Saturday, 1 July 2006

Dead language?

How ironic.

At a time when interest in the Romans in Scotland stands at an all-time high; when a glance at the television listings suggests a general fascination for things Roman; and when Scotland's Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport has just endorsed the bid to grant the Antonine Wall World Heritage Status (continuing the theme from my previous post) ... How ironic that, at a time like this, Scotland's premier teacher training institution has chosen to "axe Latin".

Roman inscription from Bar Hill (RIB 2170)

Have the barbarians at the gates finally broken through? Are the philistines in charge? Of course, with even the teaching of History under threat in Scottish schools, the Culture Minister was careful to draw no links with the past, in her professed enthusiasm for res Romana. She simply stated that "This touch of Roman civilisation [sic!] in central Scotland [viz. the Antonine wall] is a reminder of the many European links of our country."

But what a pity if future generations of Scots, the descendants of David Hume and William Hunter, the heirs of Robert Adam and James Boswell, will not be equipped to decipher their rich Roman heritage.

1 comment:

  1. To be fair, "axe" is a bit strong. My understanding is that Jordanhill intends to keep every subject available - but not necessarily every year. It's not just Classics that gets hit like this, Biology is in a similar position, and there is a reasonable possibility that it could happen to Computing too.