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Ancient Athens was the leading cultural center of the

Greek world. Most of the gifted writers of Greece lived there. They wrote works of drama, history, lyric poetry and philosophy that have influenced literature up to the present time.

Playwrights: Aeschylus, Sophocles, Eupirides

Comedy Writer: Aristophances Philosophers: Socrates and Plato

Historian: Thucydides
Orator: Demosthenes

Good citizenship was the foremost aim of Athenian

education. There was a stress on individual excellence in wisdom, beauty and strength for public usefulness Athens was the first state where there was freedom to develop all human capacities

most boys went to school roughly from age 7 to age

14 - all schools were private schools - parents had to pay to send their children to school but the fees were so low that even poor citizens could usually afford to have their sons educated and most did so because they valued education

- schools were mostly only one room areas - often

open to the streets on one side (perhaps with a draw- curtain to keep down distraction) - equipment was minimal: students sat on benches and held their work in their laps - there were no chalkboards or other teacher aids - the teacher might have some books, but students mostly did not

-the academic part of the school day began at dawn

and lasted until about noon - teachers were often retired military men - discipline was strict, beatings were given not only for misbehaviour but also for careless mistakes

- boys were mostly accompanied to and from school by

an educated and trusted slave called a PEDAGOGUE, whose job it was to protect the young man from undesirables, help him to choose good friends and oversee his behavior and his progress in class (the slaves sat at the back of the class and observed)

Civic training
Moral training Physical Education

Intellectual Education
Art, Music, poetry and Dancing

Was dominant aim because of the desire to serve the


Was an emphasis on the virtues of Homeric heroes as

well as those for service of the states

Was taken not to develop strength but to develop grace

and harmony

Was needed in the participation in the Assembly and

in discussions in the market place

Were taken not for pleasure and entertainment but for

the ennobling influence on the intellect and morals and good cultural training, an Apollonian ideal

The Athenian boys were taught reading, writing and

arithmetic Selected verses were dictated, memorized and chanted. They studied music, art, poetry, games and sports. As a boy matured, he acquired military skills and practiced civic virtues necessary for his role as a citizen in a democratic state

Education in Athens was supervised by the state.

The house did very little because the women were not

educated except for a few heterae, cultured women, who participated in social life and intellectual discussions of the upper class males. The schoolboy was assigned to the care of a paidagogus, once a slave, but very learned.

When conventional schooling ceased, his education

began -participated in activities in city life -went to assemblies and heard skillful debates -learned the laws, exercised and interpreted them -at the theater, he listened to the classics and histories of people -in the Olympic games, he came contact with Greek culture

This paidagogus was charged with teaching the boy

the intricacies of manners and morals and assuring the safe delivery of his ward. The first schools were private and secondary and higher education did not yet exist so that by the age of 14, education was over for most boys.

The state provided for public gymnasiums called

palaestra. Here the youth trained until he reached 18 years of age and was ready for military life. He became an ephebos, an apprentice militiaman. There were three types of teachers, the Kitharist or teacher of music, the grammalist or teacher of letters and the paedotribe or teacher of gymnastics

Until the age of seven, an Athenian boy lived at home,

usually under the care of slaves From seven and sixteen the boy divided his time between the didiscaleum (music school) and the palaestra (gymnasium) usually accompanied by his slave tutor (pedagogue) After sixteen, he continued his physical education at the palaestra.

He was trained by a drillmaster called paedoribe and

was under the supervision of a state moral sensor, the sophronist. An an ephebos(18-20 yrs), he spent his days in military service and was given the privileges of full citizenship

Much of the learning was by imitation, usually of a

living model. Readings were memorized. Most of the education came from participation. Discipline was severe and corporal punishment was used extensively.