Aberdeen primary pupils may be greeting friends with ‘salve’ rather than ‘fit like’ next term after headteachers were offered the chance to boost Latin in their schools.
The Classical Association of Scotland said a similar campaign in Glasgow had led to 10 schools starting to teach the Roman language.
Now they have written to city council chiefs offering financial assistance to help with training that will enable Latin lessons to take place in city schools.
Learning other languages has proven benefits and the association believes Latin can help with understanding other European tongues.
Liberal Democrat education spokesman Martin Greig, who is himself studying the ancient tongue, said: “It is time to put the study of Latin and Ancient Greek back into mainstream education.
“Classical literature and history offer considerable benefits and give much satisfaction to young people. Latin has been proven to be a useful subject for all ages.
“The school curriculum is being reduced and restricted and young people deserve more choice and variety in their timetables.”
Mr Greig said other local authorities across the UK were already benefiting from the extra resources and attention and so it was “only right that Aberdeen is at the forefront of this move”.
He said there were programmes underway to develop teacher training skills, with “low cost” resources and assistance available.”
The chance to learn Latin has also been backed by Dr Alex Imrie, who is classics outreach co-ordinator for Scotland and a tutor in Classics at Edinburgh University.
He believes it opens up a wealth of opportunities to young Scots to learn about the classical world and improve their cultural literacy.
Dr Imrie said: “At the most fundamental level, exposure to Latin can offer teachers a valuable avenue to support pupils in raising global awareness of language and linguistic structures that can, in turn, lead to pupil improvement in English.
“In addition to the potential linguistic benefits to be taken from this course, there is considerable scope for pupils to improve their cultural literacy.
“Our modern Western culture is infused with myriad allusions to the Greco-Roman world and classical antiquity more generally.
“Failure to teach children from an early stage something of the classical roots and origins of these allusions is to deny them access to aspects of our texts and culture.”
Council education convener John Wheeler added: “We have received the offer from the Classical Association for Scotland and headteachers have been made aware of it.
“While we have no plans to bring in Latin lessons authority-wide, we would support headteachers if they wished to take up the offer.”