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City and School in Late Antique Athens and Alexandria$
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Edward Watts

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780520244214

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520244214.001.0001

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Academic Life in the Roman Empire

Academic Life in the Roman Empire

(p.1) Chapter 1 Academic Life in the Roman Empire
City and School in Late Antique Athens and Alexandria

Edward J. Watts

University of California Press

This chapter begins by presenting a letter written by Libanius to Aristaenetus illustrating the premium men of high status placed upon literary and philosophical education in the late Roman world. The chapter continues by discussing the subjects that are taught in schools, from basic, functional literacy to studies in grammar and rhetoric. It also discusses the importance of scholastic friendships created in schools among men living in the same region or from other regions. This chapter highlights the belief held by many in the Roman world that education and excellence went together. The ultimate fates of pagan teaching in Athens and Alexandria differed despite the close relationship between the doctrines and methods used in each place. The religious and social differences between the cities did much to determine the fate of teaching, but they are not the sole reason teaching continued in Alexandria and stopped in Athens.

Keywords:   Alexandria, Athens, education, Roman empire, religion, philosophy, doctrines

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