The epiStoa community

... strives for a higher awareness of the European Values,

The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.

These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail.
(Art. 2 of the EU Treaty; Lisbon, 2007, in force since 2009),

... and promotes the ancient languages, Latin and Greek, as European culture and civilization has essentially been developed in Latin and Greek. Many modern languages in the EU as well as the terminology in the humanities and all other sciences are soaked with Latin and Greek. The value of Greek and Latin literature cannot be overestimated and stimulated Dante, Montaigne, Shakespeare, and Goethe (to name just a few) as well as numerous modern writers.

The European history of ideas - notably the history of the Roman law - led across Humanism and the Age of Enlightenment to the modern, secular and democratic states, the European values and the European Court of Human Rights.

This “European model” has been successful in that it spread to many other countries in the Americas, Africa, and Asia. At the same time, it is continuously jeopardized, since totalitarian governments - and a few totalitarian-minded politicians in the EU - do not appear to appreciate it. Maintaining the European model thus needs a continuous effort.

People with some knowledge of Latin or Greek have always been a minority. Nonetheless, their absolute number is remarkably constant over time and it is one goal of the epiStoa community to connect them across Europe and beyond.

Everybody who shares the aims of the epiStoa initiative is welcome to join the epiStoa community.

There are no member fees, no charges and no obligations. Some sponsoring is, however, welcome.

Being a member of the epiStoa community you
- promote the European Values against totalitarian tendencies
- take a stand against the position that Latin and Greek are useless
- support idealistically the epiStoa activities
- get connected to other community members
- may participate in the annual epiStoa meeting
- may get involved in other epiStoa activities such as publications.    

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Motivation for the epiStoa initiative:

Latin and Greek are no doubt at the heart of most modern European languages and of the terminology of all sciences and humanities. 

Last but not least, Ancient Greece and Rome gave rise to Europe's history of ideas, which led to our modern democracies, rule-of-law constitutions, and the European Court of Human Rights - a unique institution worldwide.

Despite all these achievements and a general appreciation of Europe's roots, the instruction of the Ancient Languages has been suffering a gradual rundown over many decades.

This is alarming since it not only hampers the proper comprehension of words and concepts, it also jeopardizes the fruitful fusion of tradition and knowledge with creativity and innovation.

Cancelling the ancient languages from scholastic programmes corresponds to sawing the branch we are sitting on.

The epiStoa initiative thrives to stop the decay of classics studies, and to promote the Ancient Languages as well as the history of European Values up to their present form as given in Art. 2 of the Lisbon Treaty.