Top 100 Reasons to Take Introductory Greek or Latin at Wesleyan
(1997; some later adjustments):

100) Gen-ed. credit for Humanities/Arts.
99) 1 1/2 times the credit for only 50% more work.
98) Individual attention from professor & Teaching Apprentice.
97) It’s not ampersand: 102 recommended, not required.
96) Competing in decathlon or heptathlon, avoid embarrassment of not knowing how many events left.
95) Greek alphabet is no big deal; the few letters are different from English are easy to learn.
94) Learn why Plato says “all men are pregnant, Socrates.”
93) Be ready if starship tachyon beams create temporal anomaly reversing flow of time stream.
92) Teaching Apprentices available one night a week for individual help.
91) Use understanding of Latin in uncle's will to gain advantage over idiot cousins.
90) Greek Tragedy much better in original.
89) None of those pesky silent letters.
88) Become a better writer.
87) Ability to read names on vases is big advantage in hooking up in museums.
86) By learning about Greek & Roman culture, understand more of the literature & film produced by people steeped in the Classics.
85) Great murals in Classical Studies Department.
84) Learn about aspects of “recent” literary theory anticipated by Greeks & Romans.
83) Read New Testament in early, extremely influential forms (Greek of New Testament is easy--you can impress Cameron after only a year; Latin also fairly simple).
82) Democracy.
81) Go on summer archeological dig (Greek/Latin not required but can't hurt).
80) Medea: “I would rather stand in battle three times than bear one child.”
79) Become less ignorant: stop thinking the novel was invented the day before yesterday.
78) Avoid the tragedy of discovering Classical Studies only late in Wes. career.
77) Homer: worth learning Greek for by himself.
76) Great background for learning Romance Languages derived from Latin.
75) Small classes.
74) Pizza Lunches.
73) Regular assignments/quizzes form nice contrast to your other courses.
72) Tastes great, less full: advanced courses are like great English or History courses, but easier to get into.
71) We're a language, and in the Science Building, but there are no labs.
70) Win bar bets by translating Latin on dollar bill.
69) Catullus: use Latin obscenities to diss without danger.
68) Discover lost consonants.
67) Famous speakers/readers of Greek: Cleopatra, Nietzsche, Marx, Ted Turner, Jerry Brown, Ron Cameron, Jean-Luc Picard (reads Homeric Hymns in “Darmok” episode where alien captain speaks only in myth).
66) Help make sure the future does not forget the past.
65) Recent Colorado court cases debate Greek views of gender & sexuality.
64) The Greeks & Romans were just like us/The Greeks & Romans were nothing at all like us.
63) By studying an “inflected” language, in which each syllable is important, become better, more observant reader of all texts and documents.
62) Be smarter than guy who told Sen. Paul Simon, “If English was good enough for Jesus Christ it's good enough for me.”
61) Tale of two brothers: Billy Bulger took Greek, became President of Mass. State Senate and then U.of Mass., “Whitey” Bulger didn’t, became mobster now indicted and on the lam.
60) By studying a language so different from English, reapproach English with greater appreciation of nuances of diction, style, and sentence structure.
59) Ours is not like any high school Latin class.
58) Learn what famous Latin writers are not DWEM's but Africans.
57) Understand doorway to Eclectic.
56) Familiarity with Greek letters give you tiny advantage in math class.
55) Job opportunities as interpreters for Dan Quayle on trips to Latin America.
54) Learn why Shakespeare and contemporaries liked Senecan drama.
53) Newish chairs in 339 SC quite comfortable.
52) Second-year Latin classes read Catullus and Cicero in the Fall, and then Ovid in the Spring.
51) Most Greek/Latin texts are now on CD-ROM, and many are on the web, some with extensive notes.
50) Law schools love us.
49) Medical schools do not dislike us.
48) Understand names of plants, diseases, or features of lunar landscape, or name new ones after yourself.
47) Without a need for language lab, move quickly to study of interesting texts in the original.
46) Do the Vulcan mind-meld on odd, interesting, influential people who've been dead 2000 years.
45) In Latin 201, learn Cicero's theory that young people who get in trouble shouldn't be blamed for it.
