CC365: Getting Schooled in Antiquity

SCHEDULE OF TOPICS

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# indicates readings available on open reserve in Scribner Library
+ indicates readings handed out in class or available via link on the web site

MOST RECENT ASSIGNMENT

**JANUARY**

Tues
1/ 22

TOPICS: Introduction, Overview of the Subject [Outline of Antiquity.ppt]

READINGS: None

Thurs
1/ 24

TOPICS: "Homeric" Education

READINGS:  +Iliad 9 (selection);
                       Marrou pp. 3-13;
                       #Jaeger, Paideia vol. I, pp. 3-34
                      
[+Greek alphabet handout]

(If you feel you would like a plot summary of the Iliad, go here. If you would like more background on the plot of the Odyssey, the wikipedia entry here should be more than adequate.)

READING/DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
  • What is the origin and nature of the relationship between Phoenix and Achilles in the Iliad? How would we describe this relationship in modern terms? What could Phoenix possibly provide that Achilles' father Peleus couldn't?
  • According to Marrou and Jaeger (and based on your own reading of Iliad 9), what sort of person did "Homeric education" aim to produce -- and why? How did it go about trying to produce that type of person?
  • According to Marrou and Jaeger (and, once again, based on your own reading of the Iliad) can we separate what Homer the poet teaches his readers from the sort of education depicted in the poem? To what extent are they the same? Are they, to any meaningful extent, obviously different?
  • What do Marrou and Jaeger see as the later influence of "Homeric education" -- both on antiquity and on us today? What do they see as responsible for that influence? Does modern education have any significant parallels with "Homeric education" as Marrou and Jaeger describe it?
  • Marrou and Jaeger seem to agree on many of the features that constitute "Homeric education." Do they differ about it to any significant extent and, if so, how?

Tues
1/ 29

TOPICS: The Poet as Teacher: Didactic and Gnomic Poetry

READINGS:  +Hesiod, Works and Days and Theogony 1-115 (trans. Lombardo 1993)
                      +Theognis, selections (trans. M.L. West, Greek Lyric Poetry 1993)
                      #+Eric A. Havelock, Preface to Plato, chs. 6 and 7 (pp. 97-133)

(You may wish to check the wikipedia article on gnomic verse for a better understanding of the genre of Theognis.)

READING/DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  • Do you think (as Havelock does) that Hesiod believed he was providing something that we would call education? Was he? If so, what is Hesiod trying to teach the reader? Is it just one thing, or several?
  • Assuming that Hesiod is trying to teach the reader, what techniques does he use? Again, does he have just one approach to education, or more than one? If Hesiod and Theognis are trying to teach us (and not just entertain us, say), how do they attempt to get us to learn?
  • Is there anything in contemporary education comparable to the "teachings" of Hesiod and Theognis? Do you feel you learned anything by reading them for the seminar? :-)
  • Havelock is trying to explain why Plato felt that the education of the early Greeks was controlled by poets. Do you find Havelock's arguments persuasive? About Hesiod's conception of his own poetry? About the "oral sources of Hellenic intelligence"? Why or why not?
  • If we accept Havelock's view that early Greek culture was uniquely structured by "oral acoustic intelligence," what implications would that have for the ways in which any program of Greek education would have to be organized?

Thurs
1/ 31

TOPICS: Meet the Spartans

READINGS:  

  • +Robin Barrow, "Spartan Education" in Greek and Roman Education (1976) 23-31
  • +fragments of Tyrtaeus (an early Spartan poet) fr. 10 and fr. 12 (optional: fr. 11)
  • +Plutatch, Life of Lycurgus §8-28 (pp. 16-41 of handout)
  • +Xenophon, The Politeia [Constitution] of the Spartans (trans. J.M. Moore 1975) §1-6 (pp.75-82 in handout; the handout also includes a commentary on these sections)

READING/DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  • What are the primary aims and means of Spartan education? How do they differ from the aims and means of "Homeric education" or the kind of education that might have been provided by didactic and gnomic poets? How are they the same?
  • Are there any features of the Spartan system that seem incongrouous, unnecessary, or counterproductive -- or does it seem to be a perfectly conceived and realized whole?
  • Are there any points of comparison between our modern educational system and that of the Spartans? If so, what are they and how do we moderns set about achieving them?
  • Are there any lessons that modern educational theory and practice could take away from the Spartan system, or are our ideals and societies too different?
  • Do you find yourself trusting everything you read in Plutarch and Xenophon about the Spartan educational system? Is there any reason to doubt the claims by Plutarch, Xenophon and Barrow about the system's success?

