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A History of Education in Antiquity

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H. I. Marrou’s A History of Education in Antiquity has been an invaluable contribution in the fields of classical studies and history ever since its original publication in French in 1948. French historian H. I. Marrou traces the roots of classical education, from the warrior cultures of Homer, to the increasing importance of rhetoric and philosophy, to the adaptation of H H. I. Marrou’s A History of Education in Antiquity has been an invaluable contribution in the fields of classical studies and history ever since its original publication in French in 1948. French historian H. I. Marrou traces the roots of classical education, from the warrior cultures of Homer, to the increasing importance of rhetoric and philosophy, to the adaptation of Hellenistic ideals within the Roman education system, and ending with the rise of Christian schools and churches in the early medieval period. Marrou shows how education, once formed as a way to train young warriors, eventually became increasingly philosophical and secularized as Christianity took hold in the Roman Empire. Through his examination of the transformation of Greco-Roman education, Marrou is able to create a better understanding of these cultures.


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H. I. Marrou’s A History of Education in Antiquity has been an invaluable contribution in the fields of classical studies and history ever since its original publication in French in 1948. French historian H. I. Marrou traces the roots of classical education, from the warrior cultures of Homer, to the increasing importance of rhetoric and philosophy, to the adaptation of H H. I. Marrou’s A History of Education in Antiquity has been an invaluable contribution in the fields of classical studies and history ever since its original publication in French in 1948. French historian H. I. Marrou traces the roots of classical education, from the warrior cultures of Homer, to the increasing importance of rhetoric and philosophy, to the adaptation of Hellenistic ideals within the Roman education system, and ending with the rise of Christian schools and churches in the early medieval period. Marrou shows how education, once formed as a way to train young warriors, eventually became increasingly philosophical and secularized as Christianity took hold in the Roman Empire. Through his examination of the transformation of Greco-Roman education, Marrou is able to create a better understanding of these cultures.

30 review for A History of Education in Antiquity

  1. 4 out of 5

    Felipe Oquendo

    O tempo que eu levei para ler o livro não faz justiça ao seu conteúdo e ao seu autor: o conteúdo é interessantíssimo, per se e pela forma como é passado. O autor não poderia ser mais erudito. Sua busca pela "Forma", hegeliana, da Escola Clássica, é extremamente empolgante e interessante. Essa forma - spoilers! - é a tríplice partição entre Mestre Escola (magister ludi), correspondente ao primário, Gramático, correspondente ao secundário e Retórico, correspondente ao nível superior (onde, contudo, O tempo que eu levei para ler o livro não faz justiça ao seu conteúdo e ao seu autor: o conteúdo é interessantíssimo, per se e pela forma como é passado. O autor não poderia ser mais erudito. Sua busca pela "Forma", hegeliana, da Escola Clássica, é extremamente empolgante e interessante. Essa forma - spoilers! - é a tríplice partição entre Mestre Escola (magister ludi), correspondente ao primário, Gramático, correspondente ao secundário e Retórico, correspondente ao nível superior (onde, contudo, desde o período helenista, divida as atenções com a Medicina, a Filosofia e, após Roma, o Direito) todas essas palavras significando algo muito diferente do que aponta o dicionário de hoje. O livro passa pela Grécia Antiga, Roma e termina apontando para o final da Alta Idade Média, com a Renascença Carolíngia. É a história de como a cultura dos guerreiros vai sendo substituída pela dos escribas e, finalmente, pela dos religiosos. Enfim, um grande livro, que recomendo a todos os estudantes de História e de Educação.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    In this history, Marrou traces the trajectory of classical education. He begins in Homeric Greece, positioning this culture as a forerunner of medieval feudalism. The “knights” at the apex of this culture were sporting ones, and the ideal knight was “both orator and warrior” (8). Education thus wove together military and rhetorical preparation. Marrou argues that Sparta, originally a bastion of culture, lost its way because it attempted to petrify itself in this early stage. Athens moved forward In this history, Marrou traces the trajectory of classical education. He begins in Homeric Greece, positioning this culture as a forerunner of medieval feudalism. The “knights” at the apex of this culture were sporting ones, and the ideal knight was “both orator and warrior” (8). Education thus wove together military and rhetorical preparation. Marrou argues that Sparta, originally a bastion of culture, lost its way because it attempted to petrify itself in this early stage. Athens moved forward, however, beacuse “somewhere in the middle of the sixth century..., [Athenian] education lost its essentially military character” (36). Given its knightly and Homeric origins, however, that education remained aristocratic and artistic even as it was slowly extended to more and more young citizens. This extension was interconnected with the rise of the school and a shift away from a model of education based on an individual relationship between aristocratic youth and private tutors. The Sophists played a key role here. Though the economic aspect (i.e. that they charged students tuition) of the Sophists’ schools earned them mockery from the conservative aristocracy, Marrou positions them as taking a key step in the development of classical education. He sets up Isocrates and Plato as exemplars of this stage of development, with Isocrates representing rhetoric, “the Word,” and the Sophists’ attempts to educate the ideal orator-statesman, and Plato representing philosophy, “Truth,” and the aristocratic attempt to keep governance in the hands of a few trained philosopher-politicians. The binary is not pure, however, and Marrou notes the ways in which rhetoric borrowed from philosophy and vice versa. He admires both Isocrates and Plato, positioning the latter as the founder of a sort of non-banking model of education that attempted to develop students’ critical faculties rather than impart fixed knowledge. Even as Hellenistic education spread, became less about sports and the body, and shifted from aristocratic to democratic ends, however, Marrou positions it as inseparable from origins in a knightly Homeric tradition, with the ephebic schools of Greece maintaining an education that was aristocratic, artistic, and non-technical. Roman education, on the other hand, had its origins in “peasant education” (231). As Rome developed into an empire, however, its aristocracy began to realize the political benefits of oratorical/rhetorical education in the Greek tradition and began what Marrou argues is an almost wholesale adoption of the preexistent model of Hellenistic education: grammarians, rhetors, the progymnasmata, contrived declamations. At first, the teachers of this education were the Greek slaves of well-to-do families--somewhat like the enslaved pedagogues who took young Greek boys to and from school and were de facto responsible for those boys’ practical moral education. As Greek education grew more popular, however, Greek educators began to move to Rome and set up schools. Again, this seems reminiscent of the fact that most of the early public schools in Athens were started by foreigners. It wasn’t long before young Romans like Cicero were travelling to Greece itself to study abroad. Roman education thus slowly lost its peasant origins and became, like that of the Greeks, an artistic education for aristocratic youth. Given what Marrou positions as the formalistic, State-centered nature of Roman governance, however, schools were increasingly public institutions. The “scribe education” Marrou references at the beginning of his book is realized as these publicly funded schools slowly became training grounds for civil servants--the future bureaucrats of the Roman Empire. With the disintegration of the empire, however, Marrou sees Christian education--a decisively non-classical education--taking over. In this education, the focus was Biblical literacy rather than abstract analytical skills, the teacher was revered rather than scorned, and the focus was on training future clergy rather than politicians and/or political technicians.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Arsnoctis

