Is Br. John’s Latin Class Actually a Strategy to Restore the Roman Republic?

Is+Br.+John%27s+Latin+Class+Actually+a+Strategy+to+Restore+the+Roman+Republic%3F

By Samuel Matt, Assistant Reporter

A theory has arisen among the likes of me and my fellow Latin II students. That is: Brother John’s Latin class is not for the purpose of teaching unassuming students the art of Latin (the easiest language, according to himself) so they can usefully employ their knowledge in college and beyond. His final objective, we speculate, is that when we are seniors and graduate, we will not go peacefully off to college and live “normal” lives, but instead we will assume the role of soldiers and fight for the glorious Emperor John in a brave revolt to destroy the corrupt culture of 2021. We will restore the shining model of what all societies should work towards that was (and that will rise again in two years) the Roman Republic.

Now, to the commoner, this may seem outrageous. But we stalwart Latin students are in the know. We have compiled significant evidence that Br. John is indeed the leader or at least the theorist behind the valiant motion to restore the most illuminated culture in human history. I have interviewed two worthy Latin students so that I can share outside insight on the matter. I have also asked the question “Is Latin dead?” to these same two Latin students, as well as to three Spanish-taking plebeians, to see how their answers differ. This will hypothetically contribute to the evidence that us Latin students have been hardened by the intense training we have undergone in preparation to avenge the evils of the world today and restore the Roman Empire. Obviously, this simple question will determine whether Brother John has been preparing us well for the revolt. A “Yes” answer from the Latin students would, of course, lead to the only logical conclusion: that a revolution is in the making. Furthermore, a “No” answer from the Spanish students, which I am expecting, would illustrate this point: that Latin students are more educated on the widely accepted concept that the language is indeed not dead; and therefore fuels our desire even more to restore the culture of an illustrious time.

Kyle Quartuccio:

Samuel Matt: Could you give any prospective evidence as to why Brother John might be plotting to restore the customs and way of life of the Roman Republic?  

Kyle Quartuccio: In many ways, I have never been against the idea of the restoration of Rome. As someone that loves history, it would be amazing to see an empire of old come back for a second time. But part of me thinks that this is for something else, it’s a struggle against the new world. In all its misery, its sorrow, all the bad and evil in the world, when we look to the past, we can see fascinating civilization of honor, glory, and prestige rivalled by no other. When we see all the evil in the world, and we can look to the past for a good example of a totally wonderful society, who wouldn’t want to restore the glory of Rome?

SM: Are you enjoying Latin class this year? Why or why not?  

KQ: I find I am enjoying Latin more this year than last year, maybe Covid-19 made it easier to do well on quizzes and tests, but I think I have found that I appreciate the class and the language more, and putting aside some of its more unique sides, it honestly is not as bad as some make it out to be.

SM: Are you studying for Latin class? Why or why not?  

KQ: Like most things about me, it’s unorthodox, but I see no problem in studying the time before class, and even the class before class. I have a free period and 10 minutes before class so it’s not like I am in any rush.

SM: Wow, exposed. You know Br. John expects us to study at home, thinking our words out as we write them. Palpable behavior.

KQ: Uh…H’rm. Right on!

SM: Yes, I thought so. On to the next question, shall we!

SM: Do you think Brother John has the characteristics of one who would lead a revolt against the status quo of today, with the objective of reverting, or in more enlightened terms, ascending, to what he would likely call the pinnacle of culture, the Ancient Roman Republic?  

KQ: I believe Brother John is more of the theorist behind the movement, I do not think he has any personal ambitions in leading Rome (although I think he would certainly be a good leader). As a Brother, he is selfless and serving no matter the struggle, as a Roman, he is willing to lead the charge for the greater good.

SM: Based on Brother John’s actions and words, what era in Roman history do you think he would most likely be the keenest on modeling? 

KQ: Part of me thinks he would be in Caesar’s time, with the military conquests going far and wide, and knowing his seemingly secretive passion of sailing (see John the Sailor), I would not doubt he seeks to restore the pride of Caesar’s Rome using his glorious fleet (besides, how else are we supposed to get to Rome?).

SM: Is Latin a dead language? Explain. (Hint: NO.)

KQ: To be serious, Latin is far from dead in my opinion. Even though Rome isn’t around, the old religious and political leaders do not learn its language, and no one is trying to be a “Third Rome” (except the class in Room 109 in Xavier High School), Latin is still as alive as ever. Its descendants can be seen in the Romance languages of France, Spain, Italy, and others. Its linguistic influence stretches as far as the Germans and Slavs that even the Romans never got to. This alone should show that Latin is still here and will always be here. Even if it isn’t, even if no one cares for Latin, I don’t think anyone in the Latin class at Xavier has any regrets taking this class. Even if the language isn’t useful for me personally, some of my closest friends and best moments have come from my amici in the Latin class, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

Aw, thanks Kyle. We all know you’re talking about me in that last line. Also, I agree that no one has any regrets about taking Latin. It is an honorable and glorious language that one should take great pride in learning.

As stated above, I asked the same questions to another esteemed Latin scholar, Nicholas Miano.