**FEBRUARY**

Tues
2/5

TOPICS: New Perspectives on Spartan Education

READINGS:  

  • Marrou 14-25 ("Spartan Education")
  • +review of Nigel Kennell's book The Gymnasium of Virtue by Antony Keen in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review
  • #Kennell, Gymnasium of Virtue, pp. 115-148
  • +Jean Ducat, "Perspectives on Spartan Education in the Classical Period" in Hodkinson and Powell (eds.), Sparta: New Perspectives (Swansea and London, 1999) 43-66. Click here for a Word document defining the Greek words used by Ducat.)

READING/DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

As you read Marrou, Kennell, and Ducat, take note of the ways in which each of them modifies, expands, or compliments the picture of Spartan education that emerged from our discussion on Thursday. What parts of the conventional picture does each scholar question? Are you convinced by their attempts (particularly Kennell's and Ducat's) to change our thinking about the Spartan agoge?

In addition, consider the following specific questions:

  • Do Marrou's ideological objections to the Spartan way of life -- about which he is quite candid -- unduly influence his presentation of the Spartan educational system? In your opinion, should Marrou, as a scholar, be quite so open about how he feels?
  • Ducat spends a great deal of space on the question of whether Spartan education was essentially ritualistic. How does Ducat's position on this question differ from Kennell's -- and do you find Ducat's opinions on the "ritualist" position convincing?
  • To what extent does education in our own time have the characteristics of ritual? To what extent should ritual be a part of what defines education?
  • What would you still like to know about education in Sparta that you don't know? If you could have one question about Spartan education answered, what would it be?
Thurs
2/7
TOPICS: Civic Education in Archaic Greece

READINGS:  

READING/DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  • What are the features of "the old Athenian education" as described by Marrou? What does Marrou indicate he believes happened to that model of education as time went on?
  • Does Griffith agree or disagree with Marrou about the changes in Greek education that took place after the advent of schools?
  • In what ways could Greek city states have "educated" their citizens without having formal systems of education in place? To what extent do the activities discussed by Griffith constitute an education?
Tues
2/12
TOPIC: Overview of School Education in Greece

READINGS:

  • +Frederick A.G. Beck, "The Traditional Practice in Athenian Education" in Greek Education 450-350 B.C. (New York, 1964) 72-146. (You will probably wish to read this first, and then skim Marrou.)
  • Marrou, pp. 142-175.
  • Review the schedule of suggested topics for the remainder of the course for discussion on Monday.

READING/DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

Please consider the following questions with respect to our seminar:

  1. Are there topics not included that the suggested schedule of topics that you would like to see included? Do you have opinions, at this point, on the orientation and structure of the seminar?
  2. Would you prefer more structured, formal discussions or do you feel happy with discussions as they have been for the first three weeks of the course?
  3. Would you prefer more lectures and formal presentations of the material by the instructor?
  4. Which topics that have been alluded to in discussion or readings thus far, or that appear on the schedule of suggested topics, most intrigue you (and for which you might therefore like to lead discussion or on which you might be interested in giving presentations)?

We will briefly discuss these issues in class on Monday. In addition, you are encouraged to bring to class on Monday an anonymous, typed mini-evaluation describing what you hope for from the rest of the course and what modifications, if any, you might suggest to our approach.. I'll pass around an envelope to receive your evaluations.

