Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? He also shows how these languages have played a crucial role in the development of authentic Humanism, the foundation of the West's cultural order and America's understanding of itself as a union of citizens. Simmons's persuasive witness to the unique, now all-but-forgotten advantages of study in and of the classical languages constitutes a bracing reminder of the genuine aims of a truly liberal education.

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Jump to navigation. Were you classically educated? Me neither! I have so much to learn! And I have been doing it through reading about classical education. This book was handed out at my local Classical Conversations practicum. Was it distributed at your practicum, too? Have you started reading it? I will start by telling you two things: I am absolutely not qualified to write a meaningful book review and I really enjoyed and was challenged by this book!

So, in spite of not being qualified to write a meaningful book review, I want to share with you some of my thoughts. Without a doubt, Simmons makes the case for classical education and its relevance to this or any time period.

If you were considering classically educating your children without a strong emphasis on the languages, this might change your mind or, at the least, cause you to rethink your reasons. Here are some of my favorite thoughts from the book:. They were apprentices. They were to know, not to be known" The climb itself builds muscles, even if we don't reach the top. Out of this disposition of mind classical education arose" Hence the mind that has attentively canvassed this record is not only a disciplined mind but an experienced mind; a mind that instinctively views any contemporary phenomenon from the vantage-point of an immensely long perspective attained through this profound and weighty experience of the human spirit's operations" Albert Jay Nock on p.

Erasmus once wrote that there exist two kinds of knowledge: knowledge of 'words' and knowledge of 'truths. Classical education sought to provide a training in words so as to grant an entree to those truths. And the training began with Grammar, Usage, and Composition.

Notice we say 'training' here, not 'education. The educated mind must first know how to do, how to form and build, something.

Education is the result; training is the method" It stays with us" They didn't try to do too much; they tried to do the most important things. Those who ran them know that we educate ourselves with the tools imparted by good teachers.

All else was up to us. The old schoolmasters didn't profess to teach everything worth knowing. Indeed they professed the opposite. They shaped their curricula narrowly and wisely. Information alone is not knowledge, as they knew. Still less it is wisdom. Schools can accomplish much more when they recognize squarely how little they can do. Yet how much more can be done when our gaze remains steady, our head sober, our aims high. No results are guaranteed.

But the effort pays off. Formed minds and tempered souls are no small gifts for the world" Classical literature showed that the thirst for the New for the sake of New is often a mark of both personal and social immaturity. We are not to be, in one real sense, children of our time: we are to be children of all time, men for all seasons" Yet it doesn't disdain the stars. It bids us, as Pope once inscribed, 'to trace the Muses upward to their spring'" Okay, that looks like a lot of quotes; however, I am sharing far less than half of what I underlined while reading the book.

I did not agree with everything Simmons said and for our purposes, as believers, I wanted to take the goals of classical education a few steps beyond humanistic goals. Climbing Parnassus , as well as some previous readings, helped me to formulate my thoughts on why our family is classically educating our children.

In no certain order, our reasons are as follows:. That is to say nothing of specific goals on grammar and composition, fine arts and literature, and so on. Our overarching goal is to "know Him and make Him known" and I believe these expectations fit nicely into that larger goal as a subset. What about you? Why have you decided to classically educate your child ren? Beth Watson graduated from Cairn University formerly named Philadelphia Biblical University in with degrees in social work and Bible.

Beth worked in the social work field for about 5 years after graduation, all the while planning to stay home when she and her husband, Dave were blessed with children. Homeschooling, however, came as a complete surprise.

Beth and her husband were both privately educated at small, Christian schools and had every thought to pursue that education for their children. But, in , God called them to homeschool.

Friends and family were often surprised as well. A comment Beth hears often is "Oh, I could never do that! I'm not patient.

Beth began blogging in to chronicle her family's journey into homeschooling, specifically classical education with Classical Conversations. To know God and to make Him known. Here are some of my favorite thoughts from the book: "It may be telling that we do not find many instances in the ancient world of pupils set to writing their own poems: their task was not to express themselves, but to bow humbly at the feet of others.

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Climbing Parnassus: A New Apologia for Greek and Latin

Parnassus was considered by the ancients to be the dwelling place of the Greek god Apollo and the nine muses. They were the inspiration for almost all knowledge and expression: science, philosophy, art, music, etc. As he put it,. The hard, precipitous path of classical education ideally led not to knowledge alone, but to the cultivation of mind and spirit.


Climbing Parnassus : A New Apologia for Greek and Latin

Preface: What need for yet another apologia for classics? Introduction: S. What career-minded politician would dare to push such an unrewarding barrow? Some of his pronouncements come dangerously close to destroying his own arguments. The rigours of classical education conquering Latin and Greek are not for all, as S. However, he cannot have it both ways: well meant, but hardly well expressed, his words smack of a frightening anti-intellectualism surely not S. This sentiment provides more ammunition as if they need it!


Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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Book Review: Climbing Parnassus: A New Apologia for Greek and Latin

A percentage of the proceeds from your purchase of this book from Amazon. That is a program that strikes even the most stalwart critics of contemporary educational mediocrity as quixotic, and perhaps even undesirable. But in this concise and elegantly wrought brief, he argues that, whatever its immediate prospects, an education in the classical languages is of inestimable personal and cultural value. Simmons first sketches the development of educational practice in the schools of the classical and Renaissance eras. Simmons demonstrates the personally cultivating and intellectually liberating qualities that study of the Greek and Latin authors in their own languages has historically provided.

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