Similarities and Differences:
Ancient Greece vs. Ancient Rome
Many qualities of the Ancient Roman civilization were undoubtedly borrowed from their predecessors of the Greek culture (Bonner 1). Roman education, however, is only a reflection of the Greek education system. Ancient Roman education tactics differ from the education methods used by Ancient Greek instruction. Nevertheless, these two different approaches contain many similarities. Although the Romans made an effort to reproduce the style of education maintained by the Greeks, their attempts failed; however Rome managed to adopt many principles of Greek education in the process. This is made apparent by comparing and contrasting Greek and Roman education methods as well as the explanation of the worldly problems and expectations each culture was facing during this era.
It was not until Rome conquered the small Greek society, Tarentum, in 272 B.C. that they could see the importance of being intellectuals (Dobson 92). This contact with Greek culture allowed Romans to employ the Greek values of education that could be observed within this small culture (Dobson 92).
Prior to the creation of state maintained schools and academies in Greece, higher education was mainly reserved for the elite persons of a community (Handbook: Greece 253). Training for these citizens consisted of instruction in the areas of music, poetry, numeracy, and religious ritual (Handbook: Greece 253).
Unlike the Greeks, Roman education was practically nonexistent before the development of official school systems in the Roman culture (Dobson 91). By law, early Roman education required that the father be the only schoolmaster of his son (Dobson 94). The mother would teach children basic principles until age seven (Avi-Yonah 176). Afterward, the father was in charge of the upbringing of his child (Avi-Yonah 176). Aside from teaching basic reading, writing, and arithmetic, the primary subject of instruction consisted almost entirely of battle tactics and farming procedures (Avi-Yonah 176).
Ancient Greece developed the idea of school systems around mid seventh century B.C., one century after writing was introduced (Handbook: Greece 253), however, it was not until the Hellenistic age that these schools were founded or maintained by the city (Devambez 404). Before the Hellenistic age parents were encouraged to send their students to school, but were not forced by law (Devambez 404). The parents of a student would pay a fee to the teacher in exchange for tutoring (Devambez 404). The fees were typically very low because most of the teachers were slaves or very poorly paid (Handbook: Greece 254). The only children that lacked proper education were those from impoverished families that could not afford to pay the teaching fees (Devambez 404).
Roman education began much differently than Greece education. After centuries of war between Rome and its neighboring countries, Romans finally found enough time for studying the arts (Dobson 92). It is unclear when the Ancient Romans originally established a school system because there is no much controversy over the different accounts (Dobson 96), however the first documented account was in the third century B.C. (Handbook: Rome 211). Romans strived to achieve the same level of education system as Ancient Greece; however, the few educated Romans that attempted to establish the Roman education system were generally unsuccessful in their efforts (Avi-Yonah, 177). Roman education topics were similar to those in Greece, yet the approach of education was very dissimilar. The short- lived earlier Roman style of teaching involved much different concepts than the systems used by the Ancient Greeks (Handbook: Rome, 211). The instructors for these subjects were generally Greeks that had been enslaved and forced to teach (Bonner 165). This explains the similarities between the subject matter taught in both Roman and Greek schools.
The main areas of instruction for both Ancient Roman and Greek pupils were composed of basic arithmetic and reading and writing skills until at least age eleven (Handbook: Rome 211). With the exception of Sparta, Classic Greek schools taught these basic skills to practically all young children, but only the sons of the rich would continue their studies up to age eighteen (Handbook: Greece 253). Classical Athens consisted of three basic forms of education: reading, music, and gymnastics (Handbook: Greece 253)
Athenian schools consisted of reading, writing, and arithmetic taught by a grammatiste, which was a tutor for young children (Handbook: Greece 253). Reading in schools of Classical Athens typically involved the works of Homer (Dewald 1099). Homeric literature created a basis for teaching the basic reading and writing skills as well as literary expertise (Dewald 1078). Progress was recorded by how many Homeric works a student had read as well as which ones (Dewald 1079).
Music and poetry was taught by a kithariste, or lyre player (Handbook: Greece 253). Music was a very important aspect of Greek education and a great deal of importance was laid on the instruction of singing and musical instruments in both Sparta and Classical Athens (Devambez 173). They created a new durable science and aesthetic of music that was applied to mathematics and used for psychological insight into the performer (Levi 151).
