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EDUCATION
Greek. The Dorians of Crete and Sparta followed a peculiar line in the matter of education. Throughout Greece generally the state left it to private effort; but in Sparta and Crete it came under the direct supervision of the community. At Sparta, as soon as a child was born, a commission of the elders of its tribe had to decide whether it should be reared or exposed. If it was weakly or deformed, it was exposed in a defile of Mount Taygetus. Till his seventh year, a boy was left to the care of his parents. After this the Paidonomos, or officer presiding over the whole department of education, assigned him to a division of children of the same age called a bua. Several of such buas together formed a troop or ila. Each bua was superintended by a Buagoros, each ila by an Ilarchos. Both these officers were elected from among the most promising of the grown up youths, and were bound to instruct the children in their exercises. The exercises were calculated to suit the various ages of the children, and consisted in running, leaping, wrestling, throwing the spear and discus, as well as in a number of dances, particularly the war dance or Pyrrhiche (see PYRRHIC DANCE). The dancing was under the constant superintendence of the Paidonomos, and five Bidyoe, under him. The discipline was generally directed to strengthening or hardening the body. The boys went barefoot and bareheaded, with hair cut short, and in light clothing. From their twelfth year they wore nothing but an upper garment, which had to last the whole year. They slept in a common room without a roof, on a litter of hay or straw, and from their fifteenth year on rushes or reeds. Their food was extremely simple, and not sufficient to satisfy bunger. A boy who did not want to be hungry had to steal; if he did this cleverly, he was praised, and punished if detected. Every year the boys had to undergo a flogging at the altar of Artemis Orthia, as a test of their power to endure bodily pain. They were whipped till the blood flowed, and deemed it a disgrace to show any sign of suffering. Reading and writing were left to private instructors; but music, and choral singing in particular, formed a part of the regular discipline. The understanding was assumed to be formed by daily life in public, and the conversation of the men, to which the boys were admitted. Every Spartan boy looked up to his seniors as his instructors and superiors; the consequence being that in Sparta the young behaved to their elders with more modesty and respect than in any other Greek city. Besides this, every man chose a boy or youth as his favourite. He was bound to set the boy an example of all manly excellence, and was regarded as responsible and punishable for his delinquencies. This public education and the performance of the regular exercises, under the superintendence of the Bidyoe, lasted till the thirtieth year. In the eighteenth year the boy passed into the class of youths. From the twentieth year, when military service proper began, to the thirtieth, the youth was called an eiren. He was not regarded as a man, or allowed to attend the public assembly till his thirtieth year. The girls had an education in music and gymnastic education similar to that of the boys, and at the public games and contests each sex was witness of the performances of the other. The girls' dress was extremely simple, consisting of a sleeveless tunic reaching not quite down to the knees, and open at the sides. In this, however, there was nothing which interfered with modesty and propriety of behaviour. In Crete the system of education was generally similar to that of Sparta. But the public training did not begin till the seventeenth year, when the boys of the same age joined themselves freely into divisions called agelai, each led by some noble youth, whose father was called agelatas, and undertook the supervision of the games and exercises. It is probable that the young men remained in this organization till their twenty-seventh year, when the law compelled them to marry. At Athens, as in Greece generally, the father decided whether the child should be reared or exposed. The latter alternative seems to have been not seldom adopted, especially when the child was a girl. If the education of a child was once fairly commenced, the parents had no power to put it out of the way. At the birth of a boy, the door of the house was adorned with a branch of olive; at the birth of a girl, with wool. On the fifth or seventh day after birth the child underwent a religious dedication at the festival of the Amphidromia ("running round"). It was touched with instruments of purification, and carried several times round the burning hearth. On the tenth day came the festival of naming the child, with sacrifice and entertainment, when the father acknowledged it as legitimate. To the end of the sixth year the boys and girls were brought up together under female supervision; but after this the sexes were educated apart. The girls' life was almost entirely confined to her home: she was brought up under the superintendence of women, and with hardly anything which can be called profitable instruction. The boy was handed over to a slave older than himself called Poedagogos. It was the slave's duty to watch the boy's outward behaviour, and to attend him, until his boyhood was over, whenever he went out, especially to the school and the gymnasium. The laws made some provision for the proper education of boys. They obliged every citizen to have his son instructed in music, gymnastics, and the elements of letters (grammata), i.e. writing, reading, and arithmetic. They further obliged the parents to teach their boys some profitable trade, in case they were unable to leave them a property sufficient to maintain them independent. If they failed in this, they forfeited all claim to support from the children in old age. But with schools and their arrangements the state did not concern itself. The schools were entirely in private hands, though they were under the eye of the police. The elementary instruction was given by the grammatistoe, or teachers of letters, the teacher writing and the scholars copying. The text-books for reading were mostly poems, especially such as were calculated to have an influence on the formation of character. The Homeric poems were the favourite reading book, but Hesiod, Theognis, and others were also admitted. Collections of suitable passages from the poets were early made for the boys to copy, learn by heart, and repeat aloud. The higher instruction given by the grammatikos was also of this literary character. Mathematics were introduced into the school curriculum as early as the 5th century, drawing not till the middle of the 4th century B.C. Instruction in music proper began about the thirteenth year. The profound moral influence attributed to music in Greek antiquity made this art an essential part of education. It brought with it, naturally, an acquaintance with the masterpieces of Greek poetry. The instrument most practised was the lyre, from its suitableness as an accompaniment to song. The flute was held in less esteem. The aim of education was supposed to be the harmonious development of mind and body alike. Instruction in gymnastics was consequently regarded as no less essential than in music, and began at about the same age. It was carried on in the paloestroe (see PALAeSTRA) under the paidotribai, who were, like the grammatikoi, private, not public instructors. The boys began their gymnastics in the paloestra, and completed them in the gymnasia under the superintendence of the gymnastoe. The ephebi, in particular, or boys between sixteen and nineteen, practised their exercises in the gymnasia, till, in their twentieth year, they were considered capable of bearing arms, and employed on frontier service. At this point they became liable to enlistment for foreign service, and obtained the right of attending the meeting of the public assembly. Towards the end of the 5th century B.C. the class of sophistoe, or professors of practical education, arose. This gave the young men an opportunity of extending their education by attending lectures in rhetoric and philosophy; but the high fees charged by the sophistoe, had the effect of restricting this instruction to the sons of the wealthy.
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