Western civilization made a big mistake when it made Latin the premium language of thought and prayer. The Romans were barbarians and knew it; they adopted Greek for prestige and intellectuality. But thanks to the decision of the Roman Church to change the liturgy from Greek to Latin early on, the West was given a baser language of culture. Students should have been required to learn Greek, not Latin.

There is so much to read in Greek. So little worthwhile to read in Latin: the pompous baloney of Cicero, the doubtful intellectuality of Augustine, all the medieval theologians and philosophers whom we could easily forget, beginning with Aquinas. Not until the Renaissance began to drop Latin in favor of Tuscan, French, English and later other languages was the miserable pall of Latin broken. Latin does not help you with learning modern languages; even the corrupt Roman Church has given it up in its liturgical efforts.

Greek now has been reduced to the miserable country of Greece whose people speak a sort of Greek patois that Plato and Aristotle could not understand and would not want to. Thanks to Islam, Greek disappeared from all of the East where it once was so important. And we have killed it in the West.

Norman Ravitch *62
Savannah, Ga.