A paidotribe, or trainer, taught sports and physical education (Handbook: Greece 253). This aspect of education was enforced more in the Spartan society than in Athens (Handbook: Greece 253). Unlike Athens, Spartan schools enforced a militaristic type of education (Handbook: Greece 253). Boys between the ages of seventy and twenty were taken from their homes and trained in combat with an emphasis on music and dancing, sports and physical education (Handbook: Greece 253). The girls were also trained in these subjects in order to be fit mothers of future warriors (Handbook: Greece 253).
During Hellenistic times, the children were broken into three age groups (Handbook: Greece 254). This is the period in which secondary education emerged, along with the structuring of public school buildings, gymnasiums, and libraries (Handbook: Greece 254). Almost every community held these buildings and public schooling was practically enforced by common law (Levi 154). The Hellenistic period gave way to new teaching principles and higher education (Dewald 1090).
Children were split into age groups that consisted of children up to age fourteen, children fourteen through eighteen, and those over eighteen (Handbook: Greece 254). The second group of students would continue their education and further their knowledge of unknown subjects (Handbook: Greece 254). Due to increased research on certain areas of study, children were then able to explore new fields of interest, rather than the basic reading, writing, and arithmetic that was being taught in Classical Athens (Dewald 1090)
The sciences were one of the many subjects that researchers gained interest in (Dewald 1090). Science and mathematics were very important to the Greeks philosophers because the two subjects were so closely related; they were often taught as a function of one another (Dewald 1090). Many philosophers even created Academies for the specific intent of furthering the knowledge of these subjects and how they affected astronomy, philosophy, and other important topics of the unknown world (Dewald 1088-1089).
Before the creation of schools, early Roman education principles resembled those of Sparta more than any other Greek society. In Roman society, after the age of eleven the son would be taught additional literary subjects in Latin and Greek by a grammaticus in order to prepare for rhetoric (Handbook Rome 211). However, the main study of interest was weapon handling and combat routines (Dobson 95). This is probably due to the preoccupation with war and survival during the first five hundred years of Roman existence (Dobson 91).
As Roman education advanced and schools were formed, Greek slaves were taken as tutors (Bonner 37). Roman curriculum consisted of many of the same concepts as the Greeks, but was also very different in content. Roman education soon began to resemble that of the Greeks during the Hellenistic period (Gwynn 35). Greek philosophers that came to Rome soon after the conquer of Tarentum contributed to the Hellenization of Roman culture (Gwynn 35).
One difference between the rhetoric styles of Roman and Greece is the fact that Romans adopted the Latin style of rhetoric by about second century B.C. (Handbook: Rome 211). As the Greek students had studied Homer, there was no dominant literary source for Roman society, therefore the children studied both Greek and Latin literature(Dobson 98). Because the idea of Roman education was to produce “useful citizens”, which was the social approach to teaching, young Romans studied the literature in order to develop effective speaking skills (Handbook: Rome, 211). In this way, Rome replicated the Greek culture, however, the learning styles were somewhat different in that Greek studied Homer for historical records and literary accounts, but Romans used these literary works to improve their social and writing skills (Handbook: Rome, 211).
A fundamental difference between these two cultures is the incorporation of foreign languages (Dobson 111). While the Romans primarily spoke Latin, many of the study texts were written in the Greek language and required translation by the Roman students (Dobson 111). The Greeks had never included any language other than their own in their studies (Dobson 111).
Another difference in the content of Roman studies includes the study of history (Dobson 118). Young Romans would study the history of their country’s legends in great detail, whereas Greeks primarily studied the fictional accounts of Homer (Dobson 118). In addition, Romans did not study mathematics and science as specifically as the Greeks had (Dobson 127).
The basic groups of study for these two cultures were fundamentally similar. Roman children were often split into age groups for teaching, just as the Greeks had done during Hellenistic times. After age seven the children were taught basic skills and would advance to more complex material at age twelve (Handbook: Rome 211). Their education would then continue until the age of eighteen or nineteen (Bonner 45).
Just as the Greeks had, Roman schools also included poetry and music as a basic area of study, although these subjects were not as highly esteemed as they were in the Greek schools (Bonner 44). Both boys and girls would participate in chorus as well as individual performances and many would accompany themselves on stringed instruments (Bonner 44). Although musicians were considered socially inferior by Roman societal standards, music was often incorporated in religious ceremonies and special occasions (Avi-Yonah 304).
