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You have to civic university program today and in the broadcast to follow is based upon the story of education published by Chilton books in June 1962 co-author with your narrator was Dr. Eugene LASKER And Assistant Superintendent charge of teacher recruitment by the New York City Board of Education. By presenting these excerpts from our book The Story of education. We are hoping that you our listening audience may be better able to understand the whys and the wherefores of our own American schools. Our topic today. ROMANS education I cording to the mythical story of the twin boys being nursed by a wolf. One of them Romeo Les founded Rome on the spot where the beast had discovered and adopted them in the year now reckon that seven hundred fifty three B C. For more than a thousand years before that date Indo-Europeans and other tribesmen had gradually been settling the Italian peninsula. From the eighth to the 6th century B.C. The
city states were ruled by kings. Apparently existing throughout this period there had been a Senate serving as an advisory council to these rulers and descendants of those noble families known as patricians formed a hereditary address to Craddick classed as this thing goes from the plebian and are common people. The founding of the Roman Republic when the Kings were overthrown is usually given as 509 B.C.. However the patricians continued there after to be the dominant political power of maintaining their control through the Senate which annually chose to councils to serve as joint chief executives. But as the plebian is increased in number they more and more challenge the patrician rule. It was during the third and second centuries B.C. that the center of political and economic gravity shifted from the eastern Mediterranean to Rome. The Romans proved themselves more adept than any people before them in affairs of government. Their greatest
contribution to the Western world was the establishment of a substantial foundation for the social order. They were a practical people who built institutions through which the ideals of more imaginative peoples might be realized. The body of civil laws the Romans organized remains today the foundation for most of the legal systems in the western world. It can be said our modern ideals have been taken from he brake and Greek sources but our institutions came from the Romans. This Roman genius for adaptations and application was far greater than the originality displayed that is shown by the rather the shallowness of contributions to art and literature. Although Cicero very joined Horace did leave lasting impressions upon literature as any schoolboy studying Latin can well passed by. Roman made his greatest contribution in the fields of applied rather than pure science taking the speculations of the Greek philosophers and applying them to the building of roads and bridges and the development of
agriculture. Particularly was this great genius for organizations shown in Roman military and political institutions through which there was gained and held for more than four centuries the world's greatest empire. Up to that time even in religion when they turned their attention to it a despised and persecuted sect was transformed into the beginnings of the great Roman Catholic Church with its highly complicated world wide organization in education the Romans had been called fairy man in that they carried the Greek and Hebrew ideas across a long span of time preserving them for posterity. Rome's earliest education was directed entirely toward making a boy a very boners or good man which meant a good citizen and a good soldier. Duty is a Roman citizenship are taught by their parents to both boys and girls. Those civic responsibilities were expressed in the laws of the 12 tables in poems and songs telling of Roman heroes of the past and in the
accepted religious beliefs and practices. There were no formal schools in early Rome. Boys of the citizens class learned about government as they accompany their fathers about the city. When the age of 16 was reached the youth was given a toga various Are man's costume indicating that now he was a citizen. Also at 16 each young Roman was sent to an army camp for active military duty which completed his formal education. The new citizen henceforth was expected to continue his learning by participation in civic life. Prior to the third century BCE the Romans had been largely untouched by Greek culture and had developed their own peculiar qualities of character and intellect. They idealized traits of mind appropriate to rugged agricultural and warlike primitive tribes such as field duty honesty courage integrity and dignity. But after the Roman conquest of Greece in the 2nd century B.C. educated Greek slaves were
brought to Rome as Pedagog and with them came Greek learning and school methods. Then characteristically the Romans took the education ideas of the Greeks and developed them into the most formal school system. Up to that time. Unfortunately it was planned for only the children of the wealthy until the age of seven boys and girls of the upper classes were educated at home by tutors use the Greek slaves. Then until 10 they attended a primary school called the School of the teacher of letters in which they learned reading writing and the rudiments of arithmetic. Here formal education ended for the girls but boys went on to the school as a teacher in grammar where they learned not only grammar but also the literature of Greece and Rome some with ology geography and history. At 16 boys attended the school as a teacher of rhetoric where for two or three years they studied declamation an extemporaneous speaking in harmony
with the Roman belief that one of the chief marks of an educated man was to know the duties of a citizen and to be able to speak on them in a convincing way debates on the subject of Roman law and the proper conduct of the citizen formed an important part in this final stage of the use formal education. Although this system produced some famous orators and authors it was unfortunate that only the sons of the wealthy were able to get a complete education such as it was. This tended to produce a social structure in which a small group a rich educated man largely controlled the government while most of the people had little knowledge or interest in problems of public life. Early Roman education repress the freedom of the individual in the interest of the state. It was definitely a training intended to prepare for practical life. Whereas the Greeks had been highly theoretical and subjective. The Romans were objective in striving always for the team in a some concrete purpose possessing material values.
