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LUDUS LITTERA´RIUS (διδασκαλεῖον), a school.

1. In Greece.

The education of children in Homeric times is not definite enough to come under our subject: it may, however, be noted that the sons of princes are represented in Homer as being trained under some instructor, not only in martial exercises, which would correspond to the palaestric course in later times, but (to take the instance of Achilles) also in something answering to rhetoric, under Phoenix (Il. 9.414), whom Plutarch (de Educ. Lib. 12) calls παιδαγωγὸς Ἀχιλλέως, and in music and medicine under Chiron. The latter being represented to us as an instructor of boys away from their homes, may be said to give the earliest hint of anything like school teaching. Passing to historical times, we must draw a general distinction between Doric and Ionic races. In Doric states (for instance, Sparta and Crete) there was much gymnastic and little mental training. A boy at Sparta was taken from his parents' control at seven, and his subsequent training was supervised by the Bidiaei, under whom (with the real management) was the Paedonomus [BIDIAEI; PAEDONOMI]. This referred, however, only to bodily exercises and chorus-singing. The state took no heed of literary education, and, if any was to be gained, it was a private concern of the parents. Many no doubt learned to read and write, and acquired some amount of simple arithmetic; but even this was far from being universal. In the Hippias Major, p. 285 C, it is said that few Spartans knew any arithmetic. Music, however, all learnt, the cithara and flute, and especially singing in chorus.

In Ionic states more attention was paid to literary culture. It is a question how far even among Ionians literary schools were ordered or controlled by the state, and it is still more doubtful whether they received state payment, or rather it is tolerably certain that the cases in which they did so may be regarded as exceptional. There is, however, abundant evidence of the importance attached to schools in Ionian states, even in early times. Herodotus (6.27) mentions a school of 120 boys at Chios in the year 500 B.C.; and so important was school education regarded, that, when the Athenians went to Troezen during the occupation of Athens by Xerxes, special provision was made to supply teachers there (Plut. Themist. 10). That education was regarded as a necessity appears even more clearly in the decree of the Mitylenaeans, given by Aelian (7.15), that the punishment of disobedient allies should consist in the prohibition of schools. Diodorus (12.12) tells us that Charondas (between 600 and 500 B.C.) passed laws for Thurii to the effect that all boys should have literary teaching at the public expense (χορηγούσης τῆς πόλεως τοὺς μισθοὺς τοῖς διδασκάλοις, ὑπέλαβε γὰρ τοὺς ἀπόρους ἀποστερήσεσθαι τῶν καλλίστων ἐπιτηδευμάτων). This is important testimony as to state regulation and state payment, if it can be accepted as authentic history. Most scholars deny that these laws are genuine, though others (as Göll) do not altogether reject them. It is to be feared that their date must be regarded as uncertain. As regards later times in Greece, it is clear from Polybius 31.17 that there was state payment for education at Rhodes, since the Rhodians devoted a gratuity of Eumenes, king of Pergamus, to that purpose; and we learn from an inscription at Teos that in the last century B.B. there was in that island a payment for three γραμματοδιδάσκαλοι to teach boys and girls fixed at 600, 550, and 500 drachmas, two for the gymnastic school at 500 and a musical teacher at 700: a. rich man of the place, Polythrus, had given the state 34,000 dr. to further the education of the poor (Hirschfeld, Hermes, 9.501; Fränkel's note on Boeckh, Staatshaush. 2.35*). We may pass from Greece in general to Athenian education, as the most important branch of the subject, and that on which we have most information. It does not appear that there was any state payment of schools at Athens before the Roman Imperial age, when Hadrian endowed chairs of rhetoric and philosophy (Gibbon, 5.91, ed. Smith). As regards state control, there was certainly a law of Solon fixing an obligation on parents and guardians to provide for the education of boys (Plat. Crit. 50 D). The neglect of this duty was noticed by the Areopagus, and brought at least some public stigma. There is no evidence of any penalty, and Becker thinks that it was merely an injunction, and that the only consequence of neglect was that the parents lost the right of claiming support from their children (cf. Aeschin. Timarch. § 13). The passage in Plato, Legg. vii. p. 804 C, is a Utopian scheme, not a statement of existing institutions. On the other hand, there is the question whether the public officers, the Sophronistae and Epimeletae, exercised any functions of inspection which would give the state a control. It is usual to think that they had nothing to do with schools (διδασκαλεῖα), though something with the gymnasium (see Göll on Becker's Charikles, 2.56). And this agrees with Aristot. Pol. v. (or viii.) 1 (=p. 1336), where Aristotle desiderates public superintendence of education rather than leaving it in private hands, “ as it is now ” : but Curtius (Hist. of Greece, 2.385) believes the Sophronistae to have been appointed about 459 B.C. (at the same time as the Nomophylaces), to take [p. 2.95]over that part of the Areopagitic duties which related to orderly public life, and especially to the education of the young. And Fränkel, in the note mentioned above, cites a decree of Eleusis, which praises Dercylus for his efforts as στρατηγὸς in the cause of education; and this seems to imply some kind of state interference. Whether, however, state officials controlled and inspected schools or not, there is no doubt that feeling and custom made some considerable amount of literary education universal for boys at Athens. For girls there were no schools; what they did learn was from their mothers or from female slaves, and consisted chiefly in useful works, such as spinning: that sometimes at any rate they learnt to read and write may be gathered from Dem. c. Spud. pp. 1030.9, and 1034.21.

