Education: Was Caesar a Crook?

Generations of boredom with the Latin and Greek classics have resulted in their virtual disappearance from the U.S. curriculum. Gilbert Highet, Anthon professor of Latin at Columbia University and a popular author (The Classical Tradition, The Art of Teaching) as well as a classical scholar, thinks that dull and stylized teaching is responsible for the students' indifference. This week, talking to the New York Classical Club, Highet explained his criticism. Teaching classics as "perfect books by perfect men," he said, "[will] make them inhuman and impossible for the young."

Julius Caesar's Commentaries, the primer of classical scholarship, said Highet, is a case...

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