The Practical Benefits of Studying Latin
by Richard A. LaFleur

One of the most PRACTICAL benefits of studying Latin for high-schoolers is boosting verbal skills and scores on tests like the SAT; students with two or more years of Latin typically score 140-160 points higher on the SAT than their Latin-less peers. Numerous studies have demonstrated a significant positive correlation between studying Latin and improved scores on a variety of tests and even with college GPA and performance in college English classes. Of course, even more important is the broadened cultural perspective that comes with studying Greco-Roman civilization, a major component of the high-school Latin curriculum. The Roman world exerted enormous influences on our own culture, so that to be ignorant of Roman civilization is to be ignorant of our own roots. An important consideration too for our own multicultural society is the fact that the Greco-Roman world was what I like to call the "archetypal multiculture." The Roman empire at its greatest extent included all the peoples living around the Mediterranean Sea and the widely disparate cultures of not only Europe but also Asia, the Near East, and North Africa. Rome was thus a cultural melting pot and the lessons we can learn from the world of Rome are invaluable to all of us in America today.

Richard A. LaFleur, Franklin Professor of Classics
and Coordinator, UGA Introductory Latin Program
Department of Classics, Park Hall, University of Georgia
Athens GA 30602-6203 706-542-9263 fax 706-542-8503 CARPE LATINAM!