Monday, December 03, 2007

urbs aeterna

Tack vare ett tips från en läsare kan jag ge er detta viktiga inlägg i den amerikanska presidantvalsdebatten. Prestigefyllda NYTimes skriver nämligen på ledarplats:

None of the leading presidential candidates majored in Latin. Hillary Clinton studied political science at Wellesley, as did Barack Obama at Columbia. Rudy Giuliani had a minor brush with the language during four years of theology at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in Brooklyn when he toyed with becoming a priest. But then he went on to major in guess what? Political science.

Of the 7,000 books originally in Thomas Jefferson’s library, only a couple of dozen are still at Monticello. The rest were sold off by his descendants, and eventually bought back by the Library of Congress. The best-thumbed of those remaining — on a glassed-in shelf in Jefferson’s study — is a copy of Virgil’s “Aeneid.”

This pattern of Latin learning continued for more than 150 years. Of the 40 presidents since Jefferson, 31 have studied Latin, many at a high level. James Polk graduated from the University of North Carolina, in 1818, with top honors in math and classics. James Garfield taught Greek and Latin from 1856 to 1857 at what is now Hiram College in Ohio. Teddy Roosevelt studied classics at Harvard.

John F. Kennedy had Latin instruction at not one, but three prep schools. Richard Nixon showed a great aptitude for the language, coming second in the subject at Whittier High School in California in 1930. And George H. W. Bush, a Latin student at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., was a member of the fraternity Auctoritas, Unitas, Veritas (Authority, Unity, Truth).

A particular favorite for Bill Clinton during his four years of Latin at Hot Springs High School in Arkansas was Caesar’s “Gallic War.”

Following in his father’s footsteps, George W. Bush studied Latin at Phillips Academy (the school’s mottoes: “Non Sibi” or not for self, and “Finis Origine Pendet,” the end depends on the beginning)."

Texten finns naturligtvis även på latin.

(Det där med Nixon kinda blows my mind.) Kan inte påstå att detta på något vis påverkat mig, själv lutar jag åt Obama i dagläget, även om Hillary kan tänkas vara ett alternativ då hon är den enda av kandidaterna som korreponderat med en Mitford-syster. (vide Decca:The letters of Jessica Mitford)

1 comment:

Hans said...

Thomas Jeffersons enorma bibliotek kan man se här:
Ett antal entusiaster har lagt upp biblioteket i LibaryThing.