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Excavating the Past to Uncover the Present

The study of Greek and Roman works, in their original languages, gives students a unique window into understanding two ancient cultures and identifying their ripples, reflections, and distinctions in the modern world. Starting from a linguistic-based study of Latin and classical Greek, students become independent scholars—increasingly comfortable with the language and developing strong habits of mind. Students learn to be precise and logical readers—skilled in close, textual analysis—and interpreters. Class discussions are far-ranging, drawing connections across various disciplines such as English, history, mythology, archaeology, and philosophy. Students who choose to study Latin and Greek become more than just masters of vocabulary, language and syntax—they gain a centuries-long perspective on modern civilization and languages, and develop a strong foundation for future study in many fields.

From the Classroom

Advanced Greek: Plato
In this course, we continue the study of Greek grammar and syntax while reviewing the foundation built in the previous year. Students are introduced to Greek prose through a careful reading of selections from Plato’s Symposium, a text that serves as a basis for students’ study of 5th century Athenian culture and identity. In addition to the Symposium, students study related passages from other Platonic works and from other authors and poets. Over the course of the year, students explore topics in mythology, history, philosophy, drama, gender, and sexuality.

As a freshman, I took Latin 2/3 with Ms. Wehle. It moved at a really good pace, so I jumped right into AP as a sophomore, which was awesome. Then I took Selected Readings, where the students get to choose what the class reads. We read Cicero and Lucretius. I would sit in that class and think, “This is why I took Latin. This is the point I wanted to get to—where we’re reading real authors, not readings that are chopped up and modified. This is what I want out of a Classics education.” Now I am also taking Greek.
Rachel Handler

Dover, Massachusetts