Thursday, September 02, 2010


Beat the Curse of Babel

Peter Green, Classical Bearings: Interpreting Ancient History and Culture (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989; rpt. 1998), p. 270 (footnote omitted):
But as a lifelong student of Greek and Latin I beseech all those who can, by hook or crook, make the effort, to beat the curse of Babel by mastering the languages in which two of the greatest, and most influential, literatures the world has ever known are written, and by so doing to break free from the tyranny imposed by their own culture. 'For even'—to quote Ascham again—'as a hauke flieth not hie with one wing: even so a man reacheth not to excellency with one tong.' This is a hard investment; but once made, it will reward the investor a thousandfold, until his dying day.
Ozias Leduc, The Young Student

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