Thursday, August 01, 2013


A Warm Bath of Greek and Latin

Donald Russell, in Christopher Stray, ed., Oxford Classics: Teaching and Learning 1800-2000 (London: Duckworth, 2007), p. 229:
The only official dealings I had with 'language and literature' were in preparing for prizes like the Hertford and Ireland. It is good to win something, of course, and good to come second, as I usually did; but the value of it, for me, lay in the excuse thereby provided for taking time off from a syllabus in parts uncongenial—I recall the Athenian Tribute Lists with quite peculiar distaste, and they were very fashionable, as Benjamin D. Meritt was in town—and luxuriating in a warm bath of Greek and Latin: Herodas or Apuleius, Plato or Plutarch, Statius or Prudentius. Desultory and unsystematic as all this was—there was a premium on jackdaw learning and the butterfly mind—it did, I think, encourage independence and exploration, and I certainly enjoyed it.
Hat tip: Eric Thomson.

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