Books that changed the world – Bragg

The Times has a review of and an excerpt from 12 BOOKS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD by Melvyn Bragg
(Hodder, £20; 300pp).

All the books are by Englishmen or Scotsmen, and the first was written in Latin:

Bragg begins his narrative with a celebration of Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica. The case for its inclusion is indisputable. Newton’s great work has had a more profound effect upon the technological or scientific aspects of human life than any other. His theorems of celestial dynamics are still at work in the course of Nasa space exploration.

The Bible, in its Authorised Version guise (King James Version to our American cousins) has its place, obviously, and that is the second book of the twelve partly written in a Classical language. Or almost entirely in Classical languages, if you count Hebrew as Classical. (Part of Daniel is in Aramaic, hence the 'almost entirely'.)

From an unexpected book, The Rule Book of Association Football 1863 by A Group of Former English Public School Men comes this Victorian view of the place of Classics:

Headmasters like Thring and Arnold saw team games, classical learning and no-nonsense Anglicanism as the three pillars of Imperial Wisdom.

It is this chapter, in fact, which is there to read online. Having skimmed it, I feel miffed that Rugby Football does not get equal treatment. But I may be biased; my great grandfather and his two brothers were the ones who brought the Rugby game from Rugby School to Cheltenham College, and so may have paved the way for competitive Rugby, first between schools, and then wider. A plaque in Cheltenham commemorates the fact. See this page.

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Another Spurs fan regrets passing of Latin motto

From the unofficial Spurs fan site:

I am a traditionalist and the recent motto change from “Audere-Est-Facere” to “To Dare is To Do” left a rather unsavoury taste in my mouth. However, I do like the ‘old-school’ look of our new club badge and previews of next year’s kit (if that’s what they really are) suggest a return to more traditional designs. Let’s hope that the club make sure that our 100th game in Europe is all white on the night!