Grammar is our Mother

“Grammar is the cradle of all philosophy, and in a manner of speaking, the first nurse of the whole study of letters.  It takes all of us as tender babes, newly born from nature’s bosom.  It nurses us in our infancy, and guides our ever forward step in philosophy.  With motherly care, it fosters and protects the philosopher from the start to the finish [of his pursuits].” John of Salisbury, Metalogicon, Book 1, Chap. 13, trans. Daniel D. McGarry (Philadelphia, 2009), p. 37.

What a beautiful description of the significance of grammar as the foundation of the study of the liberal arts!  John of Salisbury imagines grammar as the mother who nurses us as young students of the arts.

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