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age of Cicero, when the Hellenic culture was in the highest favor, even the girls

were taught that tongue, without the mastery of which no one could claim

refinement. The sons of the common people were educated in schools which were

private institutions, under the control of masters who were little esteemed for

their office or character. There was a strong discrimination drawn between these

teachers of the common schools and those philosophers and rhetoricians of the

higher rank who taught rather for social and political distinction than for gain.

These latter were greatly esteemed, and were diligently sought after by the

emperors and Roman nobles, anxious to obtain for themselves and their families

the benefits of association and instruction. The common schoolmasters were

freedmen or provincials, poorly paid and thoroughly despised. The establishments

in which they taught were, like themselves, forlorn. Sometimes no building at all

was furnished by the patrons, and the miserable, morose master was obliged to

betake himself to the roof of the house or some place in the street, and there

enforce with the rod what he could not infuse by intelligence and kindness.

Among the great teachers of Rome-those who held the professional rank-may be

mentioned Verrius Flaccus, who as tutor of Augustus's grandchildren dictated his

own terms; Seneca, the ill-fated instructor of Nero; Quintilian, who held a like

office in the household of Domitian; and Appolonius, the teacher of Marcus

Aurelius. So great was the independence of the last-named philosopher that he

obliged the young Aurelius to trudge like other boys to his own house to be


In the school the Roman youth was taught two languages - his own and Greek. When

the latter was acquired he must read the classical authors of both tongues. He

must learn the poets by heart. He must be able to recite and declaim. He must

learn to be an orator, or at any rate an elocutionist, attending carefully to his

gestures and the cadence of his periods. Oratory was the only branch of

instruction which the state ever took under its patronage. All other departments

of learning were allowed to shift for themselves.

Rome was a slave holding Republic. Like the other ancient states, she had no

compunction. Whom she would she took, and whom she took she enslaved. Ancient

society without the institution of slavery is quite unthinkable. It was supported

by force; that is, by war. The warrior-race must be supported by