War of Latin words

22nd December 2006 at 00:00
A row has erupted in the world of Latin teaching after a new book branded one of the leading courses in the subject as "misguided" and "evil".

Will Griffiths, director of the Cambridge School Classics Project, is furious after journalist Harry Mount accused the Cambridge Latin Course - used by 80 per cent of pupils learning the language - of dumbing down essential parts of grammar. In his recent book, Amo, Amas, Amat ... And All That: How to Become a Latin Lover, Mr Mount calls the course "the evil Latin-for-idiots school textbook".

The Oxford classics graduate also suggests Mr Griffiths is "stupid" and "not fit to be employed" as the head of a body interested in Latin teaching.

Mr Griffiths said: "Mount says there is not enough grammar in the course, but our own research shows it contains more explicit teaching, practice and consolidation of more linguistic features than any other UK Latin course."

Mr Mount refused to comment.

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