School period.

At the age of six, when the boy was strong enough to do without a woman's care, he was entrusted to a paedagogus [PAEDAGOGUS], who conducted him everywhere,--to school, to the palaestra, &c.,--carrying his books and other school requisites. (Cf. Plat. de Leg. 7.808 D, who says that, if animals have caretakers, of course the boy must, “being the most unmanageable of all animals.” ) There is a kindlier notice of the genus schoolboy and his progress to school in Lucian, Am. 44, which is worth quoting: “ὄρθριος ἀναστὰς ἐκ τῆς ἀζύγον κοίτης τὸν ἐπὶ τῶν ὀμμάτων ἔτι λοιπὸν ὕπνον θ̓πονιψάμενος ὕδατι λιτῷ καὶ χιτωνίσκον καὶ χλανίδα ταῖς ἐπωμίοις περόναις συῤῥάψας ἀπὸ τῆς πατρῴας ἑστίας ἐξέρχεται κάτω κεκυφὼς καὶ μηδένα τῶν ἀπαντώντων ἐξ ἐναντίου προσβλέπων, ἀκόλουθοι δὲ καὶ παιδαγωγοί, . . . carrying tablets, books or lyre.” It is true that in the same author we find σκυθρωπὸς ὥσπερ οἱ εἰς διδασκαλεῖα φοιτῶντες, and of the severe discipline of cane and rod we have evidence from Arist. Nub. 972, Xen. Anab. 2.6, 12, &c. The school began early in the morning and ended at sunset, according to Solon's law (Aesch. Timarch. § 12; cf. Plat. Legg. 7.808 B; Thuc. 7.29); but there was an interval for the ἄριστον at mid-day (Lucian, de Parasit. 61). In grammar schools the Musea was a school festival (see Theophrast. 26 and Jebb's note). And there were holidays at great festivals, so much so that in the month Anthesterion there was comparatively little school-time (Theophrast. 22).


