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The Curriculum of Italian Elementary and Grammar Schools, 1350–1500

  • Robert Black
Part of the Archives Internationales d’Histoire des Idées / International Archives of the History of Ideas book series (ARCH, volume 124)

Abstract

The curriculum of Italian elementary and grammar schools in the early Renaissance, i.e., from 1350 to 1500, has frequently been discussed; but like many other topics in Renaissance cultural and intellectual history, it has suffered from a division of labor. On the one hand there have been the students of humanism, who have considered the curriculum on the basis of humanist treatises and other humanist and medieval writings on education; their approach has been furthered by codicological specialists who have carefully studied individual manuscript textbooks and anthologies. On the other hand there are the archivists who have brought to light curriculum descriptions in their vast publications of educational documents from Italian communal archives.1 However, few attempts have been made to bridge the gap between these two approaches, and this reluctance to cross scholarly barriers has restricted efforts to reconstruct the elementary and grammar syllabus as a whole. A typical curriculum document found in an archive will tell what the various classes or forms were and what kind of teacher was in charge of them; textbooks are sometimes mentioned but usually only at the elementary level, so that one has little understanding of the curriculum of more advanced grammar study on the basis of archival documents alone. Exactly the opposite is true of the codicological evidence: it is easy to find examples of intermediate and advanced Latin grammars and anthologies of school authors but difficult or impossible to locate elementary readers.

Keywords

Reading Text Private Tutor Fifteenth Century Fourteenth Century Italian Elementary 
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Notes

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1991

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  • Robert Black

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