Alec studied a year of Latin at Campion College and sees it as an important part of his ongoing education.
“I think it was in 1971 that Oxford (University) dropped Latin as a prerequisite,” he said.
“Even right up into the 20th century all the major intellectual work and general written work was done in Latin or perhaps Greek depending on the period.
“It’s a language wherein so much of Western knowledge is contained and so often we are only exposed to translations of it because of our inability to read it properly.
“My motivation is to crack into the deposited knowledge on its own level.”
Alec hopes to use the knowledge gained from the immersion in his future career.
“In doing it I have teaching in mind as a potential career path,” he said.
“But it’s not something I’m doing so much for utilitarian purposes, but rather a broader desire to know more.”
He also hopes to be exposed to the beauty of the Catholic traditions and history of Rome.
“It’s sort of between the Vatican and Fumicino (airport), so Google maps tells me. It’s a bit rural, it’s part of their ideal for the classical man that he’s a little agrarian as well as intellectual,” he said.
Alec admits his disappointment when people suggest Latin is a dead language.
“To say Latin is a dead language is to labour under false pretences,” he said.
“Modern Latin as it stands today is hardly comparable to 16th, 17th, 18th Century Latin.
“Just as the way English has evolved, so has Latin.
“It’s certainly not a dead language, there’s plenty of use for it. It’s continuing to evolve.”
Alec will return to Brisbane in June with a vocabulary that’s been put to the test in several languages.
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