The regular school course (ἐγκύκλιος παιδέα) was intended to convey, besides mere reading and writing, a knowledge of the poets, and proficiency in music and gymnastics. In the Socratic age some mathematical training was added, and at least a knowledge of simple arithmetic was universally imparted (Hippias Maj. 285 B; Plat. Legg. 7.819 C). This mere reckoning, however, was taught mainly at home by means of a calculating table [ABACUS; LOGISTICA]; and accordingly Aristotle (Pol. v. or 8.1) speaks of three usual subjects, γράμματα, γυμναστική, and μουσική. (In Plato μουσικὴ would include γράμματα.) The elementary reading lesson was sometimes made easy and attractive by methods like those of the modern Kindergarten, the use of ivory letters, &c. (Cf. Plat. Legg. 7.819 D.) Grasberger cites from Philostratus (Vit. Soph. ii. p. 240) a device of Herodes, who gives to a weak pupil twenty-four companions named from the letters of the alphabet,ἵνα, ἐν τοῖς τῶν παίδων ὀνόμασι τὰ γράμματα αὐτῷ μελετῷτο. For the method of teaching writing, see Plat. Protag. 326 D. The literary course consisted of reading and explaining the best poets (Plat. Protag. l.c.), such as Homer, Hesiod, Theognis, Phocyllides; but of these especially Homer. In Xen. Symp. 3, 5, Niceratus says, “My father, to make me a good man, compelled me to learn all the poems of Homer, and now I could say by heart the whole Iliad and Odyssey.” (Cf. Dio Chrysost. Or. 11.4.) This poetical training was intended to impart a knowledge of mythology and philosophy (especially through the γνῶμαι), as well as taste and power of expression. Of course time was freer, since there was no language, natural science, or history to be learnt.

To this literary course was sometimes added special teaching in tactics and strategy for those who looked to a military career (Plat. Euthydem. 273 C; Xen. Mem. 3.1), and drawing was taught before the time of Aristotle (Pol. l.c.), having been, according to Pliny, introduced by Pamphilus (the teacher of Apelles) first at Sicyon, whence it spread over Greece, and was regarded for all sons of citizens a most important branch of education--slaves might not learn it (Plin. Nat. 35.77). It was chiefly correct outline drawing without colour, on boxwood tablets. The musical teaching began at 12 or 13, and was so ordered that the pupils might appreciate and accompany lyric poetry. Aristotle, in the book cited above, says that, while the literary education and the drawing are useful for the mind, music is to be maintained on the ground that, though of no practical use, it provides a noble and liberal employment of leisure. It should be observed that the instrument taught was the lyre: the flute, a favourite instrument at Thebes, and once commonly learnt at Athens, was tabooed, except for professionals, about the time of the Peloponnesian war. Aristotle (l.c.) gives reasons for this. The διδασκαλεῖα lasted till ἥβή, i. e. till 16; and afterwards for those of the richer classes, who wished for advanced learning, came the schools of the rhetoricians and Sophists, who taught various departments of knowledge. Curtius (Hist. of Greece, 2.414) remarks that “the training was for life in general: the palaestra lessons fitted them for military exercises: power of judgment and readiness of speech came from their poetic studies: the music learnt at school was useful in social meetings, where the lyre passed from hand to hand.” And it is easy to see that the literary course above described qualified the Athenians to take an intelligent and critical interest in their great dramas, and indeed in literature and art generally, such as was possible for no other nation as a whole in ancient or modern times; though there is some justice in the remark of Professor Mahaffy, that the development of the system led to elegant trifling and intellectual idleness (Social Life in Greece, 335). Such questions, however, need not be enlarged on here. They belong rather to Greek history.

Place of Education.

The schoolroom itself was called διδασκαλεῖον or παιδαγωγεῖον (Dem. de Cor. p. 313.258; Pollux, 4.19, 41); also φωλεόν, or φωλεός. Hesychius gives curtly the [p. 2.96]combination of meanings φωλεόν: διδασκαλεῖον: οὗ τὰ θηρία κοιμᾶται. Some indeed maintain that the παιδαγωγεῖον was only an ante-room, where the paedagogi sat and waited; but Grasberger (vol. 2.207) remarks that it was unlikely that so poor a school as that of Elpias would have an ante-room, and cites Philostr. Vit. Soph. 2.263, to show that the paedagogi sat with their charges. In Roman times certainly we have Remmius Palaemon, as paedagogus, learning more than the schoolboys from the lesson (Suet. Gr. 23). Some schools had not even one room, but were held in the open air, as by Dionysius the younger (Gel. 21.5); cf. Anth. Gr. xi. p. 437: “ αἰάζω Διότιμον ὃς ἐν πέτρῃσι κάθηται
Γαργαρέων παισὶν βῆτα καὶ ἄλφα λέγων.

