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Czy kultura antyczna jest nam przydatna? - Can the Knowledge of Ancient Culture Be of Any Use to Us?

"How can they call you a dead language, If you have survived and you have not withered".
This is what Julian Tuwim said about the Latin language. In this way he pointed out that ancient culture is timeless. Do we need to know it? Surely.

First and foremost I would like to say that ancient culture is the basis for subsequent cultures. Entire Mediterranean culture was founded on ancient culture. Ancient culture is a great source of knowledge, it is the literature of authors such as Sophocles, Safo, or Homer, the philosophy of Aristotle, Socrates, Platon and Horace, and finally it is art. Nowadays ancient maxims still hold true. One often says 'carpe diem', that is, seize the day, enjoy every moment of your life. Horace said that he would never die - 'non omnis moriar'. All the problems which were presented in the literature of antiquity have always been relevant to humanity together with mythological symbols which are still understandable to everyone. No one would like to experience the torments of Tantalus; everyone has his Achilles' heel.

The Latin language - a tool for communication of ancient Romans is still alive. 'Nuntil Latini' proves it. It is a news programme broadcast by the Finnish radio from Helsinki. It is a real platform for antiquity in the modern world.

Besides, the knowledge of Latin can be of great help when learning foreign languages, especially Romance languages which grew out of this language. Mythology is a great source of knowledge about the beliefs of Greeks, about their daily life, their customs, traditions and interpersonal relations. It will always remain in our minds as one of the most beautiful creations of the imagination as well as a collection of timeless important topics and symbols without which Greek or Roman literature, painting or sculpture would not exist.

In conclusion I would like to say that thanks to ancient culture one can understand the world which surrounds us better. The masters of antiquity, philosophers, poets asked themselves questions about the soul of the country and the role of man. The great and limitless imagination of Greeks and Romans, who lived many centuries ago, has inspired people of all epochs.

[Arkadiusz Szymczak]



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