UNIVERSAL BISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.
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