But this is only in the case of the very poor: even the father of Aeschines is described by Demosthenes as in a schoolroom, and Demosthenes contrasts that establishment with the respectable (προσήκοντα) schools to which he went himself. The boys sat on benches (βάθρα), the master on a chair (θρόνος). See the rather unattractive picture in Liban. iv. p. 868, where we are told that the master “sits aloft, like a dicast, with an awful frown and an expression of implacable wrath, before which the pupil must tremble and cringe.” In the vase-picture given below, we

Athenian School. (From the Durs Vase.)

see the various departments, each group representing a class: (1) repetition of poetry; (2) music lesson on the lyre (where both teacher and pupil sit, and both have laid aside the himation to give free play to the arms); (3) the writing master with a tablet (or possibly a master correcting an exercise); (4) a singing lesson, where the master is not teaching the forbidden flute (see above), but giving a note from it. On the walls are articles of the school apparatus,--book-roll, tablets, lyre, geometrical instrument (?), drinking vessel, basket for books. It is a disputed question whether the seated spectators are government inspectors, paedagogi or parents, and the question is so impossible to decide, that the picture unfortunately cannot be made an argument for the presence of any one of the three at the lesson.

Payment.--The poor status of the Athenian schoolmaster (γραμματιστὴς) is sufficiently indicated by the line ἤτοι τέθνηκεν διδάσκει γράμματα (Meinek. Fr. Incert. 453 = Zenob. Cent. 4.17). He was ill-paid, and often did not receive his payment at all (Dem. c. Aphob. i. p. 828.46; cf. Theophrast. 22). This does not apply to the Sophists in the more advanced school, who were able to charge as much as 100 minae for their complete course to each pupil (see Boeckh, Staatshaus. 1.154): and the chairs founded in later times by Hadrian had a stipend of 100 minae a year attached to them.

2. Roman.

At Rome, education, though not made obligatory by any law, was always, so far as our knowledge extends, considered of importance. In early days, however, the father himself generally taught his son. ( “Erat autem antiquitus institutum ut a majoribus disceremus ... suus cuique parens pro magistro erat.” Plin. Ep. 8.14: cf. Plaut. Most. 1.2, 42.) So Servius Tullius is said to have been taught by king Tarquin (Cic. de Rep. 2.21, 37); and of Cato the elder it is said, as part of his conservatism, αὐτὸς μὲν ἧν γραμματιστής, αὐτὸς δέ νομοδιδακτής, αὐτὸς δὲ γυμναστὴς to his own son (Plut. Cat. Ma. 20). This old training no doubt consisted much in living with the father and learning his business of public life; but there was also direct instruction in reading, writing, and arithmetic (i. e. reckoning), and in saying by heart the twelve tables, which formed a sort of catechism to the Roman of the old school. Thus Cicero says, “discebamus pueri xii tabulas ut carmen necessarium;” though he adds with regret, “quas jam nemo discit.” But it of course often happened that the father wanted either the ability or the inclination to teach his son, and so arose the custom of wealthy parents employing educated slaves or freedmen as private tutors at home. Livius Andronicus, late in the 3rd century B.C., was so employed by Livius Salinator: Augustus so employed the freedman Verrius Flaccus to teach his grandsons; and in some cases, when the teacher was a slave, his master let him teach a class of outsiders and so made a profit (Plut. Cat. Ma. 20). For this private tuition. in early times, see also Plaut. Bacch. 3.1, 27. It is probable, however, that even in the earliest times there were schools to which those who could neither teach themselves nor provide competent slaves as teachers, sent their children, boys and girls alike. Plutarch (Plut. Rom. 6) represents Romulus and Remus as learning at a school at Gabii ὅσα χρὴ τούς εὖ γεγονότας, and, in less purely legendary times, there is no reason to discredit the account of Virginia going to school (Liv. 3.44), or of the schools at Falerii (Liv. 5.44) and Tusculum (Liv. 6.25) early in the 4th century B.C.

