The 7 Liberal Arts

“Grammar * Rhetoric * Logic * Arithmetic * Geometry * Music * Astronomy/Cosmology

The Seven Liberal Arts divide between the trivium of logic, rhetoric, and grammar and the quadrivium of arithmetic, music, geometry and cosmology. The Trivium were the arts considered necessary for the creation of an active citizen of the ancient world, well educated enough to be able to analyze what was being said, check it for rationality and to be able to speak and answer in his turn. With the addition of the quadrivium by the scholastics of the early medieval age, the whole basic course structure and purpose of a university education was established—which was to create an aware citizen. The system endured, more or less unchanged, right through to nineteenth-century Europe.”

Excerpted from: Rogerson, Barnaby. Rogerson’s Book of Numbers: The Culture of Numbers–from 1,001 Nights to the Seven Wonders of the World. New York: Picador, 2013.

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