The problem doesn't lie in the object, however, but in the environment in which that object has found itself manifest.
To himself the classicist is a fundamental force of Nature: like gravity, the classicist's reach is long, although weak, and gains in strength only when he finds himself massing with like-minded entities.
The classicist is also a strong and weak force. He is strong because he knows his knowledge is the binding energy for the traditions that have trailed off and way though the ages; he is weak, since like all unstable atoms throughout time his power has decayed, and he sees the end of his half-lives. His transfiguration into a denser and less reactive form of academic is unavoidable.
Finally, the classicist—like the electromagnetic force—both attracts and repels. Students will still occasionally migrate to his classroom and office thanks to the allure of the classicist's knowledge and appeal of his poetic utterance. In opposition, fellow academics and university administrators often draw back in confusion and bewilderment at why a man of seemingly solid commonsense upholds traditions of two civilizations lucky enough in the cosmic expanse to have some minor effects on culture's development. After all, they muse, there must be something more applicable to apply that sharp mind too? Perhaps cryptology?
But the classicist exists. Dotard at times, at times sleek and fashionable— he pushes forward in an ever expanding world where the gentlemanly powers of conjugation, declension, history, and order hardly buy wealth or influence, steer fewer nations along their course, and only energize the philosophical and emotional absorption spectra of society at large in the occasional production of Medea or Oedipus Tyrranus.
Like the quark, the classicist is a quirk. He is an unexpected find in the particle zoo of modern academia. If you happen to stumble upon one, you may know for a moment where he is but not why he is precisely there doing what he does. The magnitude and direction of his purpose escape you. Similarly, you may one day experience the profound shock of what his scribbles and lectures portend. His purpose for a moment seems clear, and then—like Heisenburg's electron racing along within the ineluctable draw of physical laws—his exact place in the world is questionable, indeterminate, and ephemeral to all exact measurements.