The death of the classics

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: (Published 12 October 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:1587
  1. Tony Smith

    The new film of Terence Rattigan's play The Browning Version will bring home to cinemagoers how recently study of the classics — ancient Greek and Roman authors — dominated education in British schools. When I was a schoolboy in the 1940s we were all taught Latin and the academic high flyers were put under pressure to join the classical stream. At Oxford and Cambridge study of the classics was the most prestigious choice, and classics dons justified their dominance by the argument that their disciplines taught an unrivalled intellectual rigour, fitting graduates to excel in any occupation. Those with first …

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