Category Archives: liberal arts

Studies Burdensome to Youth

One may wish to be learned in old age, but it is not easy to achieve this unless we have nurtured learning in ourselves from our earliest years with zealous effort.  So we need to prepare in youth those consolations … Continue reading

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Rhabanus on Rhetoric and Preaching

“According to the statements of teachers, rhetoric is the art of using secular discourse effectively in the circumstances of daily life.  From this definition rhetoric seems indeed to have reference merely to secular wisdom.  Yet is is not foreign to … Continue reading

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The Exercise of the Mind

“I think to myself how many men exercise their bodies, and how few their intellects; what a great gathering there is to see an unreliable show put on in play, and what a great isolation around the noble arts; how … Continue reading

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Unlock the Hidden Places of Learning

“A certain wise man, when asked concerning the method and form of study, declared: A humble mind, eagerness to inquire, a quiet life,                                   … Continue reading

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Reading the Best Authors

“This then will be our first study: to read only the best and most approved authors.  Our second will be to bring to this reading a keen critical sense.  The reader must study the reasons why the words are placed … Continue reading

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Career Advice from the Renaissance

“To decide which is the most suitable career to himself, a man must take two things into account: the first is his own intelligence, his mind and his body, everything about himself; and the second, the question requiring close considerations, … Continue reading

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Reading Needs Memory

“Reading needs the aid of memory, and even if memory is sluggish, it is sharpened by frequent meditation, and recovered by assiduous reading.  Often a prolix reading will overwhelm the memory with its length, but if it is short, and … Continue reading

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Melanchthon Laments Rejection of Classical Literature

“I consider in my mind these admirable gifts of God, namely the study of literature and of the humanities—and apart from the Gospel of Christ this world holds nothing more splendid nor more divine and I also consider, on the … Continue reading

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The Foundations of Understanding

“Tender years should first be instructed in rules of the art or grammar, in analogies, in barbarisms, in solecisms, in tropes and schemata.  These are the studies on which Donatus, Servius, Priscian, Isidore, Bede, and Cassiodorus expounded with much diligence, … Continue reading

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Artists and the Liberal Arts

“I want the painter, as far as he is able, to be learned in all the liberal arts, but I wish him above all to have a good knowledge of geometry….Our rudiments, from which the complete and perfect art of … Continue reading

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