We Wear the Purple

I can’t believe we are already halfway done with this semester.  While it feels good have midterms out of the way, I am somewhat saddened because I am halfway done with one of my favorite classes at Pensacola Christian College: Greco-Roman History.

(In the picture above, the entire class decided to surprise Dr. Northrop by wearing purple.  If you want to know the significance of "wearing the purple," you'll just have to take the class and find out. . . )

I want you to venture into the past for a moment.  Suspend your cares for the day—homework, tests, bills, stress—forget it all and join me as we travel back to the land of Ancient Greece.

You are no longer a college student; you are a Greek soldier.  That purple shirt that you wear to class is a sign of your nobility.  You are not in a classroom; you are in an open amphitheater.  You are in the land of olive groves and turquoise waters, of incredible battles and ancient heroes, of mythical legends—and, above all, the birthplace of democracy.  This is no ordinary class . . .

This is Greco-Roman History with Dr. Northrop.

As a history major I am probably biased, but I think the history classes at Pensacola Christian College are simply phenomenal.  And Greco-Roman History is no exception.

History is a story—and Dr. Northrop relates the story in a vibrant, edge-of-your-seat manner.  At the start of every class period, we embark on an adventure of antiquity.  Whether it’s the admirable Athenians and their democracy or the fabled Spartans and their code of honor, Dr. Northrop is a master at teaching and relating the stuff of legends.

Dr. Northrop makes the class engaging and fun.  He makes you realize that history is more than battles and names and dates.  History is people—like you and me—performing everyday acts in their everyday lives.  Their lives teach us lessons of the past: lessons in warfare, politics, economics, geography, and much more.  But the most important lessons we learn are viewed through the providential lens of God.

Considering that I went to public school nearly my entire life, I never had the chance to learn history through a Christian perspective.  Take Alexander the Great, for instance.  While in public school, I learned that he was an excellent commander, but his great empire was not much more than a “flash in the pan.”  To the Christian, Dr. Northrop points out that Alexander—while not an ideal man to emulate—was certainly used by God to prepare the world for the Gospel.  Because of Alexander, Greek became the leading language for most of the known world.  A bloodthirsty Macedonian was used to prepare the world for the Word of God.  Imagine that.

Perhaps my background makes me appreciate it more, but I truly love this providential approach to academics at Pensacola Christian College.  It’s refreshing to learn how the events of the past not only affected our world, but how they specifically fit into the divine plan of our Lord.

As students at a Christian college, we should never take this for granted.  Instead of having your beliefs torn down by secular, humanistic teachers with ulterior motives, professors like Dr. Northrop build your faith through teaching—teaching through a Christian worldview.  Not only are the professors at Pensacola Christian College dedicated to your academic success, but they are also completely invested in your spiritual success.  They want to see you succeed. To live in Christ.  To learn.  To Grow.  And to me, that is the most important aspect of academics.  Not only to know knowledge, but to know God.

13 Responses

  1. Abe Haven

    WOW! Justinius, you captured ALL of the feelings I have felt and thoughts I have thought about Dr. Northrop’s history classes (and PCC history classes in general). When I was a guest, I happened upon a Northrop class, stayed for the entire hour, then told my father afterward that I HAD to have Northrop as my teacher.
    I have learned so much from him, and not just the “bold print terms.” (Who could forget Billy the Cat or Lysander the Spartan Salamander? LOL!) Every class with him is an epic journey into the living past, and I am always sorry when the class bell rings.
    All Hail Caesar!

  2. Julie Hunter

    Great job at perfectly describing Greco-Roman Justine!!! I had heard ledgens of this great class (every history magor’s favorite class!), and now to be a part of it is so much fun!!! I find myself excited to see what I will learn each time I hed to class. I highly recomend this class, or any classes that Dr. Nothrop teaches. One dose not only learn so much from history, but you also get to have fun.

    From a fellow Greek!!!

  3. Becca Sensenig

    I loved Mr. Northrop as a history teacher. He really brought it down to my level and I was able to enjoy history for the first time in my life. I loved learning random facts about people in history and having bonus questions that were completely random and funny.

  4. Caitlin Sloan

    I highly agree. Greco-Roman is my all-time favorite history class as of yet. I took this class in 2009, and still, I remember the extra lessons besides the everyday history lecture of random names and dates to memorize for a test. That is what history class should be: lessons from the past from imperfect people like you and I to be applied to the present to forego repeating the mistakes they made way back when. “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.” – George Santayana
    I remember while taking it, I began campaigning for others to take it in the future, and I still do put my two cents in for that class. I can’t wait for this to become two sections: one semester to study the Ancient Greeks, and the other to study the Romans.

  5. Commissioner Mahoney

    Wow, great article, Justinian I! Lol, you have made your fellow Greeks, Macedonians, Romans (Spartans wouldn’t care about any written works) proud! I think your opinions of this class and of Dr. Northrop reflect how we all felt about the class and project how we’ll sign the evaluation forms at the end of the semester. Hope you and all our other Greco-Roman friends do well on the Paper and Finals!
    All hail Pyrrhus of Epirus and Alcibiades!!! 🙂

  6. Sam Sinclair

    Great article, Justinius! I’m loving Greco-Roman History. It’s definitely one of my favorite classes this semester. Dr. Northrop makes it so much fun.
    φθηρομεν τον παρφουρον! (We wear the purple!)

    • Erin

      You would use Greek letters/words…lol…glad ya’ll had fun 🙂

  7. Kayla Wiegers

    I am in the other section of this class and when I heard about “We Wear the Purple”, I was cracking up! What a great idea. And you are SO right about how this class just comes alive! It is definatly a class worth taking.
    Kayla–from the “Barbarians”. Hail Caesar!

  8. Debi

    Dr. Northrupp told us about this even in 417-1. I have to say that I’m jealous! I was so excited when I heard that AR 111 had been taken out of my major classes, because that meant that I would be able to take Greco-Roman! I had heard so much about it, and I was delighted to hear that I would be able to take it! Dr. Northrupp makes the class so much fun, and I have never dreaded even the tests because I love the course so much! It definately needs to be split in two, because there’s still so much I want to know about the Greeks!
    Hail Leonidas and the 300!

  9. Caleb Crocker

    Well spoke! Well spoke!

    I agree with all that has been said. History is God’s story of His dealings with mankind. I have thourghly enjoyed the Greco-Roman class that is offered here. Dr. Northrop has done a excellent job in presenting this story in a concise and interesting manner. If only it could be a class divided into two semesters so that more time could be taken to develop the characters of this incredible portion of history!

    Excellent job Justin in coveying the feelings of the entire class. God bless!

  10. Valentino Ciccarelli

    What a great class, perfect description, This is a class I would definitely recommend to anyone. If you do take it, be sure to wear the purple!

    • Abe Haven

      Okay Tino, I find it a little odd that the symbol “randomly” selected for your name is in PURPLE!! You, who were the first to “wear the purple.” Perhaps Dr. Northrop is right, you really are the “true” wearer of the purple!

  11. Brittany Maddox "Britannia Octavia Maddoxia"

    I’m glad I finally remembered to read this story that Dr. Northrop recommended a while ago. As a history education major, what you said Justin, really makes me want to excel as a teacher. I want to bring history alive to my future students. I want to weave together a fantastic recording of every area of history. Of course, most importantly of all, I want my students to see God’s hand in every aspect of history. For it is “His” story. Thank you Dr. Northrop and all my history teachers that have taught me innumerable things. God truly placed each of you in my life for a reason.

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