Continued education was significantly dissimilar in Greece than in Rome (Avi-Yonah 13). Greek Academies were widespread by around 300 B.C., however, little is known about academies during the Roman Empire ( Avi-Yonah 13). Most Romans that wished to continue their education were sent to Greek academies for further study, or would hire a specialist (Avi-Yonah 177). Eventually, Rome began to adopt specialty schools, but mainly in the subjects of Roman law and music (Avi-Yonah 177).
Greek academies were prevalent during Roman existence. One of the well-known Greek academies that existed around 387 B.C. was Plato’s Academy (Dewald 1088). Plato was a devoted pupil of Socrates and founded this academy primarily for the pursuit of knowledge (Handbook: Greece 254). The instruction included important intellectual aptitude mainly in the subjects of mathematics and poetry, which were not popular among the Roman pupils (Dewald 1088).
Shortly after Plato’s Academy was founded, Aristotle launched another admired research establishment (Dewald 1090). Aristotle’s Lyceum did not use dialect and discussion in the pursuit of knowledge (Dewald 1090). His theory included further study of biology rather than mathematics and believed in extensive research of this subject (Dewald 1090). The Lyceum was originally founded in order to collect biological research and further the knowledge of unknown materials (Dewald 1090).
These institutions were among the greatest secondary schools in Ancient Greece, and were the models for establishments that followed (Dewald 1091). Because Roman scholars did not readily accept the theories and study of sciences, which were appointed by these schools, continued education for Romans was very undesirable (Dewald 1088). This could have been one of the main attributers to the lack of well-educated Romans during this time period.
Based on the knowledge and research collaborated in this paper, this writer has concluded that although Roman education was very similar to the Hellenistic style of education, it still lacks the order and consistency of the Greek methods of teaching. Roman education was founded much later than Greek education and was actually based on the same style of teaching, however, Roman education tended to include its own subject matter and style in its teachings. Although many Romans intended to Hellenize Roman education, the attempts were failed. Romans simply did not duplicate the Greeks. However, the Romans did adopt many Greek principles of education in the process.
Adkins, Lesley. Adkins, Roy A. Handbook to Life in Ancient Greece. New York, NY:
Facts On File, Inc., 1997. This book is written on the basis of published sources
and contains photographs of authentic Ancient Greek artifacts. The authors use unbiased text to describe the customs and habits of daily life in Ancient Greece. These habits are illustrated through the explanation of subjects such as rulers and leaders, economy and trade, geography, mythology, philosophy, and various other aspects of everyday life in Ancient Greece. The topics covered by this handbook are arranged by major areas of study and featured in ten separate chapters. The subject matter within chapters is compiled on the basis of time period in which the events occurred and the different areas that were effected by the event or subject. The book contains an index with references to particular subjects mentioned throughout the book and includes explanations of certain words. The author’s intentions were to summarize the material covered and does not include minor details, however this source also includes a complete bibliography that can be used to find further references on any subject covered by this book. This source is helpful in explaining the practice of education in Ancient Greek times because it explains the daily events that revolved around the education aspect of the culture. The chapter entitled “Written Evidence” contains a summarized account of education rituals within three different societies of Ancient Greece: Sparta, Classical Athens, and the Hellenistic culture. This section explains the amount of education generally received by the citizens of a culture and describes the type of education given to the men and women of these cultures. This book also consists of several authentic photos and drawings that can be useful in describing the characteristics of education (i.e. writing utensils, alphabet, numerals, etc.). Aside from the section explaining education rituals, the author also includes an account of the Greek alphabet and how it developed through time, as well as a description of the numeral system and its significance in numerous areas of study. The importance of literature in education is also explained through a timetable of authors and literary events, however the events are not described any further than the date of the account. Music and dance is another important element of education in Ancient Greece. This handbook contains a section that relates music and dance to the everyday lives of the citizens. It explains how this element affected the learning techniques as well as traditions, celebrations and rituals. This source is a reliable reference for a summarized account of particular events and several aspects of Ancient Greek culture, however the authors do not include major details of these events and all subject matter has been summarized and shortened to create this handbook.
