Studying Greek and Latin at Holy Cross is one way to challenge a centuries-long tradition that reserved the study of the ancient world for a privileged elite. The challenge goes beyond simply welcoming students however they identify their race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, religious or spiritual tradition, or socioeconomic background. As we work to see the multicultural world of the ancient Mediterranean through the original thoughts and language of Greek and Latin speakers, we reflect on and actively explore how this can help us recognize and respond to structures of power and privilege in our own lives.
This work is especially important today, when historically false images of the ancient world are being invoked to support particular political viewpoints. Studying Greek and Latin helps us see through erroneous assertions about the “whiteness” of the ancient Mediterranean, and reject claims that the Greco-Roman world is the special province of any ethnic or political group.