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The name of the first public educational institution at Rome, built by Hadrian about 135 A.D. The building was in the form of a theatre, and brilliantly fitted up. There rhetoricians and poets held their recitations, and salaried professors gave their lectures in the various branches of general liberal education, philosophy and rhetorie, as well as grammar and jurisprudence. This continued until late in the imperial age.
Roman. Among the Romans the father was free, when the new-born child was laid before him, either to expose it, or to take it up, as a sign that he meant to rear it. He bad also the right of selling his children, or putting them to death. It was not till the beginning of the 3rd century A.D. that the exposure of children was legally accounted as murder, nor did the evil practice cease even then. If the child was to be reared, it was named, if a boy on the ninth day after birth, if a girl, on the eighth. The day was called dies lustricus, or day of purification. A sacrifice in the house, accompanied with a feast, gave to the child's life a religious dedication. A box with an amulet was hung round the child's neck as a protection against magic (see BULLAe). Official lists of births were not published until the 2nd century after Christ. In earlier times, in the case of boys, the name was not formally confirmed until the assumption of the toga virilis. The child's physical and moral education was, in old times, regularly given at home under the superintendence of the parents, chiefly of the mother. The training was strict, and aimed at making the children strong and healthy, religious, obedient to the laws, temperate, modest in speech and actions, strictly submissive to their superiors, well behaved, virtuous, intelligent, and self-reliant. The girls were, taught by their mothers to spin and weave, the boys were instructed by their fathers in ploughing, sowing, reaping, riding, swimming, boxing and fencing; in the knowledge necessary for household management; in reading, writing, and counting; and in the laws of their country. The Romans did not, like the Greeks, lay stress on gymnastics, but only carried physical exercises to the point necessary for military service. The contests and exercises took place in the Campus Martius, which, down to the time of the Empire, was the favourite arena of the youths. The state took as little care of mental as of physical education. If a man could not educate his children himself, he sent them to a master. From an early time there were elementary teachers (litteratores) at Rome, corresponding to the Greek grammatistoe. These were sometimes slaves, who taught in their masters' house for his benefit. Sometimes they were freedmen, who gave instruction either in families, or in schools, (schola or ludus) of their own. They received their salary monthly, but only for eight months in the year; no instruction being given between June and November. Boys and girls were taught together. The elementary instruction included reading, writing, and arithmetic; arithmetic being, as among the Greeks, practised by counting on the fingers. In later times grown up boys learned arithmetic with a special master (calculator), who was paid at a higher rate than the, litterator, With the duodecimal system in use, arithmetic was regarded as very difficult. The reading lessons included learning the Twelve Tables by heart. After the Second Punic War it became usual, at first in single families, and afterwards more and more generally, to employ a litterator, or grammaticus, to teach Greek. The chief element in this instruction was the explanation of Greek poets, above all of Homer, whose writings became a school book among the Romans, as among the Greeks, At the same time higher instruction was given in Latin as well, the text-book being the Latin Odyssey of Livius Andronicus, Terence, and in later times Vergil, Horace, and others. The exposition of these authors gave an opportunity of communicating a variety of information. Girls were educated on the same lines. The highest point in Roman education was attained by the schools of the rhetoricians, which came into existence before the end of the republican age. In these schools, as in those of the grammatici, Greek was at first the only language taught. Since the time when Greek literature became the highest educational standard, boys, and sometimes girls, were taught Greek from their earliest years. They were put into the hands of a Greek poedagogus, or a Greek female slave, and learned the first rudiments from Greek schoolmasters. As the range of subjects widened, so as to include, among other things, music and geometry, more importance came to be attached to scholastic education. This tendency was strengthened by the increased demand for Greek culture which manifested itself under the Empire throughout the length and breadth of the Western provinces. Education was carried on on stricter lines as the old system of home training disappeared, mainly owing to the diffusion of an effeminate refinement, and the parents' habit of putting their children into the hands of Greek slaves. After the time of Vespasian the higher public, instruction began to be a matter of imperial concern. Vespasian paid away as much as £850 annually to the Latin and Greek rhetoricians in Rome. Hadrian founded the Athenaeum, the first known public institution for the higher education, with salaried teachers (see ATHENAeUM). After his time philosophers, rhetoricians, and grammarians were publicly appointed to lecture in all the larger cities of the empire. They were maintained partly at the expense of the respective communities, partly by the emperors, and enjoyed in all cases certain immunities conferred by the State. The ordinary educational course generally concluded with a boy's sixteenth or seventeenth year, though rhetorical instruction was sometimes continued far beyond this limit. And towards the end of the republican age, young men of intellectual ambition would often go to Greece to enlarge their sphere of culture. On the 17th March, the festival of the Liberalia, boys who had reached the age of puberty, or their fifteenth year, took off, in the presence of the Lares, their bulla and toga proetexta, or purple-edged toga, and put on the unadorned toga virilis. They were then, after a sacrifice at home, taken by their fathers or guardians, accompanied by friends and relations, to the forum, and enrolled in the lists of citizens. The boys were from this time, in the eyes of the law, capable of marriage, and bound to military service. They now entered upon their tirocinium, which was regarded as the last stage of education. (See TIROCINIUM.)
Type: Standard
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