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Scope of the trivium and

whose educational scheme included a higher group of studies, consisting of arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy; and during the later days of Greece and Rome these 'liberal' subjects of Plato were combined with the 'practical' studies of the sophists,-grammar, rhetoric, and dialectic. These 'seven liberal arts' were definitely fixed during the fifth and sixth centuries A. D., through several treatises by such writers as Martianus Evolution and Capella, Boëthius, and Cassiodorus; and the grammar, quadrivium. rhetoric, and dialectic eventually became classed as the trivium or lower studies, and the arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy as the quadrivium or higher (Fig. 9). While this curriculum was not a broad one, the scope was much wider than would be supposed. 'Grammar' was an introduction to literature, 'rhetoric' included some knowledge of law and history, 'dialectic' paved the way for metaphysics, 'arithmetic' extended beyond mere calculation, 'geometry' embraced geography and surveying, 'music' covered a broad course in theory, and 'astronomy' comprehended some physics and advanced mathematics.

The Methods and Texts.-The general method of teaching in the monastic schools was that of question and answer. As copies of the various books were scarce, the instructor often resorted to dictation, explaining the meaning as he read, and the pupils took the passage Dictation and down upon tablets and committed it. The reading memorizing. books preparatory to the study of literature, many of which are still extant, were generally arranged by each teacher, and careful attention was given to the etymological and literary study of the authors to be read. As to texts, the leading works upon grammar were at first


Donatus and the elementary work of Donatus (fourth century) and the more advanced treatise of Priscian (sixth century), but by the thirteenth century there had sprung up a series of simplified grammars, which, for the sake of memorizing, were often written in verse. As rhetoric was no longer much concerned with declamation, Cicero and Quintilian were rarely used as texts, but various mediæval treatises upon official letters, legal documents, and forms came into use. Dialectic was studied through translations of the Organon of Aristotle, Euclid furnished the text on geometry, the works of Boëthius were generally used for arithmetic and music, and in astronomy adaptations of the treatises of Aristotle and Ptolemy became the texts.

Boëthius, and


of classical


Effect upon Civilization of the Monastic Schools.Thus monasticism accomplished not a little for civilization. While the works produced in the monasteries were literature and uncritical and superstitious, they compose most of our historical documents and sources in the Middle Ages. And, although monastic schools were decidedly hostile to classical literature as representing the temptations of the world, and at all times their rigid orthodoxy prevented every possibility of science and the development of individualism, they, together with the cathedral schools, preserved a considerable amount of GræcoRoman culture. Without the cathedral and monastic schools, the Latin and Greek manuscripts and learning could scarcely have survived and have been available at the Renaissance.


Graves, History of Education during the Middle Ages and the Transition to Modern Times (Macmillan, 1910), chaps. I-II; Monroe, Text-book (Macmillan, 1905), pp. 243-274. For the evolution of the ascetic life, see Lecky, History of European Morals (Appleton, 1869), vol. II, pp. 101-274; for the development of monasticism, Taylor, H. O., The Classical Heritage of the Middle Ages (Macmillan, 1913), chap. VII, and Wishart, A. W., A Short History of Monks and Monasticism (Brandt, Trenton, 1902). The contribution of Irish monasticism is shown in Healy, J., Insula Sanctorum et Doctorum (Sealy, Dublin, 1897), and Zimmer, H., The Irish Element in Medieval Culture (Putnam, 1891). Succinct articles on Abbey Schools, Bishop's Schools, Church Schools, and Cloister Schools by Leach, A. F. (Monroe Cyclopædia of Education, vols. I and II), furnish the most accurate ideas of monastic education as far as it is known. An account of the monastic libraries is given in Clark, J. W., Libraries in the Medieval and Renaissance Monasteries (Macmillan and Bowes, Cambridge, 1894), and Putnam, G. H., Books and Their Makers during the Middle Ages (Putnam, 1896). The best account of The Seven Liberal Arts in English is that by Abelson, P. (Columbia University, Teachers College Contributions, No. 11, 1906).



Decay of learning.


Learning and schools had by the eighth century been sadly disrupted, and, to restore them, Charlemagne invited Alcuin of York to become his adviser in education. Alcuin induced Charlemagne to conduct higher education at the Palace School, and to improve the cathedral, monastic, and parish schools.

Even after Alcuin retired from the active direction of education, he continued his educational influence, but he became set and narrow. A broader spirit, however, appeared in his pupils, and intellectual stagnation never again prevailed.

Condition of Education in the Eighth Century.—In the course of the seventh and eighth centuries mediæval education met with considerable retrogression. The learning of the sixth century was disappearing, the copying of manuscripts had almost ceased, and the cathedral and monastic schools had been sadly disrupted. The secular clergy, monks, nobility, and others who might have been expected to be trained, at times seem even to have lost the art of writing, although the leading churchmen must generally have maintained their knowledge of ecclesiastical Latin and some acquaintance with the classical authors and various compilations of the seven liberal arts. Just before this time the Franks had succeeded in establishing a supremacy over the other barbarian tribes and had spread their rule through what is

now France, Belgium, and Holland, and most of Western Germany. Under a dynasty of vigorous kings, they now drove back the Moslems, conquered the Lombards and Saxons, and subdued the Slavs and Bohemians, and finally Charlemagne (742-814) even planned to re- Charlemagne establish the Western Roman Empire under his sovereignty. This monarch greatly strengthened and centralized his dominions by a number of improvements in external administration, but, even before his recognition as emperor by the pope (800), he had realized that a genuine unity of his people could be brought about only through a much more effective and universal education. He had a keen sense of the unfortunate educational situation, and made every effort to improve it. To assist him in his endeavors, in 782 he called Alcuin (735-804) and Alcuin. from the headship of the famous cathedral school at York (see p. 56) to be his chief adviser in education.

Methods and

Higher Education at the Palace School.-Through this noted scholar Charlemagne proceeded to revive the cathedral, monastic, and parish schools, and to increase the importance of the 'Palace School.' At this latter school the great king, all his family, and many of his relatives and intellectual friends studied under the Saxon educator. Alcuin must, however, have used a more curriculum. discursive and less memoriter method with his adult students than the formal catechetical plan employed in instructing the youth. Among the subjects taught were grammar, including some study of the Latin poets and the writings of the Church Fathers, rhetoric, dialectic, arithmetic, astronomy, and theology, but Alcuin appears to have had but little command of the Greek learning. Charlemagne himself seems to have become profi

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