WHAT WE COULD DO
Peleus the aged horseman sent me forth with you
on that day when he sent you from Phthia to Agamemnon
a mere child, who knew nothing yet of the joining of battle
nor of debate where men are made pre-eminent. Therefore
he sent me along with you to teach you of all these matters,
to make you a speaker of words and one who accomplished in action.
Therefore apart from you, dear child, I would not be willing
to be left behind….
(Phoenix to Achilles)
When our field is so rich and its message so timely, cannot the Greeks appear on television, reenter the primary grades, nudge out sociology, make self-esteem give way to mythology, La Raza studies to Latin, become, in other words, a part of contemporary American life? Would not the Greeks help to reform the academy, shame the hypocrites, and send the university hucksters scurrying? Cannot a new generation of Classicist rise up, not to train more Classicists, but to educate the public? Perhaps, but only if we change not merely the behavior and values of Classicists, but also the very manner in which they are trained and taught.