Latin's been on the letter pages of the paper over the last few days. Here they are if you missed them:
Liberal education at risk
Les MacDonald is quite right in suggesting that we all need a good liberal education as well as vocational training (Letters, May 25). It is very sad to see such school subjects as geography losing numbers to semi-mindless subjects such as business studies. It is also sad to see arts faculties in universities having to fight to keep subjects and courses alive. Subjects at risk include Latin and classical Greek, which should be alive and kicking at any good institution of liberal education. It is true, of course, that some arts academics have tried to dig their graves by having courses with a blatant Marxist or feminist bias, but that is no excuse for governments and universities to act like money-oriented Philistines.
David Morrison, Springwood
On your Marx
David Morrison (Letters, May 26-27) suggests that Latin and classical Greek are vital university subjects while berating "arts academics … with a blatant Marxist or feminist bias". With all respect, I would much prefer to receive the critical tools provided by means of engaging with Marxist or feminist theory. In an age of hegemonic acceptance of all things rational it would seem a critical mind is of more use than an ability to use a language used by a very few these days.
Stephen Owen, Carrington
Quid pro quo
Salve, Stephen Owen (Letters, May 28), allow me to point out it takes "a critical mind" in the first place to study Latin and ancient Greek. Furthermore, students of these languages develop broader capacities such as advanced logical, analytical and research faculty (to name but a few), and enhance their grasp of more modern tongues such as the Romance languages and even our own. Please don't fail to remember, either, that classicists are the custodians of one of the longest-standing disciplines in the university tradition.
Milton J. Micallef, Maroubra Junction