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herds, educating children, maintaining physical and moral purity, and opposing whatever is evil and hurtful in the world.
As in all Asiatic nations, the women were slavishly subordinate, and excluded from the advantages of education. Every morning the wife was required to kneel at the feet of her husband and ask nine times, “ What do you wish that I should do ?” And having received his reply, she must humbly withdraw to obey his commands. Children were objects of parental pride; and as they were looked on as the source of the future power and prosperity of the state, the king was accustomed to show special favors to the heads of the largest families. The utmost care was exercised in the training of children. Up to the age of seven, they were left beneath the parental roof under the care of the mother; but after that age they were regarded as belonging to the state, and were educated in public institutions. Till the age of fifteen this education was physical and moral. The body was strengthened and hardened by temperate habits in eating and drinking, by gymnastic and military exercises, and exposure to heat and cold. The moral nature of the child was trained with assiduous attention. As far as possible, it was preserved from contact with vice, while the virtues of self-control, truthfulness, and justice were constantly enjoined and practiced. Ingratitude and lying were considered the most shameful vices, while truthfulness was looked on as the highest virtue. At about fifteen, the boy passed to youth's estate; and at this critical period of life he was subject to strict supervision and wholesome restraint. Through severe military discipline, he was prepared for the hardships of war, while the wise instruction of overseers or governors fitted him for the civil service of the state. The teachers were the ripest and worthiest men of the country. At the age of fifty, the Persian was exempt from military service. It was from among these men of advanced age and ripe experience that the instructors of youth were chosen; and they were expected to be patterns of the virtues that they inculcated by precept.
Xenophon has treated at soine length of Persian education, and has given us a clear insight into many details. “Most states," he says, “let each one bring up his sons as he pleases, and further permit the older youth to live as they choose; only they forbid them to steal, to rob, to enter a house by force, to strike in secret, to commit adultery, and disobey the civil authority. If any one commits such a misdeed, they subject him to punishment. The Persian laws, on the contrary, take the initiative, and exercise a care that the citizens from the beginning on have no inclination to a wicked or shameful deed. For this they provide in the following manner: They have a public market-place which they call free. The part of the market-place that adjoins the courts of justice is divided into four parts : the first is reserved for the boys, the second for the youths, the third for the men, and the fourth for the aged. Each one was restricted to his allotted place; the boys and men were required to appear at daybreak, while the aged could come, except on certain days, whenever they pleased. The youths that were not yet married spent the night in arms guarding the courts of justice. As the Persians are divided into twelve tribes, every division of the market-place had twelve overseers; those over the boys must distinguish themselves through ability to teach, while those over the youth should be qualified to lead them to virtue. The overseers of the men were charged to see that the laws and ordinances were observed.
The overseers of the aged held the latter to a performance of their duties. The boys went to school to have their sense of justice awakened and developed. Therefore the masters spent the day especially in holding court among the boys, who, after the manner of men, brought indictments against each other for theft, violence, cheating, offensive language, etc., not only the convicted prisoners, but also the false accusers being punished. Ingratitude was punished with especial severity; for the Persians hold that the ungrateful can love neither the gods, their parents, their fatherland, nor their friends, since with ingratitude shamelessness is always united, and this latter is the most prolific source of all vices."
An incident in the life of Cyrus will illustrate more în detail the emphasis that was laid on justice in Persian education. When Cyrus, then a boy of twelve years, was brought to the court of his grandfather Astyages, he was asked by his mother, “My child, how will you learn justice at this despotic court, since your teachers are at home?” Cyrus answered, “ Mother, I understand justice very well already. For my teacher, since I showed an eagerness for learning, often placed me as judge over others; and only once was I beaten for giving a wrong decision. One time a large boy with a small coat compelled a little boy with a large coat to exchange with him. I decided that it was better for both, because each had the coat that fitted him best. Then I was beaten, and told that my decision would have been right if the question had been whom the coat fitted; but since the question had been who was the lawful owner of the coat, I ought to have inquired to whom the coat really belonged, and whether taking a thing by force rendered its possession lawful.”
The Magi were an important class in Persia. They had charge of all the religious ceremonies, and were the learned class, being at once both priests and philosophers. So great was their reputation that people from distant countries came to receive instruction at their hands. The learning of Pythagoras, that gave him such eminence among the Greeks, is said to have been borrowed in large measure from the Magi. The king was required to pass some time under their instruction, in order to learn the principles of governing and the right way to worship the gods. After ascending the throne, he did not determine any important undertaking without consulting them. From this circumstance, they were regarded as the directors of princes.
The one-sidedness of Persian education is evident. The state, which was absolutely despotic, was the controlling influence. As physical strength and moral rectitude were held to be the qualities of greatest utility, the one fitting for war and the other for the administration of justice, they alone were emphasized in the long period of public training. Intellectual culture was wholly neglected in the school-training. Reading and writing, if they formed any part of instruction at all, were taught only in a very limited measure.
The higher branches of knowledge, as philosophy, astronomy, and medicine, were pursued only by the Magi. The system of Persia has been denominated state education.
4. THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL. The Semitic race, including the Babylonians, Assyrians, Phænicians, and especially the children of Israel, unites profound contemplation with great practical wisdom. For
For many centuries it played an important part in the world's history, founding mighty and warlike kingdoms. Great cities arose in the valleys of the Euphrates and Tigris, remarkable progress was made in the arts and sciences, manufactures and commerce flourished, and a considerable degree of culture was attained. The forces of nature, particularly the sun and the moon, were worshiped as divinities. A kind of picture-writing in cuneiform or wedge-shaped charac- . ters was employed; and books, consisting of square clay tablets written on both sides and treating of geography, history, mathematics, astronomy, and law, were collected in public libraries. The Phænicians were for a long time the leading maritime nation of antiquity; and, next after the Jews, they have exerted the widest influence upon the Western world. They were the inventors of our alphabet which, with certain modifications, was transmitted to us through the Greeks and Romans. Further than these general statements, which indicate the existence of no small degree of learning among at least certain classes, we are unacquainted
, with the educational history of Babylonia, Assyria, and Phænicia.
But the ancient Jews, whose literary remains have