Devambez, Pierre, Robert Flaceliere, and Pierre-Maxime Schuhl. A Dictionary of
Ancient Greek Civilisation. London: Methuen and Co. Ltd. 1966. The three
main contributors of this book are three Hellenists: a philosopher, a literary
historian, and an archeologist. These authors are also professors and/or
philosophers in the subjects covered by this material. Pierre Devambez is the
head of the Greek and Roman antiquities in the Louver and the director of studies
at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (7). Robert Flaceliere, the second
contributor to this work, is a professor of Greek rhetoric at the Sorbonne and a
director of the Ecole Normale Superieure. The third contributor, Pierre-Maxime
Schuhl, is a professor of Classical Grammar and Philology at the University of
Dijon. Through out the text they examine the “religious beliefs, way of life,
economy, social and political structure of the Ancient Greeks” (5) by giving
descriptions of commonly used terms of Ancient Greek culture. The basis for
their descriptions is dependent upon the historical events and the geographical
setting of the country. The author has intended this source for sophisticated
readers, chiefly students, not specialists. Because of this, the information includes a proper explanation of words and phrases that a reader of this nature may not understand. The dictionary is organized alphabetically and includes in-depth definitions of countless words that are often used when describing Greek culture. The definitions are accompanied by numerous photographs and drawings of applicable artifacts that applicable in describing the particular terms or phrases. These photographs are employed in the descriptions of several terms and help to further the knowledge of the reader. The entries include a variety of important figures, events, and features in Greek history. This book is no more than a preparatory foundation that is meant to inform, not educate. The dictionary includes authentic photographs of Ancient artifacts of Greek culture. Some of the photographs are particularly useful for the subject of education. They
demonstrate how teachers and pupils were portrayed in ancient pictures and on
artifacts. The dictionary includes many terms that could be useful in examining
the art of education in ancient Greek culture; these terms include education and
academy, among others. The entry on education aids in the research of schools of
Ancient Greece and the art of teaching, however it is a summarized overview and
does not completely explain the subjects and techniques used in training pupils in
a particular area of study.
Dewald, Carolyn “Greek Education and Rhetoric.” Civilization of the Ancient
Mediterranean. Ed. Grant, Micheal, and Rachel Kitzinger. Vol.2.
Greece and Rome. New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1988. 3
Vols. 1077-1107. This source comes from volume two of a three volume
set that explains, In detail, various aspects of Ancient Greek culture. The
subsection entitled “Greek Education and Rhetoric” is under the section of
“Private and Social Life” in volume two of this set. The book is contributed by eighty-eight scholars that have written ninety-seven essays on various aspects of Greek culture. The authors write based on concrete facts and notable ideas. The book shows both achievements and flaws of the ancient world and contains contradictions and differences of opinion by the writers. The author of this essay explains education through different time periods and communities throughout the ancient Greek culture. The writer explains how schools and academies used literary works to educate pupils. She also illustrates how literary writers required an education in order to construct epic poems and other pieces. The author also describes the contribution made by sophists in the art of rhetoric. This well documented essay explains the subjects of
professional education and technical rhetoric in the fourth century and the
developments that were made in those subjects in order to better educate
the pupils of the schools. The writer also explains orations and speech in
the culture. The essay also goes into great detail to describe both the
educational system and rhetoric of the Hellenistic and Greco-Roman
cultures. This section is especially helpful for locating facts on the subject
of education during ancient times. This source is not especially pertinent
to finding reference to the development of the alphabet or numbers, and
also does not describe the materials used or the conditions of school
systems of that time period. This source is very useful for an in-depth
description of how the pupils were taught, however, it fails to describe the
quality of the education system used by the ancient Greeks.
Levi, Peter. Atlas of the Greek World. Amsterdam: Elsevier International
Products, 1980. This book is written by a scholar of Greek history and is
contributed by other knowledgeable scholars in the subjects of history, art,
sculptures, and various other aspects. The author of this book believes that
pictures, plans, maps, and continuous text are absolutely necessary in
describing the culture of the ancient Greek world. Equally important to this
source is the use of specific themes and anecdotes that the author has
included. The intent of the author in writing this text is to “make sense of”
of the ancient Greeks in all aspects (10). In other words, the author is
studying Greek tendencies and how they pertain to the knowledge the
Greeks acquired of particular subjects. These subjects include the mental
capabilities of the Greeks and their spiritual world along with physical
features of the world the Greeks inhabited. This book contains a
chronological table that illustrates the history of several features of Greek
culture. This table covers 5000 years from 3000 B.C. through 2000 A.D.
