Why Learn Greek?

Neo-Classical Architecture of the University of Athens Photo Archive: (Eurokinissi/Thanasis Kalliaras)

Greek—a language that ripples like water

 and flashes like dancing flames. -Robert Payne

At a recent talk on teaching Greek in Ottawa, a member of the audience questioned the benefit of learning Greek. Why should non-Greeks or Diaspora Greeks of the second or third generation learn Greek, he asked. It doesn’t help them learn mathematics or chemistry, he added.

The question betrays a sadly narrow view of education as mere technical training.  Why do we study literature, history, philosophy, religion, music? They don’t …

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