"Græcum est; non legitur!" This Latin expression, which means "It is Greek, [therefore] it can't be read," was scrawled by monk copyists in the margins of ancient works as knowledge of Greek dwindled among those who were copying ancient manuscripts in monastic libraries during the Middle Ages. The expression later surfaced in Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar when Servilius Casca, trying to understand Cicero's speech in Greek while crowning Caesar, replies to his friend and fellow conspirator Cassius: "It was Greek to me." Apparently Greek is a tough language to learn.
So, perhaps for that very reason, I've decided to finally learn Greek - ancient Greek, to be specific. The real reasons are many and, I would think, are obvious: to be able to read various ancient texts in their original language - the New Testament being principal among them, but also Plato, Aristotle, Homer, Thucydides, Sophocles, and Aeschylus to name a few, as well as to engage my mind in the complex thought processes that the language develops in the learner. The latter point is well-stated in the Oxford University Press' Classics: A Very Short Introduction:
"The tooling of the Greek language for analytic thought and theorizing made further advances in the fourth century. Philosophers deployed and developed the language in their assault on the whole range of philosophical questions, about the nature of reality, truth, society, psychology, mortality, rhetoric, ethics, and (not least) politics. Greek, and specifically Greek philosophic discourse, was quite simply the most highly developed critical apparatus available through the duration of the ancient world. It was respected as superior even by the Romans who reduced the Greek world to the rank of provinces in their World Empire, and has continued to inspire intellectual work to the present day."
Fortunately there are many superb online resources for learning ancient Greek. Two of the best, in my opinion, are:
I'll keep you posted on my progress, and in the meantime, please be on me about keeping with it!