n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - The Classics in South African society - past, present and future : chairman's address

Volume 40, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1141
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It seems appropriate, at a time of fundamental change in South Africa, to look at the place of the Classics in this society. Focussing on a representative figure from the past, the paper reviews the life and work of the well-known South African Classicist, T.J. Haarhoff. It is suggested that his work (spanning four decades, c. 1920-1960) can serve as an inspiration and a warning to Classics in South Africa. Haarhoff was ahead of his time in insisting on a broad interdisciplinary approach to Classics; but there is in his work a contradiction between the broad humanism he advocates and an undercurrent of racism to be found in both his political and classical writings. The final section of the paper argues that in future efforts will have to be made to bring more Black students into Classics, and that the emphasis in the teaching of the subject will have to fall more on material ill translation than on texts in the original Greek or Latin.

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