44) Help sibling prepare for SAT's.
43) Plato & Aristotle!
42) Learn from Ovid how to make friends in public places.
41) From John Sayles’ “Brother From Another Planet”: “Let Vergil be your guide” (not to mention Dante).
40) Robert Kennedy quotes “favorite poet” Aeschylus from memory in famous speech after killing of Martin Luther King.
39) Sappho: “Some say a host of cavalry is the finest thing...: I say it is the one you love.”
38) While on Wesleyan faculty, mega-meta-historian Hayden White took Greek 101-102.
37) After you learn Greek/Latin roots of many English words, that sense of confusion and alienation you feel most of the time will be slightly reduced.
36) Third-year Greek/Latin = rotating series of courses on authors, periods, or genres, in a seminar setting.
35) Add classical allusions to that screenplay you're writing (brother of director of “Fatal Attraction” is a famous classicist).
34) Be in a class full of smart people who really want to be there.
33) Contemplate (as Hayden White does) the philosophical implications of the Greek middle voice.
32) Many fascinating texts deal with issues of power, gender, mortality, love, knowledge, madness, divinity, mortality, courage.
31) Your father had this great blue-haired Latin teacher and will get all wistful when he hears you're taking it now.
30) Your father never had Latin and will be intimidated by you and stop bothering you about your blue hair.
29) Invaluable tools for study of antiquity or middle ages, or work in history, religion, philosophy, linguistics, archaeology, Romance lang. & lit., art history, early music.
28) Learn how Catullus & Ovid colonized your subconscious by helping to predetermine your attitudes toward romantic love.
27) SC 334 is open 24 hours.
26) Appreciate the beauty of languages whose word-forms allow greater freedom of poetic word-order.
25) Become qualified to make up your own mind about “Black Athena.”
24) Having studied Greek & Latin participles, your writing will be free of those embarrassing dangling problems.
23) Bill and Ted had to speak to Socrates in sign language.
22) Third-semester Greek: selections from Sophocles, Homer and Herodotus!
21) Correct misguided high school ideas about “tragic flaw.”
20) Greek etymology: androgyny, basilica, Borg, diameter, gigantic, gubernatorial, gymnasium, deictic, agnostic, hedonism, thanatopsis, hippopotamus, catastrophe, crisis, kaleidoscope, cacophony, lithograph, macrobiotic, martyr, metaphor, Nike, necrophiliac, oncology, oneiromancy, Oreo, homogeneity, holocaust, pedagogy, rhythm, synonym, synchronic, tautological, hyperbole, phenomenon, psychiatric, pseudopod, character, chiasmus, chiropodist, Christ, Xerox.
19) Fourth-semester Greek: selections from Eurpides and Thucydides!.
18) Medieval Studies explicitly recommends Latin.
17) Seneca's “Phaedra” ends with that great dismemberment scene.
16) Those who cannot remember the past are doomed.
15) Win admiration in weight room by explaining terms “latissimus dorsi” and “erector spinae.”
14) Winkler: “Nabokov and Borges have nothing on Apuleius.”
13) “Perseus Project”: great multi-media database of Greek material & literary culture on CD-ROM and on www (where, by the way, there’s tons of great Classics stuff).
12) Most people find Ovid's “Metamorphoses” fun and funny, but also full of serious questions about power, gender, violence, the universe, and narrative.
11) Catullus: consider the social function of poetry of praise or blame.
10) Take Classical Civilization classes and feel like you have a tiny advantage (or talk your way into a full CCIV class).
9) The past is a foreign country, but you can bring your own water.
8) Learn why Classical Studies is on the third floor of the Science Building.
7) 2500 years ago Greeks theorized that matter was made up of atoms.
6) Sophocles’ Oedipus is complex.
5) Contemplate how sentences in any language create and then fulfill or frustrate expectations.
4) Go to Greece or Rome in junior year (you can't take Intro., so better start now).
3) Rhetoric: learn to make weaker argument the stronger (or spot someone doing it to you).
2) Necromancy, witchcraft and exorcism reportedly much more effective in Latin (the truth is out there).
1) Why go to Wesleyan, if not to take what you want?