Education in Greek and Roman Antiquity

Education in Greek and Roman Antiquity

Language: English

Pages: 489

ISBN: 9004107819

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This volume examines the idea of ancient education in a series of essays which span the archaic period to late antiquity. It calls into question the idea that education in antiquity is a disinterested process, arguing that teaching and learning were activities that occurred in the context of society. "Education in Greek and Roman Antiquity" brings together the scholarship of fourteen classicists who from their distinctive perspectives pluralize our understanding of what it meant to teach and learn in antiquity. These scholars together show that ancient education was a process of socialization that occurred through a variety of discourses and activities including poetry, rhetoric, law, philosophy, art and religion.















explanatory of, any serious program of adolescent training, be it military, athletic, or musical: most of the direct evidence for such institutionalized training comes from the 4th C. or later; and although in several cases the sources specify that these are old and hallowed customs, nostalgia and ideological bias have certainly distorted the picture—perhaps beyond recognition.57 In any case, whether these mythological narratives and numerous but scattered cults preserve the faint outlines of a

attested before the 3rd C. The mythically unchanging Lykourgan system of Spartan "good-government" (eunomia) in fact needed intermitttent buttressing and revamping; in particular, the reforms of the period after 146 BC were decisive in developing "traditional Sparta" into a major tourist-attraction: see Finley (1981) 161-77, Kennell (1995); also Rawson (1968), Tigerstedt (1969-74). 88 These age-divisions seem to have been roughly 7-12 or 13, 13-19, 20-30; presumably the physical development of

education was certainly a topic that addressed this agenda. Marrou wrote in his introduction to Histoire, "[Education] is the concentrated epitome of a culture and as such it is inseparable from the form of that culture, and perishes with it." (p. xx). If Annales-thought initially saw historical change as needing to be discerned over the longue duree, then Histoire measured any development in ancient education over its long period of time, fifteen hundred years. Much later, he would criticize the

the sophists, could be taken as the greatest of "those who philosophize about things on high" {meteorosophisai, Clouds 338ff., cf. Dover lv.). In concluding, I return to the sophists' pupils to see the benefits of such teaching from their side. The effectiveness of sophistic education was in part due to the constant exposure to and practice in antilogy within the safely delimited context of gentlemanly conversation. In addition, we should reckon on a social and structural effectiveness: if

%p"(]GEiq Kai xaq Ttpd^Eiq xaq xr\q dpexfjc; dxpr|axov ditEpyd^ovxai xo o£)(ia xa>v G r\ xryv 8idvoiav (Politics VIII.2, 1337b4—11). EDUCATION IN PLATO'S REPUBLIC AND ARISTOTLE'S POLITICS 157 tics, and music—each of which has a different orientation. Aristotle suggests that "writing and drawing [are taught] as being useful for life and very servicable, and gymnastics as contributing to courage" (VIII.3, 1337b25-7). But what, he asks, is the purpose of music? Nowadays, he observes, people

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