What We Really Need Is a 490 B.C. Project

Parthenon at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece (Yiorgos Karahalis/Reuters)
The state of teaching of the classical world in American education is sadly wanting.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE B efore 1776 A.D., before 1619, before 1492, before A.D., there was 490 B.C. and the Battle of Marathon, which freed Athens to found our civilization. Obviously, this date and occasion deserve study and remembrance. Indeed, Thomas Jefferson argued in his Notes on the State of Virginia (1785) that the main goal of education in a democracy is to enable the people to defend their liberty, and that Greek, Roman, and English history is the subject that best equips citizens to do so. Edith Hall, Gaisford lecturer at Oxford University, has added that such a defense of liberty requires “utopian thinking,

Morgan E. Hunter is a postdoctoral fellow at the Independent Institute. She was a visiting scholar in the Stanford University Classics Department for the 2019-20 academic year. She is the co-author of the Independent Institute Policy Report—"Is It Time for a '490 B.C. Project'?"

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