Against this has by some been adduced the. passage of Plutarch (Quaest. Rom. 59), which states that Spurius Carvilius was the first person who opened a school (γραμματοδιδασκαλεῖον) at Rome, B.C. 231: but Plutarch probably only means that Carvilius was the first grammaticus or teacher of the more advanced literary schools, which came in along with the influence of Greek literature, and he [p. 2.97]does not thereby negative the elementary schools mentioned by Livy (and indeed by himself elsewhere) as existing much earlier. It is necessary therefore to distinguish (1) litterator, or magister litterarius (= γραμματιστής), the elementary schoolmaster; (2) grammaticus (also litteratus), a more advanced teacher; (3) rhetor. This distinction explains Apul. Flor. 20: “prima cratera litteratoris ruditatem eximit, secunda grammatici doctrina instruit, tertia rhetoris eloquentia armat.” So Augustin. Confess. 1.13, 1: “adamaveram litteras, non quas primi magistri, sed quas docent qui grammatici vocantur.” Private teachers were employed in later as in older times, by many men of high station, but still, except the imperial family, it was common for those of the highest rank to send their sons to schools. Thus we find Sulla sending his son Faustus to the school in which Cassius also was being educated (Plut. Brut. 9); and Ausonius, a man of the highest rank in the state, recommends school education is a passage cited below. The question whether home or school education is to be preferred is discussed by Quintilian (Inst. Or. 1.2), with a result in favour of the latter, and the arguments on either side have a striking resemblance to those which are used at the present day.

Place.--The elementary schools and those of the grammatici were usually in a verandah partly open to the street, and the schoolroom is accordingly called pergula (see Marquardt, Privatleben, 93, note), taberna, or porticus (Suet. Gr. 18; Juv. 11.137; Liv. 3.44, 6.25; Eumen. pro Inst. Schol. 20). Hence the noise of teaching and of punishing was audible through the street and annoying to the neighbours (Mart. 12.57, &c.). Boys and girls were taught in the same school, as is shown alike by passages such as Mart. 8.3, 9.68; Ovid. Trist. 2.369, and by old paintings which have been discovered.

School-time.--The school began early, even before dawn, when “nondum cristati rupere silentia galli” (Mart. 9.68); so that the boys brought lamps with them (Juv. 7.226): there was a break for the prandium (Lucian, de Paras. 61), after which the school was continued. Each boy was accompanied from his home by his paedagogus, or slave (who acted as a sort of private tutor, both in regard to control and not unfiequently in teaching), also called custos (Juv. 7.218; cf. Hor. Sat. 1.6, 86), and by an inferior slave called capsarius, carrying the books and tablets, the “custos angustae vernula capsae” of Juv. 10.17, who is to be distinguished from the paedagogus. (Cf. Suet. Nero 36, and Mayor's note on Juv. l.c.) Juvenal in Sat. 7.222 if. describes for us the schoolroom (which was, as was said above, generally in a sort of verandah); the busts of the poets blackened by smoke from the scholars' lamps, the master seated on his chair (cathedra), while his class stood before him or sat on benches (subsellia). We hear also of wall-maps in a remarkable passage of Eumenius, a teacher at Autun at the end of the 3rd century: “The boys should have daily before their eyes on the walls all lands and seas, all cities and peoples, comprehended under our empire: for the name and position of places, the distances between them, the source and outflow of rivers, the coast-line with all its seaboard, its gulfs and its straits, are better taken in by eye than ear” (pro Instaur. Schol. 20; cf: Propert. 5.3, 37). There were also tables of authors and of dates hung up (see Marquardt, Privatleben, 109).

