Zerwick in Latin

From: Edward Hobbs (EHOBBS@wellesley.edu)
Date: Sun Apr 20 1997 - 13:20:52 EDT

Jonathan Robie raised the question about Zerwick's writing in Latin. In
answer to his question as to whether has his work in Latin, the answer is,
Yes, I do--his grammar (_Graecitas Biblica_) and his _Analysis Philologica
Novi Testamenti Graeci_.

Carl Conrad gave an excellent reply to the question "WHY?" May I add the
one crucial, immediate reason he wrote in Latin: He taught in Latin; his
classes were in Latin; students wrote their exams in Latin.

And in this country, the seminaries of many orders were conducted in Latin
until the later sixties (after Vatican II urged the vernacular). When I
first guest-lectured at the Jesuit seminary in Los Gatos (called "Alma
College" in those days, before moving to Berkeley and becoming the "Jesuit
School of Theology in Berkeley"), I had to lecture in Latin; then, Thanks
be to God, a dispensation allowed the students to question me IN ENGLISH!
And I was permitted to answer IN ENGLISH! But until just before they moved
to Berkeley, classes were held in Latin. In Rome, this was true in spades,
at both the Biblicum and the Gregorian.

And lest we forget--Vatican II was conducted in Latin (though they also had
simultaneous translation into vernaculars via little earphones, UN-style).

The present ignorance of, and hostility to, Latin should not blind us to
the fact that not too long ago, it was very much the language known by all
educated persons. To this day, one of the addresses at graduation
eremonies at Harvard is in Latin. Here at Wellesley, every semester the
students perform a play in classical Latin or in classical Greek, in
alternation. (I was once roped into playing a part in Aristophanes "Frogs,"
as was Sir Hugh Lloyd-Jones, Regius Professor of Greek at Oxford.)

And as I've mentioned before, my classes where the Greek New Testament
is studied are only for students who have had classical Greek at
least through Plato. The classical languages are not QUITE gone!

Edward Hobbs

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