By Alex Aliferis
The number of documented signers of the American Declaration of Independence with a Classical education is astonishing.
A book, “Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence,” documents their education. It is a reprint of the 1848 book by B.J. Losring.
I counted 13 out of 56 signers, who had documented knowledge of their education. In every case, it mentions Classical Education and the knowledge of the Greek and Latin languages. The book does not say Ancient or Modern Greek. This does not mean the other signers had no classical education. They knew the Classics and the Bible, but many did not go deep into the languages.
The Bible and Christianity were huge among all the US signers. It was central to the founding of the USA. There is no mention of Socialism, Atheism, etc., among the early founders. Today’s Marxists in the universities try to rewrite history by talking about Secularism.
The knowledge of Greek and Latin with a classical education was the norm in the 1700s. They did not distinguish between Ancient and Modern Greek back then. It is one language called Greek.
William Ellery of Rhode Island was born in 1727 in Newport. He learned the Greek and Latin language and went to Harvard University.
Samuel Huntington of Connecticut was born in 1732. He held knowledge of Greek and Latin.
Benjamin Rush of Pennsylvania had a Classical education.
Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania spoke Latin, French, Spanish, and Italian. He was in the Junto Literary Club.
James Smith of Pennsylvania was born in 1720 in Ireland. He held knowledge of Greek and Latin.
George Ross of Pennsylvania was born in 1730. He was proficient in Greek and Latin.
George Read of Delaware was born in 1734 in Cecil County, Maryland. He learned the Greek and Latin languages.
George Wythe of Virginia held knowledge of Latin. He studied the Classics.
Thomas Jefferson of Virginia was a student of the Classics. He had contact with Greek Revolution leaders of 1821.
Benjamin Harrison of Virginia had a classical education. His son, William Henry Harrison, became a President in the early 1800s.
Thomas Nelson of Virginia was born in Yorktown, VA, in 1738. He went to a school near London where classical education was pre-eminent.
Edward Rutledge of South Carolina had a Classical Education.
Thomas Heyward, Jr of South Carolina, knew Latin and was into Roman historians/Poets.
This is an example of how America’s early education was Classical Education, not the Cultural Marxist government-controlled system in today’s public schools and universities.
The Classical Education with active learning in the Greek and Latin languages was typical in the USA, Europe in the 1600s, 1700s, 1800s, and early part of 1900s.
Why did the Marxists take over the US education system over 100 years ago? By 1950, the requirement to know Greek and Latin languages was abolished to get into the universities. As a result, the Marxist government system eliminated Greek and Latin from all high schools receiving funding after 1950s.
The answer is that Classical Christian education teaches students to think.
The Classics Departments in all universities had deep cuts or were eliminated. I was fortunate to take Ancient Greek language at the University of California-Davis, along with a course of Greek and Latin roots in English. It helped me to read and write in Greek.
Victor Hanson Davis wrote a great book called “Who Killed Homer” in the late 1990s. He explained how and why Marxists eliminated the Classical Education system in the USA and eventually in the rest of the Western world (Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, USA).
It is a reminder of a strong call for a return of Classical Christian Education with active education in the Greek and Latin languages to Greeks and non-Greeks. The world would be better if kids learned Aristotle, Solon, Socrates, Plato, the Bible, and Christian thinkers instead of being brainwashed in Marxism to obey the New World Order.
It is time for a Greek Classical Revival!
Alex Aliferis has worked in Washington D.C. on issues linked to Greece, and Cyprus.
For More Information:
“Who Killed Homer?” by Victor Hanson Davis