Alpera fresco which, among all those discovered, has afforded most new elements. Here are depicted whole scenes of the chase in which bowmenup to the time of these last discoveries unknown among Palaeolithic representations-take a leading part, though they had not as yet the use of quivers. Some are dancing in the attitude of the Australian Corroborees. Several wear plumed headdresses, and the attitudes at times are extraordinarily animated. What is specially remarkable is that some of the groups of these Spanish-rock paintings show dogs or jackals accompanying the hunters, so that the process of domesticating animals had already begun. Hafted axes are depicted as well as cunningly shaped throwing sticks.

Sir Arthur Evans passes on to say that this type of culture is now seen to have been very wide-spread. It held sway, for example, in Poland, in a large part of Russia, in Bohemia, along the upper course of the Danube and of the Rhine, and all the way to Southwestern Britain and Southeastern Spain. Again we must quote (405):

Beyond the Mediterranean, moreover, it fits on under varying conditions to a parallel form of culture, the remains of which are by no means confined to the Cis-Saharan zone, where incised figures occur of animals like the long-horned buffalo (Bulbalus antiquus) and others long extinct in that region. This southern branch may eventually be found to have a large extension. The nearest parallels to the finer class of rock-carvings as seen in the Dordogne are, in fact, to be found among the more ancient specimens of similar work in South Africa, while the rock-paintings of Spain find their best analogies among the Bushmen.

Of particular interest is the demonstration, on pages 406-407, that the culture of the Reindeer Age cannot be regarded as the property of a single race.

(To be concluded)

C. K.


Some of you are weary of lamentations over the alleged decline of classical studies. I agree with you, and I assure you that there are no lamentations in this paper. Still more of you are weary of new methods of teaching the Classics; the chance of finding a serviceable method that is still new to the profession as a whole is very slight. I have no new method to suggest.

Nevertheless I am convinced that we have fewer students of the Classics than we ought to have, fewer than we might easily have, and that we teachers of the Classics are chiefly responsible. Usually a student's attitude toward the Classics and the amount of time he will devote to classical study are determined by impressions gained from the first classical language to be studied. In particular the question whether or not he shall study the other classical tongue, if such a question is raised at all, is inevitably decided largely on the basis of the language and literature with which he has already been working. The amount of study that is now being devoted to the Classics must depend, to a considerable extent, upon the question whether boys and girls are attracted by the first classical literature that is put before them. There is no doubt that they are so attracted. eloquence and Vergil's sublime poetry have always won students for the later parts of the Latin course and for Greck. My thesis, however, is that Greek has more drawing power than Latin, and that we cannot get and keep as many students as we should have until we teach Greek to every student who comes to us at all.


I need not prove to you the superiority of Greek literature to Latin literature. Most of you who teach Latin would have chosen to teach Greek if the choice had been yours. Of greater moment for our immediate purpose is the fact that educated people in general have more respect for Greek than for Latin literature. In support of this assertion I wish to cite two witnesses. When it was proposed recently to abolish the requirement of a year's Latin in Columbia College, a teacher of a modern language, who has always been known as a friend of the Classics, announced that he would not oppose the change, because, he said, a year of Latin could give very little knowledge of Hellenic culture; and he considered Hellenism to be the part of ancient civilization a knowledge of which is vitally important.

My second witness is Mr. Theodore Roosevelt, who, on November 16, 1916 refreshed himself from the labors of the presidential campaign by addressing the American Academy and the National Institute of Arts and Sciences. In the course of his remarks, which ranged over many literatures ancient and modern, he had some very harsh things to say about Latin literature. Later in the evening he praised Greek literature and especially Homer; "I prefer", he said,

"even a dozen lines of the Greek epic to all but a half dozen lines of the English drama Troilus and Cresida". I do not altogether agree with the opinions he expressed, and for that reason I have not quoted his rather sweeping condemnation of Latin literature; I cite his words merely as evidence that we may expect from such men as ex-President Roosevelt more support for the study of Greek than for the study of Latin.

But we are not now so much concerned with the tastes of mature men as with the needs and the likes of High School students; for it is in the High School that boys and girls usually decide for or against the study of the Classics.

