The idea of “classical” has to do with “classification” — how to “classify” things that are potentially universal in value. Although the word “classical”, along with the word “classics”, derives from Latin, the idea cannot be confined to the ancient civilization of Rome — or of Greece, for that matter. Even now, the word “classical” applies to the languages of other civilizations as well, such as Chinese or Sanskrit or Hebrew. The word extends in meaning to encompass a wide variety of premodern cultures, even if the claims of all these cultures to universality may not suit our mission perfectly.