W. Martin Bloomer

in The School of Rome

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780520255760
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948402 | DOI:

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This chapter presents some concluding thoughts. A liberal education, on an ancient and a modern understanding, promises freedom from want, from ignorance, and perhaps from convention. The idea that education changes something essential about a person, even that it liberates the self, remains strong. Plutarch and Quintilian, however, were not writing Enlightenment essays about the self tearing itself away from its own society's institutions. They were adapting and explaining the system of education that had spread across the Mediterranean in Hellenistic times. Following Hellenistic culture, the Romans came to theorize liberal education as the literate culture that defined the Roman man. Pieces of this culture, according to some authorities, could be granted to women, and slaves could well be the best professionals and literally liberate themselves. But the role of public speaker, that ideal type of the civilized man, would not cross the barriers of class and gender.

Keywords: Roman education; liberal education; schooling; self; liberal arts

Chapter.  3181 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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