Document Type


Publication Date



A significant motif in Les Trois Mousquetaires is to communicate the four heroes’ differing natures through their differing relationships with the Latin language. The separate academic pedigrees thus suggested for the three actual musketeers, Porthos, Athos and Aramis, each represent one of the major education models of early 17th century France: the courtly academy, private tuition, and the Jesuit collège. In the case of the up-and-coming d’Artagnan, by contrast, Dumas proffers less a type of 17th century education than an updating of the social values of that period to coincide with those of his own time. The successes of this musketeer-in-training hold out the promise that talent, work and virtuous effort will be rewarded through upward mobility. The fact that the author has chosen to transmit this hopeful message partially through the vehicle of Latinlessness speaks volumes, both about the place of Latin in the curriculum over the centuries and about the role of Latin as socioeducational marker.


Pre-print version of article that appeared in International Journal of the Classical Tradition, Vol. 15, Iss. 1 (2008):



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.