Athanasios Markopoulos

in The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199252466
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History


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In Byzantium, education comprised one of those aspects of Byzantine civilization that displayed remarkable continuity from the beginning to the end of the life of the East Roman polity. The empire's education system was essentially patterned after that of the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Children were taught the rudiments of reading, writing, and arithmetic in primary school, before advancing to secondary school, where they could hone their knowledge and learning. The most important component of secondary education in Byzantium was rhetoric. Higher education was available only in the larger cities and, from the middle Byzantine period onwards, typically associated with the educational initiatives of the emperor or other high-ranking officials. The emperor Julian was one of the great sponsors of education in the early Byzantine period.

Keywords: education; Byzantium; Julian; higher education; secondary education; rhetoric; reading; writing

Article.  4928 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Middle Eastern Languages

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