    Lettura parziale in preparazione della tesi, per quel che ho potuto leggere si tratta di un volume particolarmente esaustivo sui temi dell'educazione in Grecia e a Roma. Seppure non si tratti di un testo recente, ne consiglio la lettura a chi fosse interessato ad approfondire il tema. Lettura parziale in preparazione della tesi, per quel che ho potuto leggere si tratta di un volume particolarmente esaustivo sui temi dell'educazione in Grecia e a Roma. Seppure non si tratti di un testo recente, ne consiglio la lettura a chi fosse interessato ad approfondire il tema.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michael Anderson

    Awesome book. Lays out the development of education in the Greek Polis and its influence on all education since.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Guilherme Falk

    Mostra como a educação da retórica/oratória foi desde, os sofistas, perpetuada até a antiguidade cristã. Demonstra também o embate entre filósofos e retores pelos domínios educacionais na antiguidade.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ted Newell

    Recommended to me by Michael Warren OSB long time teacher of R E at St Johns University Long Island and crusader for a gospel currently covered with irrelevance. Marrou's book is full of insights; detailed but never pedantic scholarship. Recommended to me by Michael Warren OSB long time teacher of R E at St Johns University Long Island and crusader for a gospel currently covered with irrelevance. Marrou's book is full of insights; detailed but never pedantic scholarship.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Michael Spence

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alberto Renzo

  9. 5 out of 5

    Amber

  10. 5 out of 5

    Julie Marion Taylor

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Heydt

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas

  13. 5 out of 5

    Andy

  14. 5 out of 5

    Charles

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jared Saltz

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lara

  17. 5 out of 5

    Aly S.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Fernando Ferreira

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ivan

  20. 4 out of 5

    John

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jenni Jackson

  22. 5 out of 5

    Giuliano Verardi

  23. 4 out of 5

    José Tomás

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  25. 5 out of 5

    Evandro

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tamar Dunes

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Mahameed

  28. 5 out of 5

    absoluteknowergmail.com

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cosmina Elena Curcă

  30. 5 out of 5

    Seda Rkch

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