History and the education of youth

“But if the memory of antiquity attaches to any kind of man it is to magistrates, kings and princes regnant.  For them and their position it is necessary that they possess not only will and genius, but also the knowledge and recollection of examples to be deliberated, judged, provided or avoided in all the functions of their reign.

Therefore, the teacher who should educate the children of princes and especially instruct their young minds so that when they grow up to rule the Republic, wisdom and practice are seen to dwell in them as adults.  As adults they should hold the histories of all periods, peoples and individuals of primary importance.

But in all these matters it is necessary to remember this, that I do not only recommend history, for there are many other excellent subjects to be learned.  Nevertheless, history should be among the first subjects a youth should learn.” Johann Sturm, “On the Education of Princes,” trans. Lewis W. Spitz and Barbara Sher Tinsley, Johann Sturm on Education (CPH: St Louis, 1995), 181.

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