One great difficulty with the study of English is that much of our best literature is too 'old' for boys and girls. To get the meat out of our best authors, you need to know a great deal about life, and also about the earlier writers-English, French, Italian, and classical-to whom they constantly refer. It is, of course, possible for High School students to get at the meaning of Shakespeare and Milton by means of commentaries; but the net result of such study is too often a distaste for good literature.

Now the involved, indirect, allusive character of much English literature is an inheritance from the Latin. Latin literature also is sophisticated, artificial, indirect. To find literature that is at the same time great and childlike we are, for the most part, driven back to Greek. Homer is not too 'old' for anyone who knows the meaning of life and death, and love and hate. Herodotus, the Greek dramatists, even Plato built upon the solid rock of human nature; they did not rely upon learned and literary allusions as the great Roman and English writers have usually done.

One result of the simplicity of Greek literature is its ease. Most teachers of Latin will agree that Caesar is too difficult for second year pupils; and yet there is no satisfactory substitute for Caesar. There are easier authors, it is true, but they are scarcely worth reading. In Greek there is no such difficulty; the Anabasis is as much easier than the Commentaries as it is more interesting and more vital. In still greater degree Homer is easier than Vergil, and Plato than Cicero.

But, some will reply, the simple, easy style of certain Greek writers is more than counterbalanced by the difficulty of the Greek language itself. The truth of the matter is that Greek is no more difficult than Latin. There is nothing in Greek syntax that will compare in difficulty with the Latin characteristic and temporal clauses, nothing so confusing as the numerous and inconsistent meanings of the Latin ablative and the Latin subjunctive. It must be admitted that a Greek vocabulary is harder to acquire than a Latin vocabulary, and consequently it is impossible to maintain that Greek is on the whole an easier language than Latin. But neither is it more difficult than Latin. The simple style of the Greek

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writers does, then, really make the study of Greek literature easier than the study of Latin literature.

Still more important is the fact that the spirit of the Greek writers is, as a rule, more in harmony with modern ideals than is that of the Romans. Caesar's frank militarism has long been repellent and will, we may hope, be still more so in the future. I grant that Xenophon's ethics were little if any superior, but, at any rate, the Ten Thousand did not clamp the yoke of a foreign power upon the necks of a weaker nation. Every teacher of Vergil knows that students are puzzled by Aeneas's tearfulness and shocked by his treatment of Dido. Cicero's braggadocio is tolerated by young America only on the ground that a man who lived so long ago probably did not know any better. These difficulties, except for the first named, are superficial; Cicero, instead of being a mere braggart, is rather to be considered a statesman of the first rank, probably the most influential of all writers of prose in the world's history, and a wonderfully sympathetic and human man, while it is only the immature reader who can find effeminacy and fickleness in Vergil's hero. Nevertheless young people do find these difficulties in appreciating High School Latin. I do not know of any such barriers in the way of appreciating Homer or Plato's Apology.

There is nothing novel about the observations I have been making. The superiority and the superior attractiveness of Greek have always been recognized. The contention has been that both languages should be studied by all persons of intelligence, and if a boy or girl is to study Greek in the end there is no harm in his studying Latin first. As long as classical study had control of the Schools, there was less harm in acting on this theory, although even then many a boy missed the enthusiasm for ancient literature that he might have had if he had read Homer before Caesar and Cicero.

Now the situation is different. The professions of law, medicine, and engineering require a long technical preparation, and young persons of moderate means must begin the process early. There are, besides, many subjects, such as history, sociology, physical science, of which children are now given a taste before they leave the Grammar School, subjects which appeal to the best there is in them and which they rightly wish to pursue further. Under these circumstances all but a very few young people are convinced that they have time for only one classical language at most. If we wish to hold as many of them as possible we have got to give them the most attractive material we have, namely Greek.

If we do this, we may reasonably expect in the end to increase the study of Latin also. For the whole classical field is really one. It is easier to understand Greek literature without Latin than to understand Latin literature without Greek-to do the latter thing is really impossible; but we may be sure that most students who become thoroughly interested in Greek will find a way to study Latin also.

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