10 – Jürgen Leonhardt over Latijn

‘Nonetheless, the expectation that Latin would be expelled from school curricula by the end of the twentieth century, finally achieving the status of ancient Egyptian or Babylonian, useful only to specialists doing arcane historical research, has not come to pass. After decades of heated debate that was critical of traditional education, we seem to have passed into a more reflective phase. This change may be connected with the fact that the final collapse of traditional education has freed Latin, and ancient history generally, from the bothersome role of standard bearer for our cultural heritage. Proclamations of duty and self-declared indispensability always engender rebellion. But as a purely elective subject, Latin has the potential to awaken curiosity in far more students than it would if it were mandatory.’ – Jürgen Leonhardt, Latin. Story of a World Language, Harvard, Londen, 2016, p. 283-284.