Some critics have said that the value of Roman literature is that it has been the vehicle which conveyed Greek ideas to the world. The Romans took their art and, as far as their civilization rests on these, their civilization from Greece. Why, then, do we study Latin?
Our mastery of character and of national life, of family, and of the home is far higher and nobler than theirs; our ancestors devised for the state an indubitably better system of laws and institutions. Or again, take the art of war and think what Rome has achieved in individual heroism and even more in collective discipline. In these achievements, which depend not on literary gifts but on character, neither Greece nor any other people can be compared to us. Where will you find a sense of dignity, a resolution of purpose, a loftiness of spirit, a feeling of truth and honor which can be matched with old Rome?
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