Educational Practices in Ancient Greece and Rome. Essay Example

Published: 2023-08-21
Educational Practices in Ancient Greece and Rome. Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Education Ancient Greece Roman Empire
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1171 words
10 min read

A fantastic faculty integrated the adoption of Hellenistic education by Rome for adaptation of the techniques and structures of the evolved civilization, and the Romans were aware of the new education practice. More imperatively, the Greek was felt at the beginning of Roman education, and it was growing stronger after a subsequent gaining that led to the annexation of Macedonia 168 BCE, of the Pergamum Kingdom 133 BCE, and of Greece proper 146 BCE as well as of the entire Hellenized Orient. The Romans suddenly appreciated the benefits they gained from the perceived mature civilization that was richer than their national culture. The Romans took advantage of the Greek language, which was assumed to be the international language, and rapidly made it their Oriented subjects, as well as grasping the associated importance of learning the art of oratory that was developed by the people of Greece. The paper seeks to evaluate the educational standards of ancient Greece and the Roman civilization in light of scripture, through the analysis of what they did well and what was left out, and how the two civilizations fell short of the Biblical standard.

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Practice in Ancient Rome

More importantly, the Romans’ adoption of Hellenistic education did not continue, and even though, without a specific adaptation to the Latin personality, the Romans demonstrated a reserve towards the Greek athleticism that also amazed their morals and sense of the seriousness of life. Despite the entering of the gymnastic into their life, it was only based on their health and not sport. For Roman architecture, the gymnasium was the attachment of the public baths that revealed the Greek models. There was a tremendous reserve on moral seriousness towards dance and music artists, a convenience for professional music performances but an inconvenience for the freeborn young people and other young aristocrats.

Additionally, the musical arts were then assimilated into the Latin culture as components of luxury life and refinement; thereby showing the elements of spectacle instead of amateur participation; thus, triggering the disappearance of the educational programs. Notably, music and athleticism were the survival of archaic education in Greece and was yet declining. The education that adopted the international language was parallel due to its course of studies and the Greek schools’ pattern, but it was transposed into the Latin language. The aristocracy had to be attached to a private education concept that was being conducted among families. Still, due to social pressure, there was a significant development of public education in schools like the one in Greece, including the elementary level, secondary level, and higher education level.

Based on education for the youth, the application of writings for the 7th century BCE suggested the early existence of the use of primary instructions. The Romans adopted alphabets from the Etruscans, who adopted it from the Greeks, who also took it from the Phoenicians. The ancient Romans copied the pedagogy used by the Hellenistic world, including their analytical methods, brutal and strict discipline, and psychology. Understandably, between the end of the 1st and 3rd centuries, the secondary education of the Latin was developed. Because the principal subject of education was mainly poetry, it was hampered by the slowness of the development of Latin literature.

Regarding higher education, the Romans had no similar urgency to Latinized the other knowledge, which only interested a few specialists with its unusual vocations. More precisely, the philosophy of the Cicero had similar ambition as that of the theatrical concept and showed that it was easy to be philosophized into Latin; however, there was no successor for Cicero’s rhetorical works; thus, there were no schools for the Latin philosophy. Notably, ancient Rome was not lacking philosophizes, but most of them employed Greek in their expressions. Because Cicero had taken their studies in Greek, it was the same thing in sciences, especially in medical science, where there was a lack of medical books in Latin. Additionally, ancient Rome established the school of law serving in higher education and distinguished from Hellenistic education. Compared to the rhetoric concept, the law school offered profitable careers to the young Romans, and they benefited from its apprenticeship. Ultimately, Rome’s capital city was taken as the great center of the perceived innovative study of the law.

Practice in Ancient Greece

Based on their practice, upper classes composed of the Greek children and their teachers were either the hired tutors or the educated slaves. Most of the Greek children started going to school at the age of seven, and the government did not impose strict rules and regulations on when to start school. Notably, the children used tablets and slates for writing as well as using the abacus for calculations. The student also utilized papyrus that was scrolled with ink for writing. Between the 7th and 6th century B.C, education was perceived as preparation for war and participation in the upper class, and athletics and sports were taught to prepare male children for war. At the same time, dance and music were offered for both male and female children for acceptance within the elites. Also, the Athenians established schools that were not different from contemporary schools during the 5th century B.C.

Ancient Greece defined education for the wealthy Athens children in which their parents from favorable families decided how their children were raised and educated, including children playing with toys. Formal education captured the normal 3 R’s consisting of reading, writing, arithmetic, and physical education and music arts. Music was integrated into their education and perceived as more critical in their curriculum, where children were made to learn how to play instruments and sing. Upon attaining the age of eighteen, children were ready for military work.


The educational practice of ancient Rome adopted more of the Latin personality that basically incorporated the sports and music arts. It is worth noting that Greece education influenced the Romans’ education; for example, Roman architecture suggested the adoption of the Greek models that reserved the moral seriousness of music and dance. And, in more advanced education, Rome created the school of law that was different from the Hellenistic education. For ancient Greece, their formal education integrated the application of writings, reading, and arithmetic. In contrast, informal education included sports and music arts, where children were ready for military services at the age of eighteen.


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D'Angour, Armand. "Plato and play: Taking education seriously in ancient Greece." American Journal of Play 5, no. 3 (2013): 293-307.

Lucian. Volume IV. Translated by A. M. Harmon. London and New York: Loeb Classical Library, 1925.

Mark, Michael L., ed. Music education: Source readings from ancient Greece to today. Routledge, 2013.

Nasrallah, Laura. "Mapping the world: Justin, Tatian, Lucian, and the second sophistic." Harvard Theological Review 98, no. 3 (2005): 283-314.

Stamou, Lelouda. "Plato and Aristotle on music and music education: Lessons from ancient Greece." International Journal of Music Education 1 (2002): 3-16.

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