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Diagram of the seven liberal arts (12th century)

Liberal arts is the term given to contemporary programmes of education which include areas of study across the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and the arts. It has its origins in Ancient Greece and began with a "desire for a universal understanding". Simply put liberal arts education aimed at holistic education. This can be simplified even further to an education born out of the development of number and language. It developed throughout classical antiquity but began with Pythagoras and his interest in all things mathematical. Pythagoras learnt a lot from the Ancient Egyptians and eventually after hundreds of years and various contributions this knowledge became the four specialisms (Quadrivium) of astronomy, arithmetic, geometry and music. Language became more and more important in human affairs and by 4th century Athens it was paramount to how the city state (polis) was governed. Therefore education also began to include instruction in how to speak well. Again over hundreds of years and with numerous contributions this became formalised as the three language arts (Trivium) of grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric.  view more...


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