The table illustrates major events that occurred within a specific topic.
These topics include, but are not limited to: Pottery style, art and
architecture, literature, philosophy, and science. This book will help to
acknowledge the Greek culture and how it affects the education habits of the
Greek citizens. It also includes a brief summary of how music and dance
affected education. The passage demonstrates the emphasis that the Greek
culture has put on the importance of music and education. The entire book
contains numerous pictures and illustrations to help present the information
with a visual approach. These pictures and illustrations include accounts of
musical instruments, pictures of uncovered artifacts, and photographs of
ancient monuments in Greece. This book is valuable for researching
information as it pertains to the geographical environment because it gives
useful maps and various other reference sources to explain the development
of a culture throughout time, however, this source does not include a
thorough written account of any particular aspect within itself. The author
has arranged the information into the form of an atlas in order to explain the
expansion of a specific region or culture. This particular source does not tell
the reader much about education specifically; the subject is explained only in context to music and how the education system relies on music and dance as a vital part of a learning experience.
Sacks, David. Encyclopedia of the Ancient Greek World. New York, NY: Facts
On File, Inc., 1995. The author is a scholar of Greek studies. This encyclopedia
covers 2000 years from third millennium B.C. to 146 B.C. The book begins the
time period covered with the Minoan civilization and end with the Roman
annexation of mainland Greece (xiii). The extent of the descriptions of entries
included will be based on the findings from the aforementioned time period and
does not include any other dates or periods. The author of this encyclopedia is a
graduate of Oxford College with studies in ancient history. The historical
consultant for this book is Oswyn Murray, a former teacher of the author and a
lecturer in Ancient History at Oxford University. Two other scholars that are
professors in Ancient Studies also contribute the book. The author’s goal is to
give all the essential information about the ancient Greek World by describing the
flaws as well as the achievements. The book is arranged in alphabetical order
featuring fairly detailed definitions for various words and phrases commonly
associated with Ancient Greek culture. The book features a two page description
of education in Ancient Greece along with cross references to other relevant entries
associated with the subject of education. The book also supplies a complete
bibliography of over one hundred references as well as references to ancient authors
in both Greek and the translated versions. The author does not include entries that
were not greatly significant to the development of the culture, however, many names
or topics that were of value to the description were included in cross-references of the
texts or may have been listed in the index. The entries include English-language
nouns and a description of that aspect of Ancient Greece, as well as the names of
prominent Greek figures, cities and regions. This book contains illustrations for
certain entries in order to better illustrate the information described. The author also
compares Greek culture to that of the Romans, which preceded the Greeks in the 700s
or 600s B.C. He explains the influence of Greek culture on the Roman world as well
as other peoples that were protegees of the Greek culture. He discusses many Near
Eastern people that were influenced by Greek culture and how the influence changed
the way other cultures worked completely. This source is not a dependable source of
information regarding the collaboration of multiple events and subjects and how they
may relate to one another. However this encyclopedia is a relevant source for describing one specific aspect of a culture and gives many pertinent cross -references to help further the explanation of a specific subject in regards to other aspects of Greek life.
Dobson, J. F. “Rome” and “Roman Theory”. Ancient Education and Its Meaning to Us. New York, NY: Longmans, Green and Co., 1932. 91-133. This literary source
provides facts about the beginning of Roman education. At the time of the
book’s publication, the author of this book was a professor of Greek in the
University of Cambridge and had received his M.A. from Trinity College,
Cambridge. The book is broken into eight sections, each containing educational
subject matter from a one of three ancient societies: Sparta, Athens, and Rome.
The author gives details about the education system of each society written in essay form and explains theories on the development of the cultures in relation to one another. The two sections of importance for the purpose of this paper are the sections entitled “Rome” and “Roman Theory”. Each of these sections contains notes by the author which inform the reader of the sources researched for each specific piece of information, as well as a detailed bibliography including approximately fifty research materials and forty-five authors and titles of sources mentioned within the text. The intention of the author in writing this book is to help educated readers to better understand how the education of ancient civilization can relate to modern times. These articles tell not only of the basic details of education rituals, but also explains how the system of education was adopted in Rome and the factors that helped it to evolve over several centuries.
