Episode Information

CMS: Reviving the Classics
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In this episode:

Plato. Homer. Thucydides. We know the names. But are we losing the stories?


Episode Audio

49:30 minutes (23.76 MB)
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He's a classics professor with an XBox -- and he doesn't play by the rules.

Roger Travis teaches the ancient materials using the newest media. He's turned the classical world of the Greeks and Romans into online games. Hey, if you eat that bird you get five more spears!

Also, he believes that Johnny Cochrane could have gotten Oedipus a free pass on everything -- If the gods professed, it's not incest!

Have we finally found a guest with crazier ideas than mine and deeper geek tendencies than producer Patrick Skahill's?  And where does Wolfus Chionus fit in?

Later in the show we'll broaden the discussion to the usefulness of teaching and learning the classics. I took Latin for six years and you can see how well prepared I am. People ask me all the time: Have you translated Sallust?

On Let Us Correct You, the Heisenberg Effect doesn't mean what you think it means, and know, you didn't change the show by listening to it.

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Facebook Comment from Dan

I just read Oedipus Rex for the 3rd time in the past week. With all the notes and commentaries. Appreciated it a little more each time through. Would have studying the classics in college have made a difference? Changed my reading habits?

Facebook Comment from Elizabeth

I deeply regret not taking Latin in high school.

Facebook Comment from Laura

Sorry I didn't catch the show .... from my experience in some local school systems, students who don't study Latin also cannot diagram sentences ... that is a pity.

Facebook Comment from Judith

Just mid-show commentary here - great show! Smart, interesting, funny, good callers who seem pulled in by the topic. Whatever stride you were hitting back in the day, you seem to be hitting it again!

Facebook Comment from Jim

Four years of Latin has made it much easier to understand the English language, to puzzle out unfamiliar words, and to understand signs and menus in foreign countries.

Facebook Comment from Gloria

If as a classic you're referring to The Odyssey, I loved teaching it. I would introduce it to my freshmen as a story of murder, violence, drugs, monsters, sex, the supernatural, and ultimately our most important journey. Got them every time! lol I was able to make relevant connections easily to contemporary events and modern life. Timeless.

Facebook Comment from Marianne

My daughter went to an elementary magnet school where they spoke Japanese every day. When she hit middle school it was Japanese & French . High School - Latin right through to AP courses. She wanted to take ancient Greek but "no child left behind" required that she had to take a "technology" course before graduating. So ancient Greek got left behind. Ancient language infusion allows for a broader cultural infusion. And therein lies the true value of it.

Facebook Comment from Abby

Ever heard of CT State Latin Day? 2000 middle and high school students, dressed in togas (it's actually REQUIRED to wear one), participating in chariot races, catapult contests, etc. Happens some time in May each year.

Facebook Comment from Khrystyne

I know my four years of HS Latin helped me to make an 800 on the verbal portion of the SAT. Being from Texas, my mom wanted me to take Spanish, thinking it would be more useful to me in the longrun. But I fought with her and I had my way!