Education in Roman Empire
The journey from Athenae to Roma for the civil citizen would take 12 days in February. The way would cover 1553 kilometres. The traveller would have to spend 509 denarii. The traveller would travel on a faster sail ship and on fast carriage and travel by feet. During this trip the traveller would encounter the education system of Roman Empire.
The government protected education system. Romans followed the educational traditions. The status of teacher had to be confirmed by the Emperor. In newly conquered territories education was part of Romanization. Latin and Greek were the languages of education. In eastern part of Roman Empire, Greek maintained its purity and high standard. But by 200 AD, the reign of Constantine, both languages lost their initial influence, disappeared from school and universities and resolved into variety of local dialects. The Christian Church slowly began to influence the education system imposing liturgical language.
Children education among the upper class changed the usual model of private tutors or the family education to the schools. However there are some cases when a Greek tutor at home taught the child until sixteen years. This tutors had the goal of turning roman boy into roman man. Tutors devote all their time to the students, whereas in school the teachers are more likely to be more inspired by the number of students. For pupils the competition in school was also stimulating. Schools were called “ludus litterarius”. The Emperor Hadrian decided to offer tax immunity to schoolmasters to encourage them to start primary schools in the provinces. Children would go to school from the age of six or seven. In a class there was around twelve students. Slaves that received some kind of education were teaching them. They were called “paedagogus”. The school taught children the discipline via ccorporal punishments. Children also had to come to lesson every day on time, except for market days. For four years children were taught how to write, read and count. So the goal of education was not achieved. Children were not full of great ideas at the end of their studies, but had memories about painful punishments. However, students also formed life-lasting friendship.
A small proportion of children were continuing their education in the school of the “grammaticus”. There twelve-year old were taught literature and clear speech. The dominant language of literature was Greek. Teachers were elected by special comities and became teachers after religious ceremonies. They were annually elected. The general knowledge was important – there were made “allusions to poetry, mythology, history, geography or philology”. As one of the main works, the student had to do the word-by-word analysis, trope analysis, and the overall meaning assessment of the chosen literature piece. In “grammaticus” nothing was learnt in depth. So this education was just an overview of Greek literature. ...