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Teachers, schools and pupils in Florence during the fifteenth century

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Chapter Summary

The largest sector of pre-university education in the city of Florence during the fifteenth century was elementary teaching, consisting mainly of instruction in reading. Elementary teachers either ran their own schools, or worked as private tutors residing in the households of prosperous families. As a discipline and a teaching profession, the abacus reached its apogee in Florence during the fifteenth century. By thefifteenth century, the core of grammar teaching in Florence, as in other Tuscan towns, was subsidized by the civic authorities. What is particularly significant is that a private classical education had thus become a status symbol in Florence. This type of education now provided upper-class Florentines with a particularly effective means of distinguishing themselves and their sons from the more common elements of society.

Keywords: abacus; Florence; grammar; pupils; schools; upper-class Florentines

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