David W. Dunlap is a Metro reporter and writes the Building Blocks column. He has worked at The Times for 40 years.

You are watching: Non scholae sed vitae discimus translation

It was the first of June, not April. And it wasn’t really a joke. But in 1962, the Gray Lady showed she could have a bit of fun, all the same.

On the editorial page that day, the newspaper called for the retention of Latin in the public school curriculum — in Latin.

“How Dead Is Latin?” the editorial asked.

“Latin is useful to everybody who wishes to read and write English,” The Times declared (in a free translation of the editorial). “Its words are in our daily talk. Its discipline is invaluable for those who wish to speak and write precisely and logically. Latin is not dead. It cannot be killed. It ought to be retained in our schools.”

Among the responses came a letter of support from four students of the Buxton School in Williamstown, Mass. They, too, wrote in Latin.



These days, Buxton students can choose from French, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. Latin is not an option.

See more: The Witch Of Blackbird Pond Movie Watch Online, The Witch Of Blackbird Pond

But there does exist a specialized public high school in New York, Brooklyn Latin, that “offers a classical liberal arts curriculum with an emphasis on the classics and Latin language instruction.”

Tempora Novi Eboraci said it best 53 years ago as it answered its own question: “Non mortua est.”

What's Next


Times Insider takes readers behind the scenes of The New York Times newsroom to show how its journalists around the globe work and how decisions are made. Read more »

Story Behind the Story Joining Obama on Cell Block B

No More Sea Blindness: Covering Stowaways on a Lawless Ocean
Looking Back 1943 | In Tehran, The Times’s International Edition Is Born
Story Behind the Story Military Exercises and Paranoia in West Texas: A Reporter’s Notebook
Times Editorial Page Editor Andrew Rosenthal on Trump Campaign

Carnival sideshow, yes. But also “dangerous and irresponsible.”Read more…

From Gaza to East Harlem: Reporter’s Notebook

Reporter Nicholas Casey writes about how surprisingly well he blended in with the subjects of his recent piece about a block in East Harlem.Read more…

First Glimpses 1961: Bob Dylan Takes the Stage

Mark Bulik takes a look at the first time that Bob Dylan was mentioned in The Times in a profile written by Robert Shelton.Read more…

Inside Amazon: Reporter’s Notebook

The reporters Jodi Kantor and David Streitfeld provided insight into their reporting on Amazon and its fast-paced, sometimes punishing, culture.Read more…

An Outpouring of Reader Reflection After the Death of Oliver Sacks

When Oliver Sacks, the neurologist and author, died of a cancer, Times readers took to the online comments section of his obituary to share what he meant to them.Read more…