Discipline.--That this was generally severe may be seen from the line of Juvenal (1.15), “et nos ergo manum ferulae subduximus,” and from the abundant illustration given by Professor Mayor on that passage. Zonaras mentions, that the prince Arcadius was flogged by Arsenius without apparently any objection from the Emperor Theodosius. Arsenius, however, seems to have been a private tutor, teaching only the emperor's children. Quintilian (1.3, 14) argues against corporal punishment altogether. On the other hand, prizes were given to encourage the industrious--some valuable or prettily got--up book: “praeposito praemio quod virtus auferret. . . . Is erat liber aliquis antiquus, pulcher aut rarior” (Suet. Gr. 17). Grasberger (2.335) cites an inscription found near the Porta Salaria about Q. Sulpicius Maximus, who at the age of 11l/2 won a prize against fifty-two competitors for Greek verses about Phaethon. Prizes are mentioned also at Athens in the Roman period for the best ἐγκώμιον or essay. Few passages will better give an idea of a Roman school than Idyll iv. which Ausonius (once tutor to Valentinian's sons, but afterwards a count of the empire and consul) addresses to his grandson, just going to school (line 27):

Tu quoque ne metuas, quamvis schola verbere multo

Increpet, et truculenta senex gerat ora magister.
Nec matutinis agitet formido sub horis,
Quod sceptrum vibrat ferulae, quod multa supellex
Virgea, quod fallax scuticam praetexit aluta,
Quod fervent trepido subsellia vestra tumultu.
Haec olim genitorque tuus, genetrixque secuti Securam placido mlhi permulsere senectam.

Schooltime and Holidays.--The Roman school year began on March 24th, after the Quinquatria, when the new boy brought his entrancefee (Minerval, see Tertull. de Idol. 10; Juv. 10.116, and Mayor's note). Sometimes the money for the whole previous year was brought then (Juv. 7.242), but (as appears from Hor. Sat. 1.6, 72) it was usually paid each month; and this is prescribed by an edict of Diocletian (C. I. L. 3.831). The regular holidays or vacation, were the week at the Saturnalia in December and the five days at the Quinquatria in March, but there was also a holiday on each nundinae (Varr. ap. Non. 133; Suet. Gr. 7), and at the time of the important games. This is indeed a very much shorter estimate of holidays than that which Marquardt gives (Privatl. 43), of four months' continuous holidays in the summer! But his view cannot be accepted. He bases it on two well-known passages: (1)Hor. Sat. 1.6, 75, from the reading, “Ibant octonis referentes Idibus aera;” (2) Mart. 10.62, “ferulae . . . cessent et idus dormiant in Octobris.” As regards the first passage, there is little doubt that we should read octonos, aeris, which must have been the reading of Schol. Cruqu., “Hoc est singulis idibus referebant octonos asses aeris,” and of Acron, “Octonis (-os?) numos pro mercede, octonos asses aeris, quia ante Idus mercedes dabantur.” For the expression we may compare Cic. pro Rosc. Com. 10, 28, “duodecim aeris,” [p. 2.98]and Plin. Nat. 14.16, “octonis aeris vendere.” Horace is contrasting with Rome the countrified school where boys carried their own books instead of having a capsarius, and paid a very small sum. Martial, even if the passage were taken to convey a fact, would not convey what Marquardt postulates, since the poet represents the schools as going on at any rate in July, and therefore expressly excludes the four months. But in truth Martial makes no statement: bored by the noise of a neighbouring school, doubly tiresome in hot weather, he is expressing a wish, which he never expects to be fulfilled. There is therefore nothing in these passages to discredit the plain inference to be drawn from the manner in which the Quinquatria and Saturnalia are spoken of as the principal holiday-times for schoolboys, though neither lasted more than a week.