Annotated Bibliography -Rome
Adkins, Lesley. Adkins, Roy A. “Written Evidence”. Handbook to Life in Ancient
Rome. New York, NY: Facts On File, Inc., 1994.200-214. The authors wrote this book to provide facts on the subject of ancient Rome. The authors have a
scholarly background, and used numerous reliable sources to compile this
book. This particular book covers every aspect of Ancient Rome from the beginning of the culture, giving dates and times of critical events, as well as thoroughly explaining the everyday lives of the citizens of Rome. The book holds no bias based on the idea that the information consists of facts based on historical
value. The book is broken into nine chapters, with the headings identifying
each major area of study. The material within these headings are arranged by the
time period they emerged onto the scene, or the transformation of its meaning
throughout the ancient world. The book contains pictures and maps, a complete
index, and an in-depth bibliography in order to further the reader’s research
possibilities. This literary source is more in tune with general facts and topics,
and leaves out many of the minor details that may be explained if it had a more
specified topic. The author creates a very general overview of life in ancient
Rome, which includes the idea of education in Rome. The overview of life is
greatly desired in order to further the understanding of Roman education. The
section entitled “Written Evidence” gives a general overlay of Roman education
and the materials applied for instruction. It also gives adequate information about
the teachers and literature used in the education process. Each author, or scholarly
writer, has his or her own paragraph explaining why these figures were so
beneficial to Roman society. The book also contains illustrations and
photographs to show the increments of Roman education. The book goes through
features by dating Roman authors and explaining their affect on Roman education
habits. The section goes on to explain the types of Roman literature studied and
gives a chronology of literature employed. The book is a reasonably reliable
source, but gives only basic facts of Roman education. The book tends to leave
out important details about Roman curriculum, but covers other minor details
including the Roman alphabet.
Bonner, Stanley F. Education in Ancient Rome. Great Britain, UK: University of California Press, 1977. The author of this text is a professor at the University of Liverpool. He spent several years researching this one aspect of Ancient Rome in
order to obtain a better understanding of its education system. He reciprocates
this knowledge through this written essay by giving a detailed description of
education in Rome rather than a general overview. The knowledge is contributed
by various scholars and professors which the author collaborated with to write this book. His purpose was not to discuss basic principles, but to give a better understanding of the entire structure of education in this culture for anyone who may have been misinformed by other material. The book is sectioned into three main parts, and twenty-one individual chapters. The book in a whole describes a child’s life, throughout the generations and centuries. The book also includes an in-depth bibliography, which is also broken into sections of study, because of the numerous sources and scholars associated with the book, there should be little or no bias. Everything the author has written is a borrowed idea, with exception to the conclusion. The book contains a biography of the elder Cato. From this, the author demonstrates a real life account of how education was used and shows the break down of the barrier between nobility and education. There are many illustrations throughout the text that help to demonstrate the education process including pictures of writing utensils, inkpots, as well as numbers symbolized by a hand. This material shows the Roman’s deficiencies as well as its triumphs and lacks very little information in comprehending this subject as a whole.
Gwynn, Aubrey. Roman Education: From Cicero to Quintilian. London, England: Oxford University Press, 1926. The author, Aubrey Gwynn, wrote this essay after studying for ten years for his M.A. thesis. He was awarded a traveling scholarship to study at Oxford University, and wrote this with the assistance of
the Oxford tutors. The author does admit that he focused on the general principles of Roman education, and did not really explain his ideas comprehensively. Gwynn divided this book into ten chapters, with sub-chapters when needed to break down a broad idea. The author also separated his chapters by time frame and the evolution of education in Rome. The intended audience is presumed to be the viewer of this thesis, but the essay was later reconstructed for the use of research for the educated reader. Its sole intent was to inform with fact, and not leave a philosophical meaning of theory within the reader. This is said after viewing the bibliography and noticing some of the sources used. This author also decides to take the topic of education further by explaining the elements involved during the transformation of Roman education well into the A.D. years. The author provides justice for his theories by saying no other textbook has the grammar or rhetoric to show the authority of Quintilian, which he holds as the most prominent figure in Roman education. In this way the author could be considered bias, especially since he gives very little credit to the founders of the Roman system. Rather than giving credit to Quintilian for revolutionizing the field, this author reveres Quintilian as the greatest teacher of his time. One flaw in this source is the lack of extra material used to create greater meaning. Gwynn left out illustrations, maps, appendixes etc. and the bibliography is less diverse than others. The inclusion of maps and charts could have helped to show diffusion of the Roman civilization and the context of Rome with neighboring cultures. This book does not seem give a very accurate description of the evolution of education in Rome.
