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Karl Schmidt, in summarizing the views of Pythagoras on this point, “man is very imperfect, and naturally inclined to arrogance; through an uninterrupted education, lasting throughout the whole life, he must be freed from these innate evils, and be elevated to purity of heart and mind. Early training to abstinence in eat.. ing, sleeping, and speaking, to temperance in all particulars, to mutual improvement through hearty friendship, and profound scientific culture, lead in this direction. The work of man on earth is to attain to true knowledge—to knowledge of those subjects which in their nature are unchangeable and eternal. And wisdom has no other end than to free the human spirit through instruction from the slavish yoke of sensual desires, to conduct it to a likeness with God, and to make it worthy to enter hereafter into the fellowship of the gods. As for all things, so also for men, harmony is the end of life.”
The course of study in the school of Pythagoras embraced mathematics, physics, geography, metaphysics, and medicine. Especial prominence was given to mathematics, which Pythagoras regarded as the noblest science. Number governed the creative processes in the beginning, and is involved in all cosmical motion and phenomena. The devotion of Pythagoras to this science was not fruitless. To him we owe the discovery of the geometrical truth that the square of the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides.
Religion formed the basis of moral action. Pythagoras, by a profound insight into nature, reached the conception of one God, the universal Ruler. Him it is
the duty of man to serve. Religious ceremonies were prominent in the school at Crotona ; and morning, noon, and night, offerings were regularly made. Temperance, courage, obedience, fidelity, and moral purity were among the virtues constantly enforced by precept and exacted in practice. Pythagoras believed in the metempsychosis or transmigration of the souls of deceased men into the lower animals. On one occasion, seeing a dog beaten and hearing him howl, he desired the striker to desist, saying, “ It is the soul of a friend of mine, whom I recognize by his voice.” Ovid represents Pythagoras as saying:
What then is death, but ancient matter dressed
Thus all things are but altered, nothing dies;
Much stress was laid upon music because of its harmonizing influence upon the soul. At night the passions of the day were banished by song; and in the morning, song gently incited to the duties of the day.
The method of instruction was dogmatic. The assertion of Pythagoras was held as a sufficient test of truth. This circumstance gave rise to the expression ipse dixit—he himself said it—which put an end to all discussion. In many particulars, the system of Pythagoras showed its affinity with the Doric spirit. It was strict in morals; severe in discipline; partial to physical training; authoritative in method ; and aristocratic in tendency. It was this last fact that brought the school into disfavor, and then into open conflict with the masses of Crotona. At length the building in which Pythagoras taught was set on fire by a mob; and whether he escaped by flight or perished in the flames is uncertain. This was the end of the school which for a considerable period had exerted a strong moral, intellectual, and political influence in Southern Italy.
(c.) ATHENS. Attica was a small but beautiful district in Central Greece. In size it was hardly equal to one of our counties; and, at the time of its greatest prosperity, it did not number more than half a million people, of whom nearly four hundred thousand were slaves. Though insignificant in size and population, it was in Athens, the capital of Attica, that the restless and brilliant genius of the Greek wrought out the most perfect form of heathen civilization. Nowhere else in Greece did education, both in its theoretical and practical aspects, attain so high a development.
The beautiful was an object of constant endeavor in Athenian life. The taste was highly cultivated. The city was filled with model statuary; the drama received a frigidly chastened form; the Acropolis was crowned with architectural magnificence. A beautiful soul in a beautiful body—this was the chief end of Attic education. It was attained by a harmonious union of physical and intellectual culture. This conception of the purpose of education is indeed incomplete; but it has the merit of laying stress upon important elements that in other ages and countries have been too often neg. lected. The educational system of Athens has produced results that are worthy of admiration.
The prosperity of Athens dates from the time of Solon, who lived in the sixth century before Christ. He was counted among the seven sages of Greece, and was the lawgiver of Athens, as Lycurgus was of Sparta. Appointed to draft a constitution to replace the cruel code of Draco, he established laws noted for their wisdom and humanity. Parents were forbidden to sell or pawn their children-an unnatural and barbarous custom previously tolerated. Education was encouraged. In addition to intellectual training, the youth were required to learn a business or trade that would serve as a means of livelihood. Any father that neglected to give his sons a practical training, forfeited all claims upon their support in
This measure of Solon's laid a solid foundation for the prosperity of the state, and brought labor into honor at a time when it was generally held dishonorable.
But we pass to the time of Pericles, the golden age of Greece, for the closer study of Attic education. The social condition of Athens, Pericles himself has portrayed in his famous funeral oration. “We enjoy," he says,
“ 6 a form of government which does not copy the laws of our neighbors; but we are ourselves rather a pattern to others than imitators of them. In name, from its not being administered for the benefit of the few but of the many, it is called a democracy; but with regard to its laws, all enjoy equality, as concerns their private differences; while with regard to public rank, according as each man has reputation for anything, he is preferred for public honors, not so much from consideration of party as of merit; nor, again, on the ground of poverty, while he is able to do the state any good service, is he
prevented by the obscurity of his position. ... Moreover, we have provided for our spirits the most numerous recreations from labors, by celebrating games and sacrifices through the whole year, and by maintaining elegant private establishments, the gratification daily received from which drives away sadness. Owing to the greatness too of our city, everything from every land is imported into it; and it is our lot to reap with no more peculiar enjoyment the good things which are produced here, than those of the rest of the world likewise."
In Attica, only the freemen, who constituted about one fifth of the population, were allowed the advantages of education. Female education was neglected. The wife was servilely subject to the husband. As a rule, it was only women without character who sought to increase their charms by intellectual culture. The state had no further connection with education than to maintain a general supervision over the schools, and to provide gymnasia for the physical training of the youth. Education was an individual interest; and it was left to the wisdom or ability of the father to determine what culture his sons should receive. But, as the popular sentiment was highly favorable to the cause of learning, education was general among the freemen. Even those who received no formal school-training, were not left wholly without culture; for, in the democratic city of Athens, the people mingled freely together, and the numerous works of art had an elevating influence.
The education of the Athenian youth extended through eighteen years, which were divided into three nearly equal periods. The first period included the do