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William Davis, A Day in Old Athens

 

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The Schoolboys of Athens

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Page 5

An Athenian School

 

    Leaving the worthy citizen's home, where we have lingered long chatting on many of the topics the house and its denizens suggest, we will turn again to the streets to seek the school where one of the young sons of the family has been duly conducted (possibly, one may say, driven) by his pedagogue. We have not far to go. Athenian schools have to be numerous, because they are small. To teach children of the poorer classes it is enough to have a modest room and a few stools; an unrented shop will answer. But we will go to a more pretentious establishment. There is an anteroom by the entrance way where the pedagogues can sit and doze or exchange gossip while their respective charges are kept busy in the larger room within. The latter place, however, is not particularly commodious. On the bare wall hang book-rolls, lyres, drinking vessels, baskets for books, and perhaps some simple geometric instruments. ... The scholars are so few that probably there is only one teacher, and instruction is decidedly "individual," although poetry and singing are very likely taught "in concert."

 

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