Wednesday, December 06, 2017



J. Enoch Powell (1912-1998), Greek in the University. Inaugural Lecture to the University of Sydney, May 7th, 1938 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1938), page number unknown:
But this I am prepared to assert: that it is possible for any pass-student to take away from a course in Greek, not only some insight into the process of reasoning by which sound judgements about a text may be arrived at, but in general a disposition to treat statements on their own merits and not on those of the authorities from whom they emanate, an eye sharpened to detect special pleading, false argumentation and hocus-pocus, and a healthy freedom from the prevalent though often entirely subconscious superstition that the printed word and the established opinion have some mysterious and inherent claim to be believed.
I'm not sure that a course in Greek will instill all of these virtues, but (to my mind at least) they are virtues worth having. The lecture is reprinted in Reflections of a Statesman: The Writings and Speeches of Enoch Powell (London: Bellew, 1991), pp. 87-96. I haven't seen either this book or the original lecture.

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