Avi-Yonah, Michael and Shatzman, Israel. Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Classical
World. New York, NY: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1975. The authors of this text were professors at the Hebrew University, but mainly wrote several volumes of encyclopedias for quick reference to topics. Both authors are widely revered scholars, who have multiple publications of Roman history. Shatzman studied in the area of Roman wealth with politics as his specialty. The qualifications of these authors are prudentially sound, so they compiled a volume of encyclopedias. Their purpose for writing the encyclopedias was to assist struggling researchers, but also to show how the modern world has been molded around history. The encyclopedia covers every technical word used in the ancient, classical world, and provides in depth definitions of each of the subjects covered. The text provides no bias because it is simply facts and definitions. The text contains a broad range of ideas, and common facts, but also offers many bibliographical sources to further independent research and studies. The passage about Roman education explains the same facts the other authors used and reiterates the importance of education in the family. This book contains very useful entries for the research
topic of Roman education. The entry entitled “Roman Education” is one page in
length and is merely a summarized account of education in Ancient Rome,
however, this encyclopedia also contains cross references to other important
entries that relate to Roman education, such as academies for further study, music,
and various other subjects. This book is useful for identifying the key elements of
a particular subject, however, it is difficult to relate the subjects to one another
and the material given for any specific entry is inadequately thorough.
Dr. Robert Hoag
Education in Rome vs. Education in Greece
I.Roman education is only a reflection, not duplication, of the Greek educationsystem.
II.Before schools were developed, Roman education was practically nonexistent, and education in Greece was reserved for the elite in the community.
A.Training for the chosen Greek pupils included education on the subjects of music, poetry, numeracy, and religious ritual.
B.By house rule, early Roman education consisted of the father as the only schoolmaster of his children.
III.The development of school systems in these cultures shows some similarities in instructional content, but the system of teaching was very different.
A.Ancient Greece developed the idea of school systems around the mid-seventh century B.C.
B.Romans strived to achieve the same level of education as Ancient Greece.
IV.The main area of instruction for both Ancient Roman and Greek pupils were primarily composed of basic arithmetic and reading and writing skills until at least age eleven.
A.Classical Athens consisted of three basic forms of education : reading, music, and gymnastics.
i.Reading in schools of Classical Athens typically involved the accounts of Homer.
ii.Music was a very important aspect of Greek education.
iii.A paidotribe, or trainer, taught sports and physical education
B.The Hellenistic period gave way to secondary education and new teaching principles.
i.Children were split into age groups and studied subjects that pertained to each specific group based on the instruction that the students had already received.
ii.Science and mathematics became very popular areas of study during this period of Greek culture.
C.Roman curriculum consisted of many of the same concepts as the Greeks, but was also very different in content.
i. As the Greek students had studied Homer, there was no dominant literary source for Roman society, therefore the children studied both Greek and Latin literature in order to obtain effective speaking skills.
ii.A fundamental difference between these two cultures is the incorporation of foreign languages.
iii.Young Romans would study the history of their country’s legends in great detail.
D.The basic techniques of study for these two cultures were fundamentally similar.
i.Roman children were often split into age groups for teaching, just as the Greeks had done during Hellenistic times.
ii.Music also played a role in Roman curriculum, although it was not as highly esteemed as in the Greek schools.
V.Continued education was significantly dissimilar in Greece than in Rome.
A.Most Romans that wished to continue their education were sent to Greek academies for further study, or would hire a specialist.
B.Greek academies were prevalent during Roman existence.
i.Plato’s Academy was one of the well- known Greek academies that existed sometime around 387 B.C.
ii.Aristotle’s Lyceum was another research establichment that was founded after Plato’s Academy and taught using different principles than most.
VI.Although many Romans intended to Hellenize Roman education, the attempts were failed.