Subjects.-The school life began usually at seven years of age (Quint. 1.1, 15); but no doubt in most cases there was some earlier home instruction. Tacitus (Tac. Dial. 29) mentions, with no approval, the custom of having a Greek maid, like a bonne, for children to give them an early familiarity with the Greek language. In the elementary schools the course consisted of reading, writing, and simple arithmetic. (Cf. Augustin. Conf. 1.13, “illas primas ubi legere et scribere et numerare discimus.” ) Quintilian (1.1, 26) mentions the system of making the reading lesson attractive by using ivory letters, as above in Greek schools. The writing lesson was on a wax tablet, with lines or furrows (sulci) to guide the hand (Quint. 1.1, 27). Arithmetic (as we know from Horace, A. P. 325) was of great importance in the Roman judgment, and we find from an edict of Diocletian that the arithmetic master (calculator) was paid more highly than the teacher of reading and writing. (For the method, see LOGISTICA) In the schools of the grammarians (which we may assume, according to the passage quoted from Pliny, to have been started by Sp. Carvilius) came the study of poets. This school differed from the elementary school, because that was training merely for the bare necessities of practical life, while the grammar school (if we may so term it) was nearer the ideal Greek training, an eruditio liberalis or “liberal education” (Cic. Tusc. 2.11, 27). The central point was to read with full explanation Greek and Latin poets (these were sometimes distinct under grammatici Graeci and Latini): the boy must first learn to read the poet with understanding and with correct emphasis. It is clear that the Romans, like the Greeks, laid the greatest stress on elocution. Eloquence under the Republic was the only avenue to power (Tac. Dial. 37; Friedländer, vol. 4.7); and the school was intended to train the utterance as well as to supply a flow of words, “os tenerum puero balbumque poeta figurat.” This is abundantly shown in Cicero and Quintilian passim, and perhaps better than elsewhere in Ausonius, Id. 4.45:

Perlege quodcunque est memorabile: priva monebo

Conditor Iliados, et amabilis orsa Menandri
Evolvenda tibi: tu flexu et acumine vocis
Innumeros numeros doctis accentibus effer,
Adfectusqne impone legens: distinctio sensum Auget, et ignavis dant intervalla vigorem.

With this object the master read over the passage and made the class repeat it, as we see from the frequent reddere dictata, i.e. to repeat passages after the master (Hor. Ep. 1.1, 55; 1.18, 13). This is expressed also by the word praelegere (Mart. 1.36; Quint. 1.8, 8). Besides this, however, the passage was thoroughly threshed out as to its meaning, its metre, the questions of geography, history, mythology, and ethics connected with it (Quint. 1.4, 4; Cic. Ver. 1.18, 47; Tac. Dial. 30). Hence Cicero says of these schools of grammatici, “In grammaticis poetarum pertractatio, historiarum cognitio, verborum interpretatio” (de Orat. 1.42, 187; cf. Juv. 7.231). The questions raised were, however, often extremely trivial, “the name of Anchises' nurse,” &c. (Juv. 7.235: see the instances in Mayor's note in loc.). There were also learning by heart and practice in verse composition: prose belonged to the rhetoric school, when that was established as separate from the grammatical. As regards the authors read, Homer universally held the first place (Hor. Ep. 2.2, 42; Quint. 1.5, 8; Plin. Ep. 2.14), and next perhaps the favourite was Menander (Ov. Tr. 2.23; Auson. l.c.), and then the great tragedians. We have an account in Stat. Silv. 5.3 of the books read in the school kept by the father of Statius at Naples; and the list comprises Homer, Hesiod, Theocritus, Pindar, Ibycus, Stesichorus, Sappho, Corinna, Callimachus. It is possible, as Friedlander remarks,; that at Naples, as a town preserving Greek life and habits, Greek literature might be more. deeply studied than elsewhere. The Latin authors most read in the 1st century were Virgil, Horace, and Lucan; Statius lived to see his own works read in schools (Theb. 12.810). A reaction took place as to the literature in vogue about 100 A.D. (see Grasberger, vol. ii. p. 204; Friedländer, vol. iv. p. 20), and, in. place of the authors of the Augustan age, the older prose writers and the poets of the 3rd. cent. B.C.--Gracchus, Naevius, Ennius, Plautus; Accius, and Lucilius--were adopted as school-books. This was at the time when Hadrian preferred Cato to Cicero, Ennius to Virgil (Vit. Hadr. 16). Fronto, the teacher of Marcus Aurelius, was a leader in the depreciation of the Augustan writers (see Teuffel, Hist. of Roman Lit. § 351 ff.). Music began to be studied towards the end of the 1st century--a mark of Greek influence (Sen. Ep. 88, 9; Suet. Tit. 3); and the above course, with the addition of geometry, formed what Quintilian (1.10, 1) calls the ἐγκύκλιος παιδεία with which the majority were content. Many, however, proceeded to the school of the rhetor. Like the school of the grammaticus, this was originally formed after the Greek pattern. The early Latin rhetors, Plotius, &c. were not approved, and the censors in B.C. 92 closed the Latin schools of rhetoric, because, as they alleged, they were a pretence for idleness. (Suet. Rhet. 1; Gel. 15.11). Cicero (ap. Suet. Rhet. 2) testifies to the superior teaching of the Greek rhetores. In these schools prose authors took the place of poets: but the principal part was the prose exercise, which, for the beginner a mere prose narrative, passed on to the declamatio. The easier kind of declamatio was suasoria, on some historical and mythological subject, adopting [p. 2.99]some view on this or that story or point of history and arguing it (see Juv. 1.16). They advanced to controversiae or declamations on some legal point. (See Friedländer, vol. iv. p. 23, French translation.) Pliny (Plin. Ep. 2.3) may be referred to for a description of a celebrated rhetor--the Isaeus alluded to in Juv. 3.74.

