I studied Greek and Roman language, literature and history at university. There I learned to think of literature as embracing all prose and verse writing, including history, science, mathematics and oratory, rather than just imaginative and expressive writing. The same degree involved also ancient and modern philosophy, which I studied for my masters degree. I am not quite fluent in French and speak and read modern Greek, with a smattering of Italian. I was a school teacher, then one of Her Majesty's inspectors of schools (HMI). I am the old-fashioned sort of classicist that at school had to translate Macaulay into Greek prose and Wilfred Owen's Anthem for Doomed Youth into Latin verse, something which made me struggle with how to identify the essence of one universe of discourse and re-express it in another, separated by 2,000 years. Fascination with what things mean has stayed with me ever since.
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