Thurs
2/14
TOPIC: Physical Education

READINGS:  

READING/DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: (None announced)
Tues
2/19
TOPIC: Musical Education

READINGS:  

  • Marrou pp. 133-141
  • Plato, Laws 652a-674c (= Book II, pp. 1344-1364)

READING/DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  • What does Marrou think are the causes of music's decline in the ancient curriculum? Why wouldn't Aristotle's recommendations on music teaching (p. 139) have been followed as a matter of course? Are there any parallels between the reasons for the declining educational significance of ancient music and the diminution of music education today?
  • Marrou (p. 140) treats as "quite absurd" the idea of the ethical impact of music. Is he right? Is it not the case that different styles of music have different emotional effects? Might not those emotional effects have an educational, character-forming influence?
  • In the passage from the Laws that you read, how does Plato define education? Is it an adequate definition? Can you think of any sense in which you might agree with the statement that to be educated is to be trained to take part in singing and dancing (654a-b)?
  • What does Plato seem to mean by the difference between good and bad music, good and bad dances (655d-656a, for example)? Would you draw any such distinction? What is Plato's objection to purely instrumental music (669d-670a)?
  • What kind of educational system does Plato envision? What role does Plato think different members of society should play in education?
  • At 662b-663e Plato argues that there is no distinction between individual happiness and the practice of justice. What is the basis for this argument? Does it make sense? If there is (contrary to Plato) a difference between the two, should the education of the child aim at his or her happiness, or at making him or her a good and just person?
Thurs
2/21
[CLASS CANCELLED: READINGS AND DISCUSSIONS PUSHED BACK]
Tues
2/26
TOPIC: Old and New Education

READINGS:  

  • Aristophanes, Clouds (start with pp. 7-13 of the introduction)

READING/DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: [Chris L. and Maggie]

  • Strepsiades asks Socrates for instruction in the ‘worsest argument’, (657) but Socrates says he needs more preliminary studies of random topics. Are these studies just a comedic device, or are they meant to stimulate Strepsiades’ unconditioned mind?
  • Strepsiades’ obsession with the worse argument is a reference to Protagoras’ quote about a good rhetorician being able to argue the weaker argument as the correct one. Should rhetoric teachers be teaching students to debate unconditionally, or should they focus on virtuous and morally pure arguments?
    Follow up: Is Pheidippides’ debate that parents can be beaten an exercise in rhetoric or morally corrupt?
  • Socrates says that Pheidippides can learn better from the arguments than from him (886). Is he just trying to blow off Pheidippides, or does listening to debate really teach better than a teacher could?
  • In scene XI, Strepsiades turns away the creditors by using some of the questionable knowledge he received from Socrates. Has he actually learned the art of rhetoric, or has he learned how to confuse people like Socrates, or has he learned nothing at all?
Thurs
2/28
TOPIC: The Sophists

READINGS:  

  • Plato, Protagoras

READING/DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: [Wil and Kasia]

  • Is teaching worth paying for if you "cannot carry teachings away in a separate container"? (314b)
  • What does Protagoras claim to teach? How is this the same or different than modern teachers?
  • Define virtue (329-332). Is it truly a single thing, or does it have many parts? If is has many parts, are they separate or do they rely on each other?
  • Does Socrates want Protagoras to speak less or himself to speak more? Note how the two reverse roles in style of speech.
  • Do either of the men produce coherent arguments? Or do the both invalidate their own arguments by equating virtue with knowledge?
  • Who "wins" the arguement, Socrates, Protagoras, or neither?
Tues
3/4
TOPIC: Theorists of Education: Plato I

READINGS:  

  • Plato, Republic 376c (p. 1015) - 461e (p. 1089)

