This is a past issue from 1895, and the write is relating a list of the requirements for preparing students for entry to Harvard (looks like just general requirements, not just for the divinity schools and all that): http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/95dec/745/greeno.htm
Translation of the ancient Greek texts of Caesar and Nepos from Latin, and from Xenophon in Greek. The “average boy” was expected to do this:
> In the elementary examination in the classics, the test applied is the > translation at sight of passages from Caesar and Nepos in Latin, and > from Xenophon in Greek. These authors all have a simple narrative > style, and their thought is neither involved nor profound, so that > their works are entirely within the comprehension of the average boy.
As you can see, you don’t even have to go as far back as the 17th or 18th century to find excellent scholarship in the ancient languages, and much more widespread.
What a huge reminder of how far scholarship has fallen, academically and spiritually.