The influence of the ancient civilisations of Greece and Rome on the formation of modern Europe and the development of Western society has been profound. In order to understand our own civilisation properly today, we must understand and appreciate what classical civilisation was in its various manifestations and how it has been transformed and enriched in the passage of time.
Through the study of the Latin language students are brought into immediate contact with the ancient Romans themselves — with their literature, history, political and social institutions. From this, they can gain a fascinating picture of Europe’s first cosmopolitan culture and in addition, can acquire an insight into ancient Rome’s continuing influence on the modern world.
The English language, while not descended directly from Latin, has borrowed extensively from it over the centuries, with the result that much of its vocabulary derives from Latin. To have a thorough understanding of English, it helps greatly to have some knowledge of Latin. On a broader level, the study of Latin will give students an appreciation of how all languages evolve over time and they will benefit from the opportunity to improve their literacy and linguistic skills.