READING/DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  • This section of Plato's Republic begins with a long discussion (roughly 377d-392b) of the kinds of poetry to which children must not be exposed in the course of their education. What bad outcomes does Plato fear from children's reading the wrong kind of poetry? Have we seen these outcomes actually occurring anywhere in our other readings so far? (With respect to this last question, you might specifically consider the concern expressed by Socrates at 391e in relation to events in Aristophanes' Clouds.) To what extent does Plato go too far in his condemnation of the poets and to what extent does he have a point? Should children be protected from sympathetic portrayals of (for example) excessive grief (388) or self-indulgence (390)?
  • Although Plato wants to radically censor or rewrite the canon of poets, and would even modify physical education somewhat (403c-404b), he seems to embrace the traditional belief that education should consist of music and athletics. What specific benefits does Plato think these two activities will have? What role does each play in the formation of the soul? (Especially relevant here are 410-411 and the intricate discussion at 439d-444.)
  • Plato emphasizes (410b-412b) the need for a balance between physical and musical education. Do his arguments resemble modern arguments for "well-roundedness" in education? Why is it important for a child to receive different kinds of training and instruction?
  • Plato wants to keep children under constant observation and test them relentlessly to weed out those not suited to be guardians (413c-414a). To what extent is education, including modern education, really a process of selection and tracking?
  • Why does Plato believe women and men should receive the same education (451c-456b). Do you take issue with any part of his argument? Why is it important for men and women to be educated together?
  • We saw last time that Plato was conflicted about whether or not virtue/excellence/arete could be taught. What does he seem to think in the Republic?
  • Does the educational system envisioned by Plato resemble anything we have seen so far in our study of ancient education, or is it totally new?
Thurs
3 /6
TOPIC: Theorists of Education: Plato II and Aristotle

READINGS:  

  • Plato, Republic 502a (p.1123) - 541b (p. 1155) and +Aristotle, Politics VIII
  • +Matthias Baltes, "Plato's School, the Academy" Hermathena 155 (1993) 5-26. (You actually do not need to read the extensive footnotes on pp. 19-26.)

READING/DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: TBA [Chris C. and Nick B.]

1) In Book VI (508), Socrates talks about the “form of the good.” He also discusses what ‘the good’ is. Are the ‘the good’ and the ‘form of the good’ the same or different? Can the perception of beauty, happiness, or other so-called ‘good’ things be relative to the person experiencing them, or are they absolute ‘goods’? Socrates points out the sun in particular – what role does the sun play when examining the relationship between ‘the good’ and the ‘form of the good’?

2) Throughout Books VI and VII, Socrates and Glaucon discuss the ideal ruler. Socrates says, “Any measure of such things that falls short in any way of that which is is not good measure, for nothing incomplete is the measure of anything” (504). How does this statement relate to philosopher-kings and why they make for the best rulers? What subjects must a philosopher-king have learned, and what qualities must he possess? How do these subjects and qualities make him more capable than others?

3) Is the existence of a philosopher-king really possible, or is he just a dreamed-up, idealized ruler? Would such a philosopher feel any commitment to rule, or would he rather dedicate his time solely to philosophy? What does this say about the relationship between political education and commitment to ruling?

4) In the cave allegory, education plays an important role. How? What is the goal of education? What stages/divisions of the intelligible are present, and how are they represented in the allegory? What role do philosopher-kings play in this metaphor? Why must they go back into the cave?

5) In what areas does Aristotle say citizens should be educated? How do these areas help citizens develop in terms of their work, play, and leisure time? How does music in particular affect leisure? Does Aristotle regard leisure as a helpful, dangerous, or useless part of a citizen’s day, or does it depend on how the citizen manages his own leisure time?

6) One key difference between Plato and Aristotle’s curricula is that Plato discusses the importance of arithmetic (and other areas of mathematics), while Aristotle completely disregards it. Do you feel arithmetic should have been included in Greek compulsory education? Why?

Tues
3/11

and

Thurs
3/13

SPRING BREAK (NO CLASSES)
Tues
3/18
TOPIC: Theorists of Education: Isocrates

READINGS:  

  • Marrou, "The Classical Tradition: Plato" and "The Classical Tradition: Isocrates" pp. 61-91. (The chapter on Plato will largely restate conclusions or review issues that have come up in class: it can be skimmed with an eye to the last reading/discussion question. The chapter on Isocrates should be read much more carefully.)
  • +#Isocrates, Antidosis (You can safely skip §§101-150. The introduction is not necessary but may be helpful. You should know that "sykophant" is a synonym for "slanderer" -- a pejorative term for people who made a career out of attacking people in the Athenian courts. You should also know that Marrou refers to this speech as On Exchange as well as Antidosis -- these are the same speech.)

