Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

appointed to consider the studies and examinations of the university, their report of November 1904 on the Previous Examination was fully discussed, and the speeches published in the Reporter for December 17, 1904. In the course of the discussion Sir Richard Jebb drew attention to the statistics collected by the master of Emmanuel, Mr W. Chawner, showing that, out of 86 head masters belonging to the Head Masters’ Conference whose replies had been published, “about 56 held the opinion that the exemption from Greek for all candidates for a degree would endanger or altogether extinguish the study of Greek in the vast majority of schools, while about 21 head masters held a different opinion.” On the 3rd of March 1905 a proposal for accepting either French or German as an alternative for either Latin or Greek in the Previous Examination was rejected by 1559 to 1052 votes, and on the 26th of May 1906 proposals distinguishing between students in letters and students in science, and (inter alia) requiring the latter to take either French or German for either Latin or Greek in the Previous Examination, were rejected by 746 to 241.

Meanwhile, at Oxford a proposal practically making Greek optional with all undergraduates was rejected, in November 1902, by 189 votes to 166; a preliminary proposal permitting students of mathematics or natural science to offer one or more modern languages in lieu of Greek was passed by 164 to 162 in February 1904, but on the 29th of November the draft of a statute to this effect was thrown out by 200 to 164. In the course of the controversy three presidents of the Royal Society, Lord Kelvin, Lord Lister and Sir W. Huggins, expressed the opinion that the proposed exemption was not beneficial to science students.

Incidentally, the question of “compulsory Greek” has stimulated a desire for greater efficiency in classical teaching. In December 1903, a year before the most important of the public discussions at Cambridge, the Classical The Classical Association. Association was founded in London. The aim of that association is “to promote the development, and maintain the well-being, of classical studies, and in particular (a) to impress upon public opinion the claim of such studies to an eminent place in the national scheme of education; (b) to improve the practice of classical teaching by free discussion of its scope and methods; (c) to encourage investigation and call attention to new discoveries; (d) to create opportunities of friendly intercourse and co-operation between all lovers of classical learning in this country.”

The question of the curriculum and the time-table in secondary education has occupied the attention of the Classical Association, the British Association and the Education Department of Scotland. The general effect of the recommendations The curriculum. already made would be to begin the study of foreign languages with French, and to postpone the study of Latin to the age of twelve and that of Greek to the age of thirteen. At the Head Masters’ Conference of December 1907 a proposal to lower the standard of Greek in the entrance scholarship examinations of public schools was lost by 10 votes to 16, and the “British Association report” was adopted with reservations in 1908. In the case of secondary schools in receipt of grants of public money (about 700 in England and 100 in Wales in 1907-1908), “the curriculum, and time-table must be approved by the Board of Education.” The Board has also a certain control over the curriculum of schools under the Endowed Schools Acts and the Charitable Trusts Acts, and also over that of schools voluntarily applying for inspection with a view to being recognized as efficient.

Further efficiency in classical education has been the aim of the movement in favour of the reform of Latin pronunciation. In 1871 this movement resulted in Munro and Palmer’s Syllabus of Latin Pronunciation. The reform was Reform in Latin pronunciation. carried forward at University College, London, by Professor Key and by Professor Robinson Ellis in 1873, and was accepted at Shrewsbury, Marlborough, Liverpool College, Christ’s Hospital, Dulwich, and the City of London school. It was taken up anew by the Cambridge Philological Society in 1886, by the Modern Languages Association in 1901, by the Classical Association in 1904-1905, and the Philological Societies of Oxford and Cambridge in 1906. The reform was accepted by the various bodies of head masters and assistant masters in December 1906-January 1907, and the proposed scheme was formally approved by the Board of Education in February 1907.

See W.H. Woodward, Studies in Education during the Age of the Renaissance (1906), chap. xiii.; Acland and Llewellin Smith, Studies in Secondary Education, with introduction by James Bryce (1892); Essays on a Liberal Education, ed. F.W. Farrar (1867); R.C. Jebb, “Humanism in Education,” Romanes Lecture of 1899, reprinted with other lectures on cognate subjects in Essays and Addresses (1907); Foster Watson, The Curriculum and Practice of the English Grammar Schools up to 1660 (1908); “Greek at Oxford,” by a Resident, in The Times (December 27, 1904); Cambridge University Reporter (November 11 and December 17, 1904); British Association Report on Curricula of Secondary Schools (with an independent paper by Professor Armstrong on “The Teaching of Classics”), (December 1907); W.H.D. Rouse in The Year’s Work in Classical Studies (1907 and 1908), chap. i.; J.P. Postgate, How to pronounce Latin (Appendix B, on “Recent Progress”), (1907). For further bibliographical details see pp. 875-890 of Dr Karl Breul’s “Grossbritannien” in Baumeister’s Handbuch, I. ii. 737-892 (Munich, 1897).

2. In France it was mainly with a view to promoting the study of Greek that the corporation of Royal Readers was founded by Francis I. in 1530 at the prompting of Budaeus. In the university of Paris, which was France. originally opposed to this innovation, the statutes of 1598 prescribed the study of Homer, Hesiod, Pindar, Theocritus, Plato, Demosthenes and Isocrates (as well as the principal Latin classics), and required the production of three exercises in Greek or Latin in each week.

From the middle of the 16th century the elements of Latin were generally learned from unattractive abridgments of the grammar of the Flemish scholar, van Pauteren or Despautère (d. 1520), which, in its original folio Textbooks. editions of 1537-1538, was an excellent work. The unhappy lot of those who were compelled to learn their Latin from the current abridgments was lamented by a Port-Royalist in a striking passage describing the gloomy forest of le pays de Despautère (Guyot, quoted in Sainte-Beuve’s Port-Royal, iii. 429). The first Latin grammar written in French was that of Père de Condren of the Oratoire (c. 1642), which was followed by the Port-Royal Méthode latine of Claude Lancelot (1644), and by the grammar composed by Bossuet for the dauphin, and also used by Fénelon for the instruction of the duc de Bourgogne. In the second half of the 17th century the rules of grammar and rhetoric were simplified, and the time withdrawn from the practice of composition (especially verse composition) transferred to the explanation and the study of authors.

Richelieu, in 1640, formed a scheme for a college in which Latin was to have a subordinate place, while room was to be found for the study of history and science, Greek, and French and modern languages. Bossuet, in educating Richelieu, Bossuet, Fénelon, Fleury. the dauphin, added to the ordinary classical routine represented by the extensive series of the “Delphin Classics” the study of history and of science. A greater originality in the method of teaching the ancient languages was exemplified by Fénelon, whose views were partially reflected by the Abbé Fleury, who also desired the simplification of grammar, the diminution of composition, and even the suppression of Latin verse. Of the ordinary teaching of Greek in his day, Fleury wittily observed that most boys “learned just enough of that language to have a pretext for saying for the rest of their lives that Greek was a subject easily forgotten.”

In the 18th century Rollin, in his Traité des études (1726), agreed with the Port-Royalists in demanding that Latin grammars should be written in French, that the rules should be simplified and explained by a sufficient Rollin. number of examples, and that a more important place should be assigned to translation than to composition. The supremacy of Latin was the subject of a long series of attacks in the same century. Even at the close of the previous century the brilliant achievements of French literature had prompted La Bruyère