All the liberal arts flow from history

“I do not know if our world would suffer less harm without the sun, its soul as it were, than without history, the principle of all civil activities.  Our forebears have often insisted unanimously that the Muses were born from memory.  Hence, lest I am mistaken, it is shown that every kind of art flows from history…” Philip Melanchthon, “On Improving the Studies of Youth,” ed., Carter Lindberg, The European Reformations: Sourcebook (Oxford 2000), p. 51

Philip Melanchthon began his career as a Greek professor at Wittenberg in 1518.  Trained as a humanist, Philip loved the Greek and Roman classics.  He received the title, “teacher of Germany,” for his contributions to education during the sixteenth century.  Although he never was ordained, Philip completed some of the most significant theological writings of the Reformation.  In this quote from Melanchthon’s inaugural lecture at Wittenberg he proclaimed the great significance of the study of history in relation to all the liberal arts.  Additionally, February 16 was his birthday.

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