READING/DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

[This week's classes will involve somewhat less discussion and somewhat more lecture than usual. We will begin on Tuesday by briefly taking up Book VIII of Aristotle's Politics, which we didn't cover before break. Tuesday's discussion of Isocrates (with a look back at Plato) may spill over into Thursday.]

  • According to the Antidosis, what is Isocrates trying to teach and to whom is he trying to teach it? What is the ultimate aim of Isocratean education as Isocrates himself expresses it?
  • What does Isocrates mean by "philosophy"?
  • What does the analogy between physical training and "discourse" (§§181-185) tell us about what Isocrates' ideas of education? How does it help him argue against those who attack his educational program?
  • Do you accept the idea (e.g. §§217-225) that a teacher or an educational program could never become popular while corrupting the young? Why or why not?
  • Do you believe Isocrates' assertions (e.g. §§231-235; 275-280) that the best speakers are also the best and most intelligent men? Why or why not? Are Isocrates' stated reasons for asserting this really the same ones that Marrou (pp. 88-89, 90) ascribes to him?
  • What are the essential differences between the educational programs of Plato and Isocrates? On what points are they agreed? What features of modern educational theory and practice does Marrou attribute to Plato? To Isocrates? On the basis of your reading of Plato and Isocrates, are you more or less sympathetic to these features?
Thurs
3/20
TOPIC: Isocrates; Summary of Classical Greek Theorists of Education

READINGS: In addition to readings for 3/17, look at +Moses Finley, "The Heritage of Isocrates" in The Use and Abuse of History (1975) 193-214. I think you'll find it interesting. I strongly suggest skipping Section 1 and beginning on p. 195 with section II.

READING/DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

See 3/18. Also: Consider also whether you agree with Finley that the 2,400-year legacy of Isocrates in education needs to be modified or abandoned in the face of modern social conditions. To the extent that it has been modified or abandoned, is that a good thing?

Tues
3/25
TOPIC: Education in Republican Rome

READINGS: (I suggest doing them in this order)

  • +Robin Barrow, "Early Roman Education," Greek and Roman Education (1976) pp. 57-81.
  • #Stanley Bonner, Education in Ancient Rome (1977) 3-64.

READING/DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  • How does early Roman education differ from early Greek education? In what ways are they similar? Consider the aims of education (why children are bring taught), the content of education (what children are being taught), and the form of education (how children are being taught).
  • How do the differences between early Greek and Roman education seem to reflect the differences between those two societies?
  • In what respects did Rome modify the educational practices it absorbed from the Greeks? How did those modifications reflect the different needs of Roman society?
Thurs
3/27
TOPIC: Discipline in Ancient Education / Pederasty in Ancient Education

READINGS ON DISCIPLINE:

  • Marrou pp. 158-159 and 272-273.
  • +Alan D. Booth, "Punishment, Discipline and Riot in the Schools of Antiquity" Echos du Monde Classique 17 (1973): 107-114 (Most of the Greek in this short article is translated; some is not. Very little of the Latin is translated. Skim the English, and don't worry about the parts you can't read. Also, don't be too shocked by the fact that the overall quality of the printing is low and that the Greek is written in by hand: it was an era before the birth of desktop publishing!)
  • +Herondas, "The Schoolmaster" (Mimiambi 3)
  • +The series of short classical readings collected in this blog post, especially Quintilian's criticism of corporal punishment at the very end.

READINGS ON PEDERASTY:

  • Marrou, "Pederasty in Classical Education," pp. 26-35.
  • Plato, Symposium from 199e: (“ 'Now try to tell me about love,' he said....”: p. 482) down to 212c (p.494).
  • +Bruce Thornton, "Eros the Pedagogue" in Eros: The Myth of Ancient Greek Sexuality (1997) 193-212 (especially Thorton's summary of Plato's Phaedrus at 206-212).