The status and emoluments of the schoolmasters, grammatistae and grammatici alike, were low. Ovid calls them “turba censu fraudata:” compare the poverty of the famous Orbilius, described in Suet. Gr. 9, and especially Juv. Sat. 7.228-243. What their ordinary fee was, cannot, however, be determined. In Diocletian's time (when their position was probably better than when Juvenal wrote), the maximum fee for the grammatistes from each pupil was 50 denarii a month, and for the grammaticus 200 (C. I. L. 3.831).1 The rhetor seems to have received twice as much as the grammaticus, and his emoluments were increased by the state endowments begun by Vespasian (Suet. Vesp. 18). Remmius Palaemon is cited as an instance of a wealthy grammaticus, and by a rhetor wealth was more often acquired. There were, besides, the turns of fortune, of which Juvenal speaks (7.197), and of which the Emperor Pertinax (once a grammaticus) and Ausonius afford instances. (See Mayor's note on Juv. l.c.

For the literature on this subject, the most important Latin and Greek authors have been cited in this article: a long additional list will be found in Grasberger, vol. ii. p. 12, whose work, Erziehung und Unterricht in classischen Alterthum, forms the most complete modern authority. See also Becker-Göll, Charikles, 2.19 if.; Göll's excursus on Becker's Gallus, vol. ii. pp. 61-114; an excellent popular work of Blümner, Leben und Sitten der Gr.; Marquardt, Privatleben, p. 80 ff.


1 Diocletian's pretia are all in the copper denarius = (according to Hultsch) about 3/10 of a penny. Hence the yearly fee of 600 den. = 15 shillings. (See Marquardt, Staatsverw. 2.34.)

hide References (38 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (38):
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 12.12
    • Herodotus, Histories, 6.27
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.29
    • Xenophon, Anabasis, 2.6
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 3.1
    • Xenophon, Symposium, 3
    • Homer, Iliad, 9.414
    • Polybius, Histories, 31.17
    • Cicero, For Sextus Roscius of Ameria, 10
    • Cicero, Against Verres, 2.1.47
    • Suetonius, Nero, 36
    • Suetonius, Divus Titus, 3
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 14.16
    • Pliny the Younger, Epistulae, 2.14
    • Pliny the Younger, Epistulae, 2.3
    • Pliny the Younger, Epistulae, 8.14
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 5, 44
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 6, 25
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 3, 44
    • Cicero, De Republica, 2.21
    • Cicero, Tusculanae Disputationes, 2.11
    • Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 15.11
    • Tacitus, Dialogus, 29
    • Tacitus, Dialogus, 30
    • Tacitus, Dialogus, 37
    • Plutarch, Brutus, 9
    • Plutarch, Marcus Cato, 20
    • Plutarch, Romulus, 6
    • Statius, Silvae, 5.3
    • Martial, Epigrammata, 10.62
    • Martial, Epigrammata, 12.57
    • Martial, Epigrammata, 1.36
    • Martial, Epigrammata, 8.3
    • Martial, Epigrammata, 9.68
    • Horace, Epistulae, 1.1
    • Horace, Epistulae, 1.13
    • Horace, Epistulae, 1.18
    • Horace, Epistulae, 2.2
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