Latin is the language spoken by the ancient Romans, whose empire extended from the moors of northern England to the Persian Gulf and from the Russian steppes to the sands of Libya. At its height the Roman Empire covered much of the known world and one third of the planet’s population lived within her boarders.
Although Rome’s political domination of Europe has long past, the language of the Roman people and the ideas expressed by them continue to exert a powerful influence over Western civilisation. Latin has shaped the development of many languages such as Italian, French, Spanish and English. Roman ideas – written in Latin – have contributed to important advances in religion, architecture, philosophy and law.
Leaving aside the lasting legacy of Rome, one of the most compelling reasons for choosing Latin is the intellectual challenge that it offers boys and girls with a linguistic inclination and an interest in detailed systems of thought. The logic that underpins Latin grammar gives our students a set of life-long analytical skills that can be applied to the study of mathematics, science, engineering, medicine and law – all of which use many Latin terms.
The teaching of Latin has a long-established place in our educational tradition – not least because of the help it gives students in their study of English. People are sometimes surprised to learn that prominent Classics graduates include:
- Sir Edmund Barton (Australia’s first Prime Minister)
- Gail Kelly (former Westpac CEO)
- JK Rowling (author of the Harry Potter series)
- Mark Zuckerberg (founder of Facebook)