READING/DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

DISCIPLINE [Nick B. and Wil]:

  • “No progress without painful effort” Marrou goes as far to say that this is not simply a commonly held belief, but in fact a motto. Do you think progress can be attained without pain and sacrifice?
  • What do you think led to the transition between “To hold the hand out for the cane” being synonymous in Latin with “to study” to elders complaining “children nowadays play as they learn”?
  • After reading the blog, what do you think of the persistence of corporal punishment throughout the majority of the educational timeline? It is only recently that such punishment has been removed from public schools. Do you feel like this is a step in the right direction? Or is it further stripping the teacher of their already restricted powers?

PEDERASTY [Kasia and Chris L.]:

  • What is pederasty used to teach, and where was it common?
  • The reading focused alot on outrage/shame versus self-control. What was the difference and how was the outcome of the relationship viewed based on which of those two (shame or self control) were practised?
  • Reciprocity is a common theme in Greek culture, and as we see, pederasty. When has reciprocity gone too far, gotten shameful, or brought outrage?
  • Was pederasty "an anti-feminine ideal of manliness", or a release since women were shut out of education?
  • Does pederastic behavior inspire feelings of vocation for teaching in the elder, who calls for the student, or does it arise from the tutor-student relationship established beforehand?
  • Marrou asserts that pederasty among women (Sappho) was more human and less transcendent than among men.  Is Marrou perpetuating the Greek ideal of love involving women as lower, or was the relationship more similar than he says?
5:30pm LECTURE: Dr. Robert Proctor, "From Violence to Beauty: Roman Origins of the Liberal Arts"
Fri
3/28
8:30am-9:30am BREAKFAST WITH VISITING LECTURER DR. ROBERT PROCTOR
Tues
4/1
TOPIC: [Continuation of Thursday's Topics; Discussion of Issues Raised by Robert Proctor]

READINGS: [No New Readings]

READING/DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: [See Questions for Thursday, 3/27]
Thurs
4/3
TOPIC: The Schools of Rhetoric

READINGS:  

  • Marrou, pp. 194-205 ("Higher Education: Rhetoric") and pp. 284-291 ("The Roman Schools: Higher Education)
  • #Stanley Bonner, Education in Ancient Rome (1977) "The Rhetoric Schools and Their Critics" pp. 65-75.
  • Browse this web site, using the "tree" of subjects in the left-hand frame, with special attention to the pages under the heading "Rhetorical Pedagogy"

READING/DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  • Why do Marrou and Bonner think the study of rhetoric flourished to such an extent at Rome? Do you get the impression that Marrou is overstating the continuity between Greek and Latin oratory? Are there significant ways in which the study of rhetoric at Rome seems to have been different from the ways in which it was practiced by the Greeks?
  • Who were "the critics of rhetoric," according to Bonner and Marrou? What were their criticisms of the discipline?
  • What do you think of the systematic nature of rhetoric -- the organization of the discipline as described by Marrou and Bonner and on the Silva Rhetoricae web site? Would you expect the categories and classifications of rhetoric (in terms of the arrangement of a speech, for example) to be helpful, or merely restrictive? What about the pedogical techniques of progymnasmata, suasoriae and controversiae, etc.?
Tues
4/8
TOPIC: Cicero

READINGS:  

  • #Selections from De Oratore in Paul Monroe, Sourcebook of Education for the Greek and Roman Period, pp. 421-444
  • #Stanley Bonner, Education in Ancient Rome (1977) "Cicero and the Ideal of Oratorical Education" pp. 76-89.

READING/DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: [Nick and Bekah]

1.) What is Cicero's definition of an orator? Can/Does this sort of man exist today?

2.) "Writing is the said to be the best & most excellent modeller & teacher of oratory." Would you agree? Are we learning oratory when we write essays? If so, intentionally or unintentionally?

3.) Do you think Cicero is correct in arguing that oratory encompasses philosophy? Is philosophy weaker for not communicating what it attains? Is philosophy selfish more so than oratory?

4.) Does this change anyone's opinion on the liberal arts? Does it justify the study of math, specific laws, etc. for anyone?

