Should We Kill “the Classics”? 

The Classics have collapsed already, in fact. As an undergraduate student of classics at Columbia in the sixties of the last century I saw that collapse accelerate and was myself a critic of the whole legacy as my interests also changed and I began to shift to the study of mathematics.
I asked myself why I was studying Caesar’s Gallic Wars, the record of Roman imperialism, and the tale of a usurper of the Roman Republic, etc…
But the study of ‘classical antiquity’ remains vitally important as history pure and simple. In fact the collapse occurred in the early twentieth century. If you roam the reading rooms of Columbia University you see (this was quite a while back) the endless shelves of Greek and Roman texts, worn from use, recalling an age when a liberal arts education always focussed on the classics.
The field of classics remains of vital importance in a way that resembles the study of Sumerian and/or ancient Egyptian.

The study of classical Greece is of vital significance in terms of the eonic effect and its account of the evolution of civilization. And this can be done both on its own terms and with any or all caveats as to issues of white supremacy.

Classical thinkers, what do they have to teach us? Their societies were brutal, marked by social and economic inequities that dwarf those that characterize even our own, increasingly unequal society. Add to that the fact that they’ve provided grist for the mill of white supremacist thought since at least the seventeenth century, if not even longer than that, and you’ve got what appears to be a legitimate reason for eliminating the classics as an academic discipline. That’s the position, in any case, of Princeton classics professor, Dan-el Padilla Peralta. Padilla argues in a recent piece in The New York Times Magazine that “classics is so entangled with white supremacy as to be inseparable from it.” He says he’s not even sure “the discipline deserves a future.

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Source: Should We Kill “the Classics”? – CounterPunch.org

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