As our students get to grips with digital technology, we also have the opportunity to connect with them and with our colleagues in the world. Our choice of Latin, over any other language, is significant. Of the European languages, classical Latin is the easiest to understand, and its grammar is still largely sane. Most of us who are members of the discipline commonly agree that classical languages are best learnt through the medium of vernaculars, and the strength of the Latin-vocabulary base in English is a self-evident fact of global communications. Almost all of the Latin syllabus is available on our Web sites -- indeed, all of it is already there. All of it can be used to teach Latin. Its fundamental propositions are strong and distinctive. They make for interconnecting course content that would otherwise be entirely disjoint. You can use your notes on a passage such as "Good morning." in Cicero or declaim the first verse of Catullus in Latin. You can use both of them in conjunction with a lecture on a topic in the same discipline which deals with the same Latin author. You can teach these topics in a complementary fashion.
Those key features make the ancient world accessible to less academic disciplines such as English and journalism. It is amazing how many journalists and students in these subject fields can learn the language of Cicero, Horace and Tacitus in minutes. Latin offers a powerful skeleton key to the Roman world. It gives us access to the ancient world that, in other ways, eludes us. The rise and fall of Rome makes for a story that is familiar but, in the words of David North, "almost impossible for anyone who does not speak Latin to understand." The traditional four books of the Republic are the earliest and most political account of the institution of the Roman state. A hundred or so years ago, these books were seen by many as "the classics," read for pleasure by a tiny coterie. Today, Latin textbooks regularly include them as a staple of the unit. Latin is now the language of school children. A university, such as our own, is a microcosm of the world it teaches. The city within which we teach is touched by empire (Ciskei, Czechoslovakia), King Arthur (Melbourne, Australia), the 11th century (St. d2c66b5586