5.) John Ashcroft recently visited at Skidmore. What elements of the orator did he exemplify?

6.) Do you agree with Cicero, Quintilian and Isocrates that mathematical studies are necessary for a good orator, so as to develop skills in orderly thinking and concentration?

7.) What do you consider to be virtues of good oratorical style?

8.) Crassus and Cicero are of the opinion that a good orator "must be acquainted with the whole circle of the arts and sciences." Antonius holds the opposing view that a good orator should focus on specific, practical things so as not to get distracted. What do you think about these different approaches to oratory?

Thurs
4/10
TOPIC: Quintilian

READINGS:  +#Selections from De Institutione Oratoria in Paul Monroe, Sourcebook of Education for the Greek and Roman Period, pp. 445-485 and 494-509

READING/DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: [NONE ANNOUNCED]
Tues
4/15
TOPIC: The Role of the Teacher in Education

READINGS:  

  • +#Selections from De Institutione Oratoria in Paul Monroe, Sourcebook of Education for the Greek and Roman Period, pp. 485-493
  • +Ausonius, The Professors of Bordeaux: Preface, I and II, VII-XII, XXI and XXII, XXV and XXVI
  • +Juvenal, Satire 7 lines 150-243 (start with "Do you teach rhetoric?"). You can ignore the Latin on the left-hand pages and just read the English! :-)

READING/DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: [Nick and Chris C.]

1) According to Quintilian, what qualities and capabilities must good, successful teachers possess? Are these still sought after today?

2a) Quintilian argues that all teachers, even those teaching at the lowest levels, must be well qualified. What reasons does he give for this? Do you agree with his stance?

2b) How would Quintilian feel about the following statement from Ausonius: "You weren't the brightest but one of the best" (p. 19)?

3) In Ausonius' "The Professors of Bordeaux," teachers are commended and thanked for the education they provided. How do the views of teachers in this piece differ from the views included in Juvenal's "Satire 7"?

4) Juvenal writes about the difficulties all teachers face. What are these difficulties, and how are they similar to those faced by teachers today?

5) “For the master ought not to speak to suit the taste of his pupils, but the pupils to suit that of the master”-Quintilian, p. 487 (section 13). Do you agree? Is it up to the student to understand or the teacher to communicate clearly? If there’s a compromise, to what degree?

6) “The less able a teacher is, the more obscure will he be.”- Quintilian, p. 489 (section 9). Are the most famous teachers the best teachers?

7) Do we expect too much of the teacher? Is the system not providing enough training/resources/privilege for the teacher, and is it even possible to achieve the ideals put forth by the writers we’ve read so far?

8) Is every teacher an “enriching” one as Ausonius claims? Imagine writing a memoir in a similar fashion to Ausonius. Would your conclusions reach the same end?

Thurs
4/17
TOPIC: The "Decadence" of Roman Education

READINGS:  

READING/DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: [Bekah and Maggie]

1. Petronius believes that a child's mind is left to waste in a public school setting, do you think that modern day home schooling would be Petronius' alternative for learning? Does Petronius' ideals for the proper schooling effect students in a negative way?

2. Do you feel that good public speaking is based upon the volume of people in an audience as it is stated by Messalla? If not, do you feel the an audience effects an orator at all?

3. What does Messalla claim to be the reasons for the decline in eloquence? Do you think some of these concerns are relevant today?

4. According to the Tacitus reading, how has practicing law affected the quality of oratory since the time of the so-called ancients?

5. What is Aper's criticism of the evolution of poetry? Do you think he is correct in his views? How does this compare to Petronius' thoughts on poetry?

6. Why do you think Petronius blames the death of eloquence on rhetoricians?

Tues
4/22
TOPIC: Christianization and Later Influence of Ancient Education

READINGS:  

  • Marrou, pp. 314-350 ("Christianity and Classical Education," "Appearance of Christian Schools of the Mediaeval Type," and "The End of the School of Antiquity")
READING/DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: NONE
Thurs
4/24
Presentation of Projects
Tues
4/29
Presentation of Projects, Conclusion