Torch: U.S. LXVIII Winter 2018 - Page 9

or business topics, thus permanently extinguishing the flame of our appreciation for Greek and Roman societies? Absolutely not, for the simple reason that the Classics contain the epitome of human accomplishment in literature, art, and philosophy, and pose questions that represent the essence of being human.

No hyperbole need be invoked to consider Homer’s awesome feat of reciting the tens of thousands of metered lines of the Iliad and Odyssey without a script. Both Greece and Rome were the most powerful nations in their times, flourishing for thousands of years. The Greeks gave us the concept of a complete democracy, and the Romans gave us the concept of a republic. The majority of nations today have some form of these two governments. Euclidean geometry, drama, tragedy, architecture, and much more were all expounded upon by Greek and Roman minds, and it would be an unforgivable loss to humanity to forget what classical civilizations did for today’s and tomorrow’s world.

Ancient Greeks and Romans also contemplated the essence of the human experience. Their countless comedies, tragedies, poems, and other works addressed human themes of fate and free will as in Oedipus Rex, love and hatred as in the Aeneid, life and death in De Rerum Natura, and every other question of human relationships. Given that these questions are as relevant today as they were then, the Classics are sure to offer insights into the various issues and conflicts in our contemporary domestic and global affairs. Further to the issues of human relationships, Aristotle and Plato, as well as schools of thought like Stoicism and Epicureanism, considered the importance of morals in everyday life.

The world must not forget the Classics. Their impact on modern day science, philosophy, literature, art, and politics is undeniable. In America, the founding fathers modeled our government on ancient Greece and Rome. Thus, it is fait accompli that our politics are following the path laid before us by leaders of the Classical ages. Think about it this way: would you want America to be relevant two thousand years in the future? If so, shouldn’t we recognize the current day contributions of our Classical forebears, who shaped us into who we are today, two thousand years in the past? In the words of Cicero (106 - 43 B.C.), "historia est magistra vitae" (history is the teacher of life).

"CLASSICS CONTAIN THE EPITOME OF HUMAN ACCOMPLISHMENT IN LITERATURE, ART, AND PHILOSOPHY"

"CLASSICS CONTAIN THE EPITOME OF HUMAN ACCOMPLISHMENT IN LITERATURE, ART, AND PHILOSOPHY"

NOAH JUN

GILMAN SCHOOL, BALTIMORE

NOAH JUN

GILMAN SCHOOL, BALTIMORE

CLASSICS

ARE IMPORTANT

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