cassiodorus popular medias
9 months ago
The quadrivium is the four subjects, or arts, taught after teaching the trivium. quadrivium is Latin, meaning 'four ways', and its use for the four subjects has been attributed to Boethius or Cassiodorus in the 6th century. Together, the trivium and the quadrivium comprised the seven liberal arts (based on thinking skills), as distinguished from the practical arts (such as medicine and architecture). The quadrivium consisted of arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy. These followed the preparatory work of the trivium, which consists of grammar, logic and rhetoric. In turn, the quadrivium was considered preparatory work for the study of philosophy (sometimes called the "liberal art par excellence") and theology.
The adoption of these classical teaching methods and the the intense study of antique manuscripts by ecclesiastical historians such as Alcuin (735 – 19 May 804 AD), enabled our present civilisation to achieve the miraculous! Knowledge of Latin was promoted during the 'Carolingian Renaissance', (the reign of Charlemagne and his son, Louis the Pious). During this period, education and the arts flourished.
I dream of a time in which the trivium and quadrivium are once again adopted as teaching methods in higher education, but at this late stage of our culture I have to admit this is highly unlikely. But, perhaps long after our present, barbaric, vulgar societies have finally died away like spluttering candles, classical knowledge will experience yet another Renaissance. From these ruins and ashes mankind may build again something glorious!
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