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Forum LockedEducation in Byzantine Empire

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    Posted: 07-Feb-2007 at 15:29
How was the educational system in Byzantine Empire?
Did the little Byzantine kids go to school everyday?
Was there any type of University?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xristar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Feb-2007 at 18:12
I think there is supposed that there was one (or even two) in Constantinople.
If you read the very interesting book recently published in Greece (of course) "1204" by Karabelias, you'll read very interesting stuff about late Byzantium -among which also education. Generally, I could say that the hellenistic logic was followed. That means that the classical and hellenitic Greeks, especially good old Homer, were studied. Of course since Byzantium was christian, I assume that the christian texts were also studied -quite extensively judging from my experince with original byzantine texts. 
Still, I don't know if Byzantine kids were going to school every day :). But I doubt that. Propably only the well-off were. Still, they propably were more thatn in the west. (Heheh)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Feb-2007 at 00:07
Byzantine higher education tended to be a fusion of Christian and Aristotelian thought, up until the time of Michael Psellus when neo-Platonic ideas took dominance.

In the 11th century cultural profusion in Constantinople, university education was free if you showed especial merit in your studies, and you had the chance to study under some very fine teachers also.

I would assume this rate of free education declined alongside Byzantine financial and military fortunes following Manzikert.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Byzantine Emperor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Feb-2007 at 13:00
I agree with what has been said by Xristar and Constantine XI. 
 
Byzantine education was based largely around memorization and recitation of Classical Greek texts.  In fact, it was almost artificial in ways because of this.  Students would learn whole passages by heart and then recite them in class in front of their peers and the critical eye of the teacher.  Also, they would do writing exercises in which they would mimic the styles of the great writers.  Often, they would just plagiarize entire passages where it seemed fit, such as exciting battle narratives.  For primary source evidence, you can read about these things in Anna Komnena's biography of Alexius I and in some of Michael Psellos's writings.
 
Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

I would assume this rate of free education declined alongside Byzantine financial and military fortunes following Manzikert.
 
I am not sure how education was funded in Byzantium.  Perhaps there is a correlation.  In the later period, however, when the Ottomans began closing in, education declined because all the premier scholars departed for Italy and Western Europe.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kasper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2007 at 20:09

If I remember correctly, there were primarily three seperate higher-level learning institutions: a palace school which taught future civil servants law, rhetoric, and language; patriarchal schools focusing in theology; and monastic schools for monks. By the mid-800s, the University of Constantinople was "restablished" by Patriarch Photios and soon become a major center for learning in Europe. However, I doubt the average kid in Byzantium was going to school. By the seventh century, grammar schools were becoming obsolete due to economic decline and the Arab invasions, forcing the poor to depend on their guilds for education. During the Middle Ages, there was also a shift from learning classical texts to learning more religious, devotional texts.

By the ninth century, education began to improve with an improved Byzantine economy.

Here is an interesting link about Patriarch Photios...

http://members.fortunecity.com/fstav1/people/photius.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote akritas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Mar-2007 at 05:02
I will start in the early Byzantine Era. The 4th to the beginning of the s6th century are closely connected with the relations established between Christianity and the ancient pagan(ancient Greek Philosphy) world with its great culture. The debates of the Christian apologists of the 2nd and 3rd centuries on the question of whether or not it was permissible for a Christian to use pagan materials brought no definite conclusion.
 
Cappadocia, in Asia Minor, had in the fourth century the three famous Cappadocians, Basil the Great, his friend Gregory the Theologian, and Gregory of Nyssa, younger brother of Basil.
 
Important cultural centers in Syria were the cities of Antioch and Berytus (Beirut) on the seacoas.The latter was particularly famous for studies in the field of law and the time of its brilliance lasted from about 200 to 550 A.D.
 
Also Antioch was the Syrian center of culture, produced in opposition to the Alexandrian school its own movement, which defended the literal acceptance of the Holy Scriptures without allegorical interpretations.
 
Athens was in the 5th century the home of the last distinguished representative of neo-Platonism. Proclus from Constantinople, who taught and wrote there for a long period of years.
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