Nicholas Miano: 

Samuel Matt: Could you give any prospective evidence as to why Brother John might be plotting to restore the customs and way of life of the Roman Republic?

Nicholas Miano: Well first of all we are learning the language of the Roman Republic, so I believe that plays apart in the restoration of the Republic. We have culture sheets that teach us the daily life of a Roman citizen. The more knowledge collected from these culture sheets can make some of us want to repeat the Roman ways.

SM: Are you enjoying Latin class this year? Why or why not? 

NM: I am enjoying Latin this year. Granted, it is challenging at times, but the knowledge is worth it. I enjoy Latin because the more I understand Latin, the more I can understand many European languages, such as Italian, Spanish, etc. Also, Lain gives me a good foundation if I want to study Italian in the future at some point.

SM: Are you studying for Latin class? Why or why not?  

NM: I am studying for Latin, usually around the night time. I am studying so I can not only know the words, but think them out and understand why they are they way they are.

SM: Great job, Nicholas; Br. John would be proud. Kyle, take notes. 

SM: Do you think Brother John has the characteristics of one who would lead a revolt against the status quo of today, with the objective of reverting, or in more enlightened terms, ascending, to what he would likely call the pinnacle of culture, the Ancient Roman Republic?  

NM: I don’t believe that he has what it takes to lead a revolt against the status quo of today, but I believe he feeds us knowledge so that one day we could lead a revolt against the status quo and reestablish certain aspects of the Roman Republic.

SM: Based on Brother John’s actions and words, what era in Roman history do you think he would most likely be the keenest on modeling? 

NM: This one is a hard one. Brother John loves talking about stories from Julius Caesar’s life. He especially loves when Caesar crosses the Rubicon and starts the civil war with Pompey.

SM: Is Latin a dead language? Explain. (Hint: NO.)

NM: You always hear people say, “why do you take Latin? It is a dead language.” My response is, “what alphabet do those words you just said come from?”. Yes, they come from the Latin (Etruscan) alphabet. Latin is still alive today in some different areas. First, it evolved into modern western European languages. You can also find Latin in the medical and political fields. Since the modern medical field started in the Roman Empire, Latin words are still used today for names of diseases and different studies. For the political aspects, many aspects of the United States’ government were borrowed from the Roman one (so one could argue that Rome is indirectly alive today through America). This resulted in Latin words/phrases, like quid pro quo, still being used to this day. If you were to go down to D.C. and visit the capital buildings, you will see that most of them have Latin phrases inscribed in the stone. Even the government buildings are model after the ones in Rome. So yes, Latin is more alive today than we believe.

The responses by Owen Lelko, Joshua Davey, and Wyatt Pestka to the last question “Is Latin a dead language? Explain” are listed below.

Owen Lelko (in a condescending tone): “Yes. No one speaks it anymore. It’s dead.”

Joshua Davey: “Yes because no country speaks it anymore as a national language.”

Wyatt Pestka: “Who speaks it? BOOM It is dead.”

My hypothesis stated in the second opening paragraph has been confirmed! As you can see, the Latin students are obviously much more educated and therefore inured to the idea that Latin is indeed the superior language and culture. Conversely, the non-Latin plebeians responded obtusely with the universal idea that Latin is dead, without giving any evidence to back up their statements, other than that no country speaks it anymore as a national language. This, of course, is preposterous. With the evidence provided by my two Latin chums, it can be readily seen that Brother John is priming himself–and his Latin II class–for a heroic revolt that will bring about the customs, traditions, widespread culture, and the technological and architectural glory of the fallen Roman Empire.

What era of the republic/empire will Brother John seek to model? Well, as stated by Mr. Quartuccio and Mr. Miano, Br. John seems to have a special love for Julius Caesar’s time, but upon speaking to him, he says that his favorite emperor was Hadrian. Of course, the emperor is only one piece of the sprawling puzzle that was Ancient Rome. I and my classmates think that he might not be striving to resurrect on specific time in the history of Rome. He most likely will take all the best parts from Ancient Roman society and government and meld them into a superior and shining society. Julius Caesar, who greatly helped the transition from the struggling republic to a burgeoning empire, and Hadrian, who was “an outstanding administrator” (In Br. John’s words) and made sure his people and soldiers had rights, are certainly two emperors whom we surmise Br. John takes inspiration from. Of course, there are other emperors whom Br. John may look up to. Marcus Aurelius was an amazing stoic philosopher, and the empire flourished under his reign. Trajan, another famous emperor, was respected by both the Senate and the people, the latter for whom he established a welfare program.

But let us not be too nitpicking about this. The bottom line is that, without question, the fall of the Roman Empire will be gloriously reversed! Brother John has invigorated his long-stagnant feelings about the glory of Ancient Rome, and a spirit of restoration and confidence has taken presence in his soul. We, the exemplary Latin scholars, have been fully receptive of these ambitions of our teacher/leader, and are fired up inside when we have in animo (in mind) how resplendent the future Neo-Roman Empire will be. What has been destroyed will be restored in greater beauty. Odoacer*, your infamous actions will be avenged!

 

 

 

 

 

*Footnote: Odoacer was the Germanic king who deposed Romulus Augustulus in 476 A.D., thereby bringing about the end of the Roman Empire as we knew it.