Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-Greece/old-athens-schoolboys.asp?pg=14

ELPENOR - Home of the Greek Word

Three Millennia of Greek Literature
 

William Davis, A Day in Old Athens

 

Plato Home Page

The Schoolboys of Athens

ELPENOR EDITIONS IN PRINT

HOMER

PLATO

ARISTOTLE

THE GREEK OLD TESTAMENT (SEPTUAGINT)

THE NEW TESTAMENT

PLOTINUS

DIONYSIUS THE AREOPAGITE

MAXIMUS CONFESSOR

SYMEON THE NEW THEOLOGIAN

CAVAFY

More...


Page 14

Notes


[2] Swimming was an exceedingly common accomplishment among the Greeks, naturally enough, so much of their life being spent upon or near the sea.

[3] No doubt frequently the pedagogue would be an old family servant of good morals, loyalty, and zeal. In that case the relation might be delightful.

[4] Phocylides, whose gnomic poetry is now preserved to us only in scant fragments, was an Ionian, born about 560 B.C. His verses were in great acceptance in the schools.

[5] For such an attainment see Xenophon's "Symposium," 3:5.

[6] The virtue of unflinching honesty was undoubtedly the thing least cultivated by the Greek education. Successful prevarication, e.g. in the case of Odysseus, was put at altogether too high a premium. It is to be feared that the average Athenian schoolboy was only partially truthful. The tale of "George Washington and the cherry tree" would never have found favor in Athens. The great Virginian would have been blamed for failing to concoct a clever lie.

[7] This fact did not prevent the Greeks from having a considerable respect for the traditions and lore of, e.g., the Egyptians, and from borrowing a good many non-Greek usages and inventions; but all this could take place without feeling the least necessity for studying foreign languages.

[8] Aristotle ["Politics," V. (or VIII.) 1] says that the literary education is to train the mind; while music, though of no practical use, "provides a noble and liberal employment of leisure."

[9] Aristophanes's "The Clouds". The whole passage is cited in Davis's "Readings in Ancient History," vol. I, pp. 252-255.

[10] The "Phrygian mode" from which the "Ionic" was derived was still more demoralizing; it was counted "orgiastic," and proper only in certain excited religious rhapsodies.

[11] We have extremely few Greek melodies preserved to us and these few are not attractive to the modern ear. All that can fairly be said is that the Hellenes were obvious such ├Žsthetic, harmoniously minded people that it is impossible their music should have failed in nobility, beauty, and true melody.

[12] To have a pale, untanned skin was "womanish" and unworthy of a free Athenian citizen.

[13] The details of the boys' athletic games, being much of a kind with those followed by adults at the regular public gymnasia, are here omitted. See Chap. XVII [The Afternoon at the Gymnasia]

[14] One of the hundred or more petty townships or precincts into which Attica was divided.

[15] These two years which the ephebi of Athens had to serve under arms have been aptly likened to the military service now required of young men in European countries.

A Day in Old Athens

Previous / First Page of this chapter

Next Chapter : The Physicians of Athens

Back to A Day in Old Athens Contents

The Greek Word Library

 

Three Millennia of Greek Literature


Greek Literature - Ancient, Medieval, Modern

Learned Freeware

Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-Greece/old-athens-schoolboys.asp?pg=14