It is very worth remembering that Yale, Princeton Columbia, Cornell, Michigan, Brown, Williams, California (and how many others?) all required heaps of Latin at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. Yale dropped its Latin entrance requirement in 1931. Latin was standard cultural equipment for learning, esp. "higher learning."I was hoping I'd get away with a sweeping statement. I think Harvard did have such a requirement at one point, and perhaps other early institutions, but I'm not sure when they abandoned it. I suppose I'm thinking more of the 20th century, and in particular the second half, when it simply wouldn't have been possible to take Latin at many otherwise good schools that dispatched pretty much their entire output to so-called good universities.
Writing also allows for more critical potential. You'll get way more easily away with nonsense in a video. Just the simple difference in back-checking what you've read or seen is enormous, and vids can put the stress way too much on superficial and flashy effects, the more so when you've got nothing substantial to say, let alone rational...If I have the option between absorbing some information from either a video or a piece of writing, I nearly always choose the piece of writing. I can read a lot faster than I can watch.
Me too. Also, my mind often wanders when I listen to people talk, especially recordings or the radio.If I have the option between absorbing some information from either a video or a piece of writing, I nearly always choose the piece of writing. I can read a lot faster than I can watch.
I have changed my location. Reading did not exist in Roman times. I wanted to put 'Praeter Tamisem, LXX passuum milibus occidens ab Londinio, XVI passuum milibus septentriones ab Calleva'. Unfortunately, I could not enter that much text in the textbox. I am not sure how grammatically correct that it. Julius Caesar used to measure distance in pasuum milibus. Calleva was an important Roman town near here. Now you can just see some Roman walls and a small ampitheatre, but there is quite a bit about it at the local museum.Not that is has anything to do with the topic of this thread, but the name of your city is indeed confusing, kev67. Reading (ha!) your signature, I thought you were saying you were reading some book by the Thames.
I strongly suspect that in previous centuries the main benefit of learning Latin was that it meant you were a gentleman and could enter certain professions only open to gentlemen. From my understanding of Victorian literature, about the only high prestige profession you could attain without much education was engineering. That profession was open to anyone with ability and drive. Stereotypically, the professions were the law, the church, medicine, the military and the navy. I do not suppose you needed much Latin to be an army or naval officer. To be a naval officer you needed to start young and have a head for mathematics. For at least the first half of the century army officers bought their commissions. I think they just needed to be posh and to be brave. You needed Latin, and preferably to have gone to university to enter the law or the clergy. I am not sure what the situation was for medicine. There were different types of lawyers and doctors, some more prestigious than others. There were other professions that were close to acceptable for upper middle class folk: school masters, forerunners of the civil service, gentleman farmers, banking and finance, merchants. To get into most of these professions, I expect you needed to be middle class, although maybe not very middle class. That meant you needed a reasonable education, which meant studying Latin, whether you retained much of your Latin after you left school or not.Although people toss around ideas of why Latin is beneficial, such as it helps with medical or legal terminology, or helps you understand etymology, those things can be learned without becoming a fluent reader in Latin. The benefit of learning to read Latin is that you know how to read Latin; in other words, you have access to the texts in the original language.
Similarly to French, I think Latin enjoys a kind of vestigial prestige from earlier times when knowledge of it was the mark of an upper-class education. Universities are no longer primarily for training clergy and/or providing polish to the elite.
By the way, I went to a Catholic university which used to have entrance requirements in both Latin and Greek. This was at least a couple decades before my time, though.