Classical comeback

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The Independent Online

Ecce Romani. Latin's back. Long out of favour for being a "dead language", the subject now finds itself more popular than hot cakes at the Circus Maximus. Demand for the language to be taught has doubled in state schools. This can only be a good thing, and we heartily welcome back the Latin teacher to the staffrooms of the land with his tweed jacket and well-thumbed copy of Cambridge Latin Grammar under the arm. The trouble with classics used to be that to demonstrate a working knowledge of Latin or Greek tended to mark you out as a public-school swot who probably knew more about scanning a line of Virgil's Aeneid than dressing with socks of the same colour. Hideously unfair. For too long have men and women shamefully buried their love for such terms as "ablative", "pluperfect" and "deponent". Let's make this rich language available to as many young scholars as can manage it. Now, on three: " Puella, Puellam, Puellae..."

Ecce Romani. Latin's back. Long out of favour for being a "dead language", the subject now finds itself more popular than hot cakes at the Circus Maximus. Demand for the language to be taught has doubled in state schools. This can only be a good thing, and we heartily welcome back the Latin teacher to the staffrooms of the land with his tweed jacket and well-thumbed copy of Cambridge Latin Grammar under the arm. The trouble with classics used to be that to demonstrate a working knowledge of Latin or Greek tended to mark you out as a public-school swot who probably knew more about scanning a line of Virgil's Aeneid than dressing with socks of the same colour. Hideously unfair. For too long have men and women shamefully buried their love for such terms as "ablative", "pluperfect" and "deponent". Let's make this rich language available to as many young scholars as can manage it. Now, on three: " Puella, Puellam, Puellae..."

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