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Introduction: Writing the History of Ancient Education

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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of this book, which acknowledges the social and political dimensions of education in antiquity. If there has been a widely regarded and accepted narrative of teaching and learning in Greco-Roman society in the second half of the twentieth century, it must be Henri Irenée Marron's Histoire de l'éducation dans l'antiquité. Some fifty years later we might now think it a curious matter that Histoire de l'éducation dans l'antiquité should have served as a singularly authoritative text on education in Greek and Roman antiquity inasmuch as Hellenistic education is Marrou's "classical/ancient education". For Marron and his predecessors, the story of ancient education is a story about children and young men, and sometimes women, being instructed by their teachers in gymnastics, in music, in literature, and in oratory. The chapter presents an overview of how the other chapters in the book are organized.

Keywords: ancient education; Greco-Roman society; Hellenistic education; Henri Irenée Marron; Histoire de l'éducation dans l'antiquité



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