The emphasis was placed upon physical military civic training. Vocational education to state and so patronize only by the free citizens of Greece. Again a highly respected place in early Rome. A large part of the content centered in the laws of the 12 tables which defined public and private relationships and stated clearly the human and property rights of each individual living under Roman control and protection. These were memorized presumably for the purpose of practical guidance in later life. However the twelve tables were not studied critically. In fact there was but little of intellectual nature in early Roman education. Direct imitation was the method generally used and great emphasis was placed on habit formation. The. Discipline was direct and harsh. The family became a significant institution an early Roman life one that was largely responsible for almost maintaining such a law. It's world power position under
the power known as patriarch protest this corporal punishment and even death. Could be inflicted by the father and other members of the family at his own discretion. Thus he was the unquestioned head of the family but the mother was also held in high esteem. Earlier custom did place the wife under the absolute power of her husband to do with what he pleased. But in actual practice she went freely into society and taught the children and sometimes even aided her husband in his career. In those days of ancient Rome both state and society honored womanhood and parents cooperated in training children in stern simple virtues. The girl was taught by her mother the essential moral values in domestic arts such as spinning weaving and the care of the home. At first there was but little practical need for women to know reading and writing so they were seldom taught those subjects. But this changed somewhat after the Greek elementary schools were set up by private teachers about 200
B.C. and then on the educational ideals and practices in the early period were purely Roman. But as Greece was being conquered bit by bit influence of the vanquished took root and education became composite and cosmopolitan. This change from early to late attitudes came much more gradually to the conservative Romans than it had to the Athenians. Cato the Elder bitterly opposed the growth of Greek ideas and customs because he thought they were decayed and upon his eloquent insistence the Senate in 161 B.C. He created the expulsion of all philosophers and rhetoricians from Rome. However upon Cato's death and the final conquest agrees to the destruction of Corinth in 146 B.C. foreign influences there after found easy access Cicero's the oratory in 55 B.C. marked the final triumph of Greek influences upon Roman education. It was the first as well as the
best formulation by a Roman of the Greek educational ideal. In the days of the republic when the basis for economic and political life was rather broad. Education was a common expectation for rather than really large numbers of people. But as economic and political life became more restricted in the later days of the Empire schooling became virtually limited to the aristocratic senatorial and nightly classes. Some of the emperors were noted for their support and patronage of educational institutions. Antony of Pius born in 86 laid upon the town the obligation of paying the salaries of teachers and of giving them exemptions. This stimulated the already established custom. I mean a simple control and support of education. Emperor Pius plan for the cities the pay the salaries at public expense. And he would supplement from the Imperial Treasury if the cities were unable to do so. However this imperial patronage was more or less haphazard depending as
it did upon the personal interest of the individual emperors in promoting learning or upon their efforts to gain personal support from certain sections of the population. Later Roman education moved mainly in the direction of intellectual development to become an accomplice speaker in debate it was the main purpose of formal training and language ability was stressed. The emphasis upon moral character was retained for some time. But as the Roman Empire became more corrupt and the people as a whole more DK didn't interested only in material things for their own selfish and sensuous satisfactions. This moral emphasis seemed completely lost. Gone also are the ideals of the republic and early empire that emphasize training for service to society in the later imperial period. Rhetorical training was taken by the student merely for affectation and personal display and a definite indication that the Roman Empire was in its 200 year process of falling.
At the elementary level the methods were those in memorizing an imitation material was meager that people sat upon the floor upon stones and rested their tablets on their knees. School hours were long lasting from sunrise until sunset. But there was no school in summer and holidays were numerous. They were taught the names and order of the letters of the alphabet without learning anything in regard to they shape. All the possible combinations the syllables were then learned by rote. Next writing and reading were talked by means of exercise or dictated by the teacher pronunciation enunciate in an intelligent expression received special attention. Writing was taught by copying and tracing on a wax tablet with a stylus. As in Greece. Accounting was done on the fingers with pebbles or with the abacus. Discipline was severe. The rod in the last were used frequently. The curriculum of the Roman University varied from that of the Greek University. Neither philosophical speculation or pure
The story of education
Roman education
Producing Organization
KOAC (Radio station : Corvallis, Or.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program presents an overview of education in Roman times.
Other Description
This series presents various excerpts from the book, "The Story of Education," which traces the evolution of education. The excerpts are read by the book's co-author, Dr. Carroll Atkinson.
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Narrator: Atkinson, Carroll, 1896-1988
Producing Organization: KOAC (Radio station : Corvallis, Or.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 64-38-6 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:00?
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Chicago: “The story of education; Roman education,” 1964-12-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 21, 2022,
MLA: “The story of education; Roman education.” 1964-12-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 21, 2022. <>.
APA: The story of education; Roman education. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from