This is the first of a series of guest blogs, in which Heads of Department at Dean Close explain why their subject or activity is something to be bothered about. Head of Classics, Mr Allen, gets a few things off his chest.

Why bother with Latin and Greek? A short polemic.

Latin is a dead language – requiescat in pace. Why bother with Greek? What relevance do the languages of Cicero and Socrates have for the modern world? By Juppiter*, has no one heard of the video, the telephone, the computer or the television, the apparatus of modern life? And yet we are constantly told, ad nauseam, that classical languages are moribund, nay, they are extinct, defunct. Tempus fugit – one should expunge all of that impedimenta from the school curriculum and focus on the real world. Science and Mathematics, logic and empiricism – what did the Greeks and Romans do for us? The future of Classics in schools has been on the agenda for a triennium at least. Thank goodness we have not had a referendum on the matter. That would be deplorable. Anyway I do not wish to go on ad infinitum lest I appear non compos mentis. Latin (and Greek) is dead – quod erat demonstrandum.

Post Scriptum, get off your mobile/PS4/IPad – mens sana in corpore sano.

Click here to